Jim VanDyken, born and raised in Grand Rapids, has always been an outdoor-loving pet enthusiast. Alongside his wife, Rachel, and their three beautiful daughters, Katelynn, Anna, and Elyse, Jim spends a lot of his downtime attending volleyball, basketball, and softball games. In addition to his passion for local athletics, Jim is an avid runner and has found great companionship in his Bernese Mountain dog, Bear, who loves to run alongside him. Jim has completed one full marathon and a handful of half-marathons. A few years ago Jim competed in the M22 Challenge where racers would run, bike, and kayak around the Glen Lake area. The VanDyken family spends a lot of time at Glen Lake and their family has been enjoying the Traverse area for generations.
Jim finds that a healthy lifestyle is essential for him and his family, but after the VanDyken’s welcomed their dog Bear, Jim realized that maintaining a healthy lifestyle also meant making sure that Bear was receiving the highest quality food and supplies. Bear struggled with a variety of digestive issues, and after struggling to find products to help him, Jim stumbled upon a unique pet store in Traverse City called Pets Naturally. After a conversation with the owner, Kathy Hyland, Jim was relieved to finally gain some direction for Bear as well as find a community that cared about animals and their wellness.
Kathy Hyland, a Traverse City native, had a similar story. When her Boston Terrier, Lucy, became ill with intestinal and skin problems she decided to find out for herself what was going on. She spent some time researching pet foods and was shocked to find out some of the truths about the pet food industry. Many of the major commercial brands are owned by corporate giants and the quality of our pets’ food has been compromised to make way for more profits. Our pets in the U.S. are unknowingly eating foods that are not optimal for them! Once Lucy’s diet was changed to a healthy whole food kibble containing real meat and no corn, her issues subsided. The problem, however, was that there were no places in Traverse City where people could obtain quality food for the needs of their pets. So, Kathy decided to take the initiative, and in 2013 used her retail knowledge to start Pets Naturally with a goal to create a store where healthy and safe food alternatives for cats and dogs could be easily accessible. After changing Bear’s food to a protein rich healthy diet recommended by Kathy, Jim began to see great results with Bear’s digestive issues and overall wellness.
Since Traverse City is more than two hours from Grand Rapids, Jim decided to research where he could find safe and healthy food for Bear in Grand Rapids. He quickly became aware of the lack of available options and that’s when Jim had the idea of bringing the Pets’ Naturally mission to his hometown. On January 1, 2023, the vision finally became a reality when Your Pets Naturally opened its doors as Pets Naturally’s first franchise. The store focuses on a knowledgeable and personalized shopping experience, overall pet wellness, and a natural approach for dogs and cats. The carefully curated store is armed with product lines that are healthy and 100% safe for your pets from companies that care. With a pet passionate staff that’s always ready to help, Your Pets Naturally is ready to serve the furry friends of West Michigan. They specialize in natural foods, raw diets, holistic supplements, safe chews and treats, grooming supplies, high quality accessories, and durable toys for dogs and cats. They are also able to special order products requested by customers.
Many people throughout the Grand Rapids community have already noticed the difference in their pet’s health after using products from Your Pet’s Naturally. Sara Baudo was one of their first customers and has two Cavaliers, Frances & Randall. "Nutrition and dental health are imperative in this breed susceptible to degenerative heart valve disease. Your Pets Naturally covers all these bases! I can find a wide variety of species-appropriate raw food options, supplements, and dental care additives all under one roof, and that's just the tip of the iceberg!"
Another customer, Chad VanderWeide, came in with his Bernedoodle, Theo, looking for help choosing a food. “We wanted to start our puppy out with a nutritious pet food. The staff was able to direct me to a variety of options to meet Theo’s specific needs and we ended up choosing Dr. Gary’s Best Breed which provided Theo a nutrient rich, muli-protein to fit his active ever-changing lifestyle. We also noticed our dog has more energy, thicker, cleaner fur, and true excitement when it comes to dinner time.” All their foods are meat-based and you won’t find foods at Your Pets Naturally with corn, soy, animal by-products, or any artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives for that matter. They also carry a full line of health aids and wellness products that are environmentally safe, non-toxic, and allergy free for all of your pet’s needs. From puppies to senior care, gut health to oral health, stress and anxiety to skin and joints; our knowledgeable staff can help address the best products and food options for your pet’s specific needs.
Your Pets Naturally is always actively looking for more ways to support animal wellbeing in the local community. They love holding pet friendly ‘pawties’ and events with other pet focused businesses and organizations at their store, as well as working with local area shelters and rescues to help dogs and cats find furever homes. “Together we rise! Pets are family and we will do anything we can to help give them the life they deserve! We look forward to being a go-to resource and catalyst for positive change in the health and wellbeing of pets”, says store manager Mersadi Grinage.
Your Pets Naturally is grateful to all those that have helped support them in creating a new and better shopping experience for dog and cat pawrents. They hope to serve and enhance every pet and pet owner that walks through their doors. Be sure to visit their new store located on 28th Street in Cascade (next to D&W) where both two and four-legged visitors are welcome! You can learn more about them at www.ypngr.com and follow them on socials @yourpetsnaturallygr.