A small pet food store in Dartmouth is about to take a social media milestone as Rodney Habib’s Planet Paws Pet Essentials has one of the largest Facebook followers in the country and now approaching a million likes.
In a corner of the store on Montebello Drive hangs a clock, donated by Facebook last year.
âIt’s a live counter,â Habib said on Tuesday, as the numbers rolled around.
“People all over the world who read the news, love the news and just want to be on the page.”
He said a recent Financial Post article compared his reach on Facebook to that of Canadian icons such as Tim Hortons and Cirque du Soleil.
âI know we’ve just passed Shoppers Drug Mart,â he said.
Habib said his passion for pet nutrition stems from an almost tragic experience that nearly killed his puppy in 2008, when he unwittingly fed the dog a tainted dried chicken from China.
Since then, he has encouraged pet owners to reconsider what they put in their pet’s bowl. Habib said dogs in other parts of the world lived long and healthy lives, and their diet was a big factor.
“Are you happy with your pet living only 10 or 12 years old here in North America?” he said.
Habib said it was as easy as replacing some of your pet’s processed food with fresh meat and vegetables.
âA whole complex of different foods that would come out of your fridge, not something in a bag that is processed and wrapped that can sit on a shelf for 10 years and look exactly the same,â he said.