FAQ's

FAQ’s

What brands do you carry?

Our in-stock inventory includes several natural pet food brands such as Nature’s Variety, Northwest Naturals Raw, Earthborn Holistic, Stella and Chewy’s , Bravo , Primal, Sojo’s, Grandma Lucy’s, Orijen, Pulsar, Zukes, Cloud Star, Animal Essentials, Addiction, Plato’s pet treats, Fussie cat, Himalayan chews and many more.

Don’t see what you are looking for? We’re happy to place a special order for you. Take advantage of our wholesale relationships and let us do the work for you!

What if my pet doesn’t like the food?

Most manufacturers offer a satisfaction guarantee on their products and we will return and refund any opened or unopened products that the manufacturer guarantees within 30 days from the time of purchase. Please note that not all products are guaranteed and any opened raw food that is not kept frozen will not be returnable.

Returns & Exchanges

All Returns/exchanged merchandise must be in original condition and must include, all accessories, packing material, inserts and manuals non filled out warranty cards and the box in which it was shipped in. Shipments of returns must be prepaid. We will not accept COD returns. Satisfaction Guaranteed, if for some reason you are unsatisfied with any of our products and the manufacturer offers a guarantee, please return them within 30 days in their original packaging and we will refund the purchase price of the product. Original shipping charges are not refundable.   Exchanges: Ordered the wrong size or item? Simply place an order online for the correct item and return any item(s) that you do not want in their original condition following the instructions above.

Canned Food: We do not take returns on partial cases of canned food since they are available to order by the each. Raw Food: Please note that for health safety reasons, we cannot accept returns of frozen raw food. All frozen raw food sales are final.

If you feel there was an error in your order please call 1-630-359-4576

Monday – Saturday 10am – 6pm or email at contact@aipetstore.com . You may also contact us with any questions or concerns that you may have regarding your order. We will try to remedy any problems to the best of our ability. Your satisfaction is very important to us. Cancelled Orders: Please be aware that we often process orders the same day they are placed or the next day, so you may not be able to cancel your order after it is placed. If you request to cancel your order and it is boxed and waiting for pick up by the delivery service, you will be refunded the amount of the order less 10% of the product price as a restocking fee.

Where do you deliver? Is there a delivery fee?

We offer prompt delivery to:

Villa Park, Elmhurst, Lombard, Oak Brook and Addison. Don’t see your town listed but live in the area? Please contact us for special delivery options. Delivery is free with orders over $25.00. For all other orders please add $4.00 delivery fee.

Delivery fees are subject to change and fees will fluctuate depending on special area being delivered.

What about shipping?

We are happy to ship orders to customers outside our delivery area. Currently we are not able to ship large bags of dog food or raw food, but we are working on these options. For treats, supplements and other small, non-perishable items, we will provide shipping at our lowest possible cost. Prices for shipping range from $ 4.95 and up with free shipping if you spend $75.00 or more. Most in-stock items ship out same or next day with a 3 to 10-day delivery time depending on your location. Please allow extra time for special order items or items not in stock.

What is a species-appropriate diet?

Quite simply, a species-appropriate diet means feeding your pet the way nature intended – providing the nutrition it would receive if it lived in the wild. This article, reprinted with permission from Dr. Karen Becker, D.V.M., explains how.

The convenient alternative to our pet’s ancestral diet looks great at first glance, but poses significant health risks if fed as a sole diet indefinitely. Remember, our pet’s bodies are resilient. They can eat a variety of suboptimal, metabolically stressful foods on occasion and be fine, but because it’s our goal to provide a diet that most closely fits our companion’s biological requirements, we don’t recommend a lifetime of kibble.

Our goal is to provide a diet that mimics our pets biological nutritional requirements as closely as possible…in this case it means rethinking the “lifetime of dry food” theory. Thankfully, we can make one healthy lifestyle change at a time, which optimizes our pet’s chances of achieving abundant health.

If you are unable or unwilling to feed your pet a species appropriate, nutritionally balanced, raw food diet, then I strongly recommend you compromise with the next best choice: USDA approved canned foods.

My last choice would be a dry food (kibble), made from human-grade ingredients with little to no grains, and LOTS OF WATER.

I’m not anti-kibble. But it’s important to recognize why you choose to feed kibble. Most pet owners feed kibble for convenience, or because your pets like it. But the truth is, it’s frequently not species appropriate, and can seriously damage your pet’s health.

Fortunately, once you recognize it’s not the healthiest choice for your companion it makes it easier to gently begin transitioning to a more biologically optimal food.

What about raw food?

Raw food is an extremely healthy alternative for your dog or cat, and pets love it! By: Dr. Karen Becker, D.V.M. on the subject: (link to Dr Becker’s site www.mercolahealthypets.com )

The introduction of commercially available raw food diets in the late ‘90’s offered tremendous additional health benefits to pets everywhere, because many varieties combined USDA inspected meats with human edible-quality vegetables and fewer grains, which is more biologically appropriate.

Several AAFCO approved homemade recipes also became available and contained options for living food additions. To argue whether raw food diets are appropriate for dogs and cats is moot; they have thrived consuming a variety of small prey for thousands of years!

Wild animals also avoid many of the degenerative health issues that plague our current domestic pet population. To suppose that your pet’s health would suffer any less than your own from consuming a highly processed diet, filled with corn and other denatured ingredients, would simply be foolhardy.

Knowledgeable veterinarians have wisely forfeited the concept that cats can become trendy, healthy vegetarians and that dogs can thrive on an entirely grain-based diet. Most of us have the desire to match, as closely as possible, our companions’ current diet to their ancestral diet. This should be common sense.

Of course, this should also be our first choice for our patients, as veterinarians.

Why grain-free?

We feed grain-free to our pets, and carry grain-free pet food because we believe it’s a healthier alternative to ordinary “kibbles.” Here’s more on the subject from Dr. Karen Becker, D.V.M. (reprinted with permission). (link to Dr. Becker’s site www.drkarenbecker.com ).

Grains are not a natural part of a wild dog or cat’s diet. Dogs and cats do not have dietary requirements for complex carbohydrates. Grains must be cooked or sprouted and thoroughly chewed (which carnivores do not do) in order to be digested. What does this mean? Your pet should consume less grain or none at all. Why have we assumed our pets need grains in their diets? Pet food companies know dogs and cats need meat to meet their nutritional needs. They also know that an all-meat pet food would be incredibly expensive to mass-produce, so years ago companies began adding grains to commercial diets to cut costs and provide inexpensive filler. Some popular dog and cat foods can contain up to 70% grain. To make the consumer feel they are feeding a more meat-based diet, companies split up the grains and list them separately on the label. But don’t be fooled…add up all the grains on the label and in most commercial foods, they compose at least twice the volume of meat contained in the diet. The quality of grains is also something to question (see “What’s really in pet foods” handout).

So what if I feed grains? Some pets handle the unnatural carbo-loading amazingly well. They get by with few side effects of consuming a disproportionate amount of carbohydrates. However, many dogs and cats do begin to have a problem with a grain-based diet. Grains foster an inflammatory response, which exacerbates chronic skin problems, allergies, degenerative joint disease and gastrointestinal problems (Inflammatory Bowel Disease, chronic diarrhea, mucus stools, vomiting and excessive smelly gas, to name a few). It creates an alkaline urine pH which fosters urinary tract infections, crystals and bladder stones.  We know that cancer feeds off carbohydrates so pets with cancer should consume little to no grains. Grains overwork the pancreas, making it difficult to produce enough digestive enzymes (amylase), which can lead to pancreatitis.

The very short gastrointestinal (G.I.) tracts of our carnivorous friends means that they were designed to handle raw protein-based meals, as compared to a horse or a cow (herbivores). These animals have very long, winding G.I. tracts that were meant to ferment grains. The carnivorous G.I tract was designed to handle all of the bacteria that accompanied a raw diet. Many of our companions would still catch, kill and eat squirrels, rabbits or birds in our yards if we let them. They would not get sick by doing this, but they may acquire parasites. U.S.D.A. meats are parasite free. Dogs bury bones for weeks, then dig up the putrified snacks and handle them with amazing ease and grace…as that’s what their G.I. tracts were meant to do. Wild dogs, wolves, coyotes and bobcats have caught their dinners for thousands of years. You don’t see any of them barbequing in the woods. Before pet foods were invented 80 years ago, our pets were also fed their natural diet of fresh meats and vegetables. Then convenience dictated we should feed our dogs and cats the same processed, inorganic, sterile, rendered meat and grain kibble everyday of their lives. When you think about it, feeding your pet a natural raw food diet is not a “new” thing….it’s actually the original way things were meant to be…the diet they ate for thousands of years before the invention of bagged foods with amazing shelf lives.

But bony meats? Yes bony…that means meat with the bones in it (i.e. chicken wings, backs and necks). Organ and muscle meats are wonderful, but our companions also need to consume a source of calcium. Cooked bones of any kind are potentially fatal, because they become brittle and can splinter. Raw bones are pliable and supply not only calcium but natural glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy joints. If your pet has never had the luxury of eating raw bones we recommend you offer them slowly. Sometimes dogs forget to chew because they are so excited to finally be getting real food. Beef knuckle bones provide great jaw exercise. This is what we recommend instead of raw hides.

We recommend you follow a specific raw food recipe that has done all of the protein, fat, trace mineral and vitamin balancing for you. This assures that you are meeting your pet’s nutritional needs. Amounts of food vary depending on your pet’s activity level, age and metabolism.

What should I feed my pet?

Here is the best to worst foods to feed article from Dr.Marty Goldstein D.V.M

http://www.drmarty.com/feeding.htm

Aim for the Ideal

Diet decisions are not a matter of right or wrong. If you understand what is ideal, you can then create a feeding program that will help move your pet closer to the healthiest diet options. In general, the more real food your dogs and cats eat, the healthier they will be.

The chart below outlines how our feeding choices for our pets (companion carnivores) can affect their health. The closer to the upper level choices, the better the chance for optimal health. You will likely be in the middle ranges most of the time. That is fine, as long as you always press toward the ideal.

Ideal – Healthiest

  1. Hunted, raw prey (not realistic in modern society)
  2. Fresh raw meats, bones, organ meats with very small amounts of fresh vegetables. Include a well-rounded vitamin/mineral mix and omega 3 essential fatty acids (salmon oil). You can prepare your own raw diet using meat/bone pieces and parts, or you can use pre-prepared ground products such as Bravo! And Nature’s Variety.
  3. Fresh cooked meats, calcium, organ meat, with very small amounts of fresh vegetables. Include a vitamin/mineral mix, and omega 3 essential fatty acids (salmon oil). There are several books on the market that help you create your own home-cooked diet. It’s best to follow the recipes in these books.
  4. Ultra Premium commercial canned foods and augmented with some fresh, raw foods. Canned foods, which are lower in carbohydrates, are much better for your pet than dry kibble. Some of the brands I like are Nature’s Variety, Merrick, and Evanger’s. These products are mostly meat, are usually grain-free, and very low in carbohydrates. The meat they use is human quality and they do not use by-products or chemical preservatives.
  5. As in #4 above, but adding fresh cooked foods
  6. Ultra Premium canned commercial foods WITHOUT fresh raw or cooked foods added
  7. Super Premium canned foods are very much like the brands above, but they use more grains. They still use good quality meats and don’t contain by-products. Brand examples: Solid Gold, Innova, Pet Promise.
  8. Super Premium grain-free dry food (kibble) like Instinct by Nature’s Variety
  9. Premium canned foods. These brands use substantially less meat. Water is often the number 1 ingredient (in the Ultra Premium brands meat is the number one ingredient), they use meat by-products (poor quality waste parts) and they usually contain significant amounts of grains and chemical preservatives. Often, if all the grains are added together, they would equal or exceed the meat. The meat quality is OK, but just barely.
  10. Super Premium kibble like Innova, Prairie, Canidae, and Timberwolf
  11. Grocery store brands – canned or dry. These contain very little meat, are made with substantial amounts of meat by-products, and primarily consist of grain and grain by-products. The rendered meat used in these products came from condemned animals, ie – animals that were deemed unfit for human consumption. These products normally contain artificial colors, flavors and chemical preservatives.

Worst – Unhealthy

©Dr. Marty Goldstein, DVM 2007, All Rights Reserved
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