Do you spend your evenings cuddled up with your four-legged best friend and your days worried about how to give him or her a long, healthy and fulfilling life? Two pet-friendly businesses in town work together to help you achieve this goal. Together, they provide a robust offering of health, wellness and therapy products and services to meet all of your pet’s unique health needs.
Jennifer Mohr, the sole proprietor of Paw Print Pantry, opened the store in its original location on Flanders Road in November of 2013. She earned her AS in General Studies and is a Certified Veterinarian Assistant, Certified Pet Nutritionist and is working toward a Pet Herbalist Certification. She has worked with some of the top nutritionists in the animal field, and her knowledge has helped countless clients with their pets’ nutrition and overall health. Her shop is a favorite stop for pets and pet parents alike. Jennifer says, “I love when pets recognize where they are and are excited to come in.” They offer an extensive assortment of products for healing and wellbeing including food, toys, treats and supplements. They strive to focus on sustainable and ethically produced products.
Jennifer says, “I chose Niantic for my business because it’s where I call home. And I wanted a way to give back to the community. I never really considered any other location.” The move just down the road into their current, larger space in 2021 provided a greater opportunity to expand offerings, as well as increase visibility in the community.
An active member and reservist of the Navy for 21 years, when Jennifer retired she knew it was time for her next chapter. After fostering many dogs, she became active in animal rescue.
Jennifer shares, “Adopting a dog named Redman in September 2010 changed my entire life. Redman came with a cancer history and was on a raw diet. I agreed to continue to feed him the raw diet. Not only did this event change my mindset on how to feed my pets, but it also jumpstarted my fostering career, helping me to save many dogs.”
Jennifer’s passion is to educate her customers on how to help their pets live their best, most healthy lives. She knows from personal experience the effects of feeding your pet not-so-nutritious foods. She searches for, and uses, only the best products she can find. Her greatest joy is to share what she’s learned with her customers. She likes to say, “When we know better, we can do better.”
In addition to pet nutrition, she has become interested in herbs. She’s been taking an herbal course and learning about many natural remedies available not only to our pets, but also to us. Jennifer has created a room in her shop that contains mostly organic herbs, organic olive oils, organic vinegars, organic soaps, farm fresh eggs, meats and more.
When asked about her long-term goals for her business, Jennifer shares, “My hope is to educate as many pet parents as possible. It really isn’t that much different from what we as humans know – that we should be eating better, high quality foods. Well, so should our pets.”
Check out their shop for all of your pet’s needs including quality food, treats and supplies. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, they’ll do their best to find it for you.
Jennifer recently joined forces with Gwen Gangi to open Pet Wellness & Therapy, a business that brings you even more outside-the-box solutions for the health and wellness of your pets. Jennifer initially met Gwen when she participated in an open house at Paw Print Pantry in 2014 to share her animal communication services. When Gwen relocated to this area last year, the two connected on their mutual passion for animal health and wellness. They decided to combine their experience and skills to offer a full range of health and wellness products and services to the community.
Pet Wellness & Therapy is located right next to Paw Print Pantry to bring you one-stop shopping and an enhanced educational experience. The new pet therapy center offers canine hydrotherapy, cold laser or low level laser therapy, a canine treadmill and animal communication services.
Gwen says, “When the opportunity arose, I knew that Niantic was the perfect location. There are very few canine hydrotherapy chambers in all of Connecticut.”
Gwen brings her medical skills and experience from 27 years as a practicing dental hygienist to the animal field. After leaving the world of dentistry, Gwen opened and ran a very successful pet sitting business in Upper Fairfield County for eight years. Specializing in senior, ill and hard-to-care for animals of all species, her services were highly regarded by her clients, animal and human alike.
Caring for fearful, anti-social or aggressive animals was also part of her business mission. She was able to demonstrate time and time again that with the right attention and treatments, these things can be worked through.
Gwen is certified in Low Level Laser Therapy and is working on certification for Small Animal Bodywork, both canine and feline. She has an AS in Dental Hygiene, a BA in Sociology and a Master’s in Education. She has been an animal communicator all her life but didn’t recognize this as a gift until 1992 when she had an animal communication consultation for her parrot, Charlie, who has now been with her for 35 years. After diving into the world of animal communication and taking a course, she realized that this had been her gift all along. And Gwen adds, “This certainly explained some of the weird things I had experienced!” I’m sure if you stop in and ask her, she’ll be happy to share a story or two!
Now animal wellness is her passion. Her goal is to assist pet parents help their animal companions lead full and comfortable lives even after an accident, surgery or illness.
We hope we’ve piqued your curiosity by now – so let’s take a closer look at how these treatments can work to provide comfort to your pet:
Canine hydrotherapy chamber is basically an underwater treadmill. Your dog will enter the dry chamber (which is constructed of plexiglass so your pet won’t feel closed in and can keep their eyes on you). Quietly, heated water comes up through the floor. As soon as the treadmill is covered sufficiently with water, it’s turned on in a slow setting and your dog can begin to walk. The level of the water is determined by the size of the dog and the area that needs treatment. The water creates a buoyancy which lets the dog properly exercise injured or weak areas. Function can be restored without further stress on the treatment area. Important to note – the water is in a closed system that is treated daily like a spa. It runs through filters and a UV filter for seven hours a night, killing all viruses and bacteria, keeping the water clean and clear. The water storage tank is emptied and refilled each week to keep everything clean and running smoothly.
Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) is an anti-inflammatory which works on the cellular level. The light stimulates cell reproduction and is a vasodilator, bringing more blood into the affected area. It speeds up the healing of countless maladies including wound healing from surgery or other fractures, muscle injuries, dermatological issues, arthritis or compensatory pain. Benefit is gained whether the injury is acute or chronic. LLLT sessions last for about 15 minutes, and patients tolerate them well. This can also be used to stimulate acupressure points along energy meridians, which is yet another treatment modality. LLLT can be done in the office or out in the field.
The canine treadmill is an excellent form of controlled exercise. It is like a human treadmill, but longer and with rails on the sides, so your dog feels secure while working. The speed is adjustable as is the incline of the treadmill. It is excellent for weight maintenance, for additional exercise, or if the pet parent has a hard time getting out to give their canine companion necessary exercise.
Animal communication is for every being, human or animal. It is interspecies telepathic communication, and it provides an avenue to have a conversation with your animal companion. Its purpose is to get information from the animal’s perspective and to give any information that they need to know. Our daily lives have a huge impact on our animals – people come and go, schedules change, life changes, people and animals experience illness and death. An animal communication session can help your pets through these daily and life events. Gwen says, “How many times have you heard someone say, ‘If only my pet could tell me what they’re thinking or feeling’… well, they can, and they have been. It’s up to you to learn how to listen.”
Gwen’s long-term goal is to expand services to offer animal bodywork and massage. She is currently pursuing certification in small animal massage. She also wants to bring other practitioners in from time to time to offer additional services, such as Reiki or salt therapy. While she currently offers acupoint laser therapy to stimulate acupressure points with a low level laser, she would like to expand this service, particularly for birds. She’s a long-time bird owner and knows how challenging it can be to find effective treatments for our bird companions.
The two businesses complement each other well. When someone comes in to check out the shop, they become interested in learning about all of the services they offer.
With their shared passion for animal health and wellness, Gwen and Jennifer listen to what their clients need or want, and they will always do their best to provide it. Want to learn more about how to better ensure a healthy, comfortable life for your pet? Just stop in to learn more. Education is their passion!
Both women are pleased to become part of the Niantic community as business owners. They are excited to support downtown events, many of which are long-time traditions like the East Lyme Holiday Light Parade.
You can visit both businesses at www.PawPrintPantry.com and follow them on social media for events and special offerings.
Paw Print Pantry
170 Flanders Road
Niantic, CT 06357
Monday-Friday: 10am to 6pm
Saturday: 10am to 4pm
Pet Wellness & Therapy
170 Flanders Road, Unit A1A
Niantic, CT 06357
Monday-Friday: 9:30am to 5:30pm
Saturday: 9:30am – 2:30pm
Earlier hours available by appointment
Walk-ins welcome – call first to confirm availability.
About Our Main Street Blogger:
Joanne lives in, and loves, our community. She was looking for an opportunity to help share all that our local businesses do to make East Lyme such a special place to call home, and she is excited to contribute to our blog. Joanne brings to the role her experience from New London Main Street where she contributed content to their website, newsletters and email communications for many years.