Argos Natural Pet Food Feeds & Treats Queen City Dogs & Cats
Ten years ago, Elisabeth Mayer opened Argos, an all-natural pet food and supply store after her vet called her dogs geriatric. In order to come to terms with the fact that her two dogs were indeed aging, she decided it was time to do some research on how best to increase their lifespan and quality. She found that pet nutrition experts all agreed: While there are many factors that can impact the overall health of our pets, good nutrition is a factor. Essential element.
Soapbox: What got you started in the pet food industry?
Elisabeth Mayer: Well I have a business background – I was an accountant for 11 years – I worked in American companies, I worked in public accounting, not for profit, I did everything, but I have also always volunteered in animal shelters. So I had a strong passion for animal rescue and animals in general. And then, as my dogs started to age around 7 years old, I invested a lot of time in researching what they were eating and what their diet was. I couldn’t spend as much time with them as I wanted because I worked so many hours.
So I thought if I could just improve what they eat – their diet – it would just increase their longevity. So it got really interesting for me. I had always wanted to enter the animal world in one way or another, feeling like I had made a difference, so it was kind of a way of combining all my expertise and my passions. And that’s how I started 10 years ago.
SB: Ten years ago? So this is not your first location?
EM: This is my third. My first location, I opened over 10 years ago in Madeira. And then five years later, I opened my second store in East Walnut Hills. And now, five years later, in Pleasant Ridge, where I grew up.
SB: Oh good? Is that why you chose him?
EM: No, that’s not why I chose it, but it’s great to be back here, and it seemed like a really good fit for me. I mean, I lived here for 18 years, so I would take my dog ââto the vet – Pleasant Ridge Veterinarian Hospital – during the height of COVID, and they wouldn’t let me in with him, so I jumped in my car with him and looked across the street and thought, “Huh, this is a nice little shop, is this a business?” And I saw the dog sculpture in front and I thought, “Is that a pet store?” And it turns out that it was just a vacant building that they were renting out.
And that’s how I stumbled upon it, and here I am now, and I think it was a really good decision.
SB: It’s a huge neighborhood of dogs. I think there are two families on my street who don’t have dogs. And many families have more than one. So it’s a good location. Do you make your own dog food or is it right for you?
EM: It is our private label that we have created for us. We therefore worked with a nutritionist and a veterinarian to develop these formulas. So it’s not baked in our oven – I wish it was! – but it would have to be a big enough oven. We would need hundreds of acres of land to do this.
SB: So you mentioned that the formulas are designed to keep dogs less hyper and more full. Can you elaborate?
EM: Yes. They don’t have the fillers that so many grocery brands do. These are just loads, that’s all. It’s corn, soy, wheat, animal byproducts, gluten, and you end up feeding more of it – there’s more waste – and that [Argoâs dog food] does not have these charges. It’s just more meat and a lot of our formulas contain ancient grains, which are really easy to digest. There are things like sorghum and millet and quinoa and chia, so they’re easy to digest. And they’re healthy for humans and dogs. It is ultimately a better nutritional value for the dog. And it’s true, it can make a huge difference in their personality.
SB: Last question: How did you choose the name? Is this one of the names of your dogs?
EM: Argos is in fact a famous dog of The odyssey, written by Homer. This is the story of King Ulises who has this dog named Argos – and then he has to go to war – he goes to war for 10 years, or maybe 20 years, to fight in the Trojan War, and when he returns, he disguises himself as this poor beggar. I don’t know why he disguised himself – maybe he didn’t want to be attacked on the way home – and throughout his absence Argos was waiting for him. No one really cares about him; he’s flea and falls apart, and then when his master comes back, no one recognizes him. Even his own wife doesn’t recognize him, but Argos recognizes him. And he bends down and strokes it and Argos wags his tail and then dies.
It’s so sad, but it basically shows the devotion our pets have for their owners.
Argos in East Walnut Hills was broken into on Christmas Day. Thieves stole the cash register and a donation jar for Cincinnati Animal CARE. To help out Hamilton County’s only open-admission, destruction-free shelter, click here.