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Natural Awakenings Sarasota / Manatee / Charlotte

Celebrating Three Decades of Quality Pet Nutrition: Q&A with Pet Supply Center

May 31, 2024 09:30AM ● By Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer

It’s no secret: Nutrition is a bedrock of holistic wellness. The foods we consume can either fuel us with energy and bolster our health or increase our risk of chronic illness. In other words, quality and nutrient density matter—both for ourselves and the pets we call family members. So, how can we make sure the ingredients we serve our furry friends will protect and sustain their well-being? To answer this question, I turned to Kathleen Kurzydlo, who has been running Pet Supply Center right here in Sarasota for the past 33 years.    

Natural Awakenings: What motivated you to open Pet Supply Center back in 1991, and how has the business grown over these past 33 years?  

Kathleen Kurzydlo: My father is a well-known veterinarian here in town. He would tell me about the lack of variety in the local pet foods available, and how his clients could benefit with higher quality options. At this time, I was finishing my last year of college with an extensive background in retail. So, I took on the challenge and launched Pet Supply Center across the street from my father’s clinic in May of 1991.    

We were the first pet-focused store in Sarasota to never actually sell pets. Our focus has always been on high-quality animal nutrition and keeping it affordable. When the store first opened, we sold 12 brands of pet food. Now, 33 years later, we’ve tripled in size, and we carry over 50 brands of pet food. We make special orders for our customers as well.   

NA: Why is it important to focus on the quality, sustainability, and nutrient density of what our pets consume on a regular basis?  

Kurzydlo: Food is preventative medicine—it’s as simple as that. Animals are subject to many of the same illnesses that humans deal with, so it’s crucial to feed animals high-quality, balanced nutrition. Dietary regimens are not one-size-fits-all either. Pets can have fluctuating nutritional needs over the course of their lifetime.   

For example, young dogs can eat foods with higher fat and protein levels. But as dogs enter their senior years, they often require lower fat and higher fiber diets with moderate protein.   The higher the quality of ingredients in the food, the healthier it will be for your pets.  Look for human-grade, organic, and non-GMO options.   

Also, as a general rule, if you see frequent advertising for a certain pet food, it’s likely not a wholesome choice. Companies will often allocate more money toward those advertisements than the actual food quality itself.  

There are also some concerns within this industry about the sustainability of certain traditional pet food sources, such as beef and chicken. I have come across interesting research being done on insects, seaweed, and algae as alternative protein sources.    

NA: How has the holistic wellness community here in Sarasota embraced the Pet Supply Center during all this time you’ve been operating?   

Kurzydlo: My father, “Dr. K,” practiced both conventional and Eastern veterinary medicine, using acupuncture and Chinese herbs to treat his patients. I saw how effective this was, and I have always encouraged customers to seek alternative forms of medicine.   

More than 30 years later, it’s wonderful to see how mainstream these treatments are becoming. Pet Supply Center has been blessed with many holistic practitioners as customers, which makes for enjoyable and educational conversations at the front counter.    

NA: What do you love most about helping local pet owners make informed, thoughtful decisions for the health of their furry family members?  

Kurzydlo: Watching someone’s pet thrive is the best part of this job. We work with a number of veterinarians in town to help with nutritional recommendations for sick animals. So, when a customer tells us, “My dog feels so much better now,” or, “ My cat is making a full recovery,”  it’s such a fulfilling reward!  

Kathleen Kurzydlo is the owner of Pet Supply Center, located at 3558 Webber Street, Sarasota. The store hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 941-925-4376 or visit


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