Best pet store

June 14, 2013 

ZAMZOWS

Multiple locations, zamzows.com

Zamzows isn't solely a pet-focused business, of course, but the Treasure Valley home, garden and pet chain routinely dominates this category against pet specialists both large and small.

Drop by one of its 10 stores in Ada and Canyon counties and you'll find a dizzying array of small critters - purple moon crab, anyone? - plus rows of food, toys and supplies for somewhat bigger beasts. At the Fairview Avenue store, one of those beasts is a resident cat who lounges on a shelf without causing any apparent concern among the surrounding birds, fish and reptiles.

The business that Gus and Carmalita Zamzow launched in 1933 grew with their family, retaining a casual, folksy air. Carmalita, who died in 2001 at the age of 104, is honored by a popular line of Grandma Z's all-natural dog foods, and canines factor heavily in the company culture, with grooming services, monthly vaccination clinics and a Yappy Hour offering free treats and doggie schmoozing the first Tuesday of every month.

Pet paraphernalia is plentiful, and all of the toys are guaranteed: "If your pet doesn't love it or loves it too much, bring it back for an exchange."

HONORABLE MENTIONS

• NW Pets, 3060 E. State St., Eagle, 939-8119; 3036 N. Eagle Road, Suite 110, Meridian, 392-1049; shop.northwestpets.com

• PetSmart, 130 N. Milwaukee St., Boise, 377-9748; 1220 N. Eagle Road, Meridian, 884-0611; petsmart.com

• H3 Pet Foods, 1801 W. Cherry Lane, Meridian, 898-0008; h3petfoods.com

• Petco, multiple locations; www.petco.com

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