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One of a kind enrichment station helps create specialized food for cats and dogs

Dean Travis, President of Pet's Barn, explains how he created the enrichment station..JPG

Ensuring your pet has nutritious food isn't easy but there's now some help for pet parents thanks to Pet's Barns latest creation.

It's a one of a kind machine that was built right here in the borderland and how it can enhance your furry friend's meal plan and make a specialized formula that's just for them.

Dean Travis is the heart behind the pet supply and feed stores, he's the president of the homegrown business, Pet's Barn and he's a proud dog dad. His love for animals and being a pet owner is part of the drive behind the company.

"Every little dog I've ever had has come from right here in the border. Providing the best possible products for pets like mine is important to me and really it's all about specialization now and making sure they're getting nutritious food that's just what they need," said Travis.

His passion for making food and treats nutritious led Pet's Barn in-house cat and dog food called Activa and their gourmet biscuits which come in a variety of formulas, not flavors, as they each have high-grade ingredients and healthy recipes.

Ocean fish, chicken, turkey, duck, pork, goat, rabbit, catfish are just some of the dog and cat food formulas available along with blueberry, cherry, cheese, mint, and peanut butter gourmet biscuits.

Travis said the formulas continue to evolve but there was still something missing and that's what lead to the creation of the enrichment machine.

"Now I need a pet food that is meant for my pet not everybody's pet but my pet. A dog or cat's needs change as they grow older and their food needs to change to meet those needs. As we look at our food and other brands and continued to do more research I realized it was missing some nutritional value and supplements that could really help pets," he said.

So Travis got to work on a one of a kind machine to help add these ingredients back into the food after it's baked. He said it was a team effort between a leading animal nutrition consultant, other Pet's Barn staff, and veterinarians.

"This does no exist anywhere in the world. It was developed here, we designed it, we built it, we tested it and it was all done here locally," he said.

The enrichment station is available at all Pet's Barn stores in El Paso, Las Cruces, and San Antonio.

A store manager and the social media director, Ian Baker, explained how the station works and part of the science behind it.

"Travis discovered that dog food because it's cooked at such a high pressure, and that's all brands not just Activa, that a lot of the natural vitamins and nutrients get lost in that baking process. So what this is doing is adding them directly back in, nice and fresh for your dogs or cats."

Pet parents can pick from a variety of supplements, vitamins, and oils to make the special formula to meet their pet's dietary needs along with some flavoring.

The supplements have a chicken liver base and can help with anxiety, itchy skin, joints, coat and so much more.

Pet's Barn staff aids parents in picking three supplements, and oil and flavoring based on their pets needs. The information is entered into a computer system, staff then adds the ingredients and a bag of Activa into the barrel, it's then mixed for a few minutes and dispensed into a resealable bag.

The machine can make over 50 thousands of variations of specialized food and once a pets formula is entered it is saved so owners can order the food online for pick up or staff can easily access the recipe and prepare the food for in store when another bag is needed.

"As pet parents are more health conscious for themselves we want to ensure they're not only health conscious for their pets but have access to enriched food they can eat so they can have better lives," said Travis.

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