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Natural Awakenings San Diego

Pupologie in Encinitas: Keeping it Local

Feb 28, 2014 01:50PM ● By Erin Lehn Floresca

Denise Clifton, founder and owner of Pupologie in Encinitas, California, is all about keeping it local. “I love building relationships with companies that source their foods locally,” she explains. That’s why she regularly visits the farmers markets so she can get to know the vendors who are making a difference in the pet foods industry.

Oftentimes, and much to Clifton’s delight, the products she discovers at farmers markets end up in her store. “Farmers markets are truly community affairs,” she says. “And it’s just so important that we know what’s going into our pet foods. Connecting to where our food comes from and building relationships with the craftsmen just feels good. And, being able to carry their wholesome products in our store feels even better.”

Below are several local brands that Pupologie carries in the store:

Foxy Treats: This San Diego-based company provides organic allergy-free dog treats and food. They have even partnered with Pupologie to offer an exclusive, one-of-a-kind raw diet made with locally grown produce and farm raised meats or wild caught fish.

• Homegrown Meats: This San Diego farm provides Pupologie with grass-fed beef liver treats.

Small Batch: This Bay area-based company provides grass-fed, grain-free, California pasture raised meats in their cat and dog food products.

Bahia Blue: Based in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, this local company provides Pupologie with dehydrated smelt fish doggie treats.

Honest Kitchen: This San Diego-based company provides human grade dog and cat foods and treats.

Yappy Hour

While Clifton is excited about all aspects of Pupologie, Yappy Hour, held from 6 to 8 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month is one of her favorites. “This casual community event is all about fun and play time,” says Clifton. During Yappy Hour, customers are invited to bring their dogs while they sip on refreshments, chat with others in the community, and mingle with the store’s staff. “The dogs also get special treats, like carob kisses.” According to Clifton, Yappy Hour ties in with the store’s rescue of the month program. “We choose a different rescue mission each month,” explains Clifton, “and every Tuesday 10 percent of toy and treat proceeds go to that rescue mission.”

Pupologie is celebrating nine years with a huge anniversary sale and customer appreciation days being held March 21-23.

During Yappy Hour, the featured rescue gets a chance to let those in attendance know more about them. “It’s a fun way to raise awareness of the many rescue groups in our area,” says Clifton. Not only that, Yappy Hour is a great way for Clifton to take a break from the behind the scenes task of running the business. “It’s refreshing and reminds me why I’m in this business—and that’s to help animals!”

Celebrating 9 Years

During the summer of 2013, Pupologie went through a complete remodel which totally raised the bar. “When people come into the store these days, they know we mean business about nutrition,” says Clifton. “Pupologie now features a whole freezer section filled with the best quality pet foods available.” With the added space, there is also a mind-boggling variety of healthy, organic pet foods and products.

Clifton and her husband Brendon Clifton, co-owner of Pupologie, worked hard to make the grand reopening a huge success, and it shows. The shiny new store is bigger and has much more visibility. “We also maintain a positive store culture where our employees and customers feel nurtured,” she says.

At the end of the day, for Clifton it’s really about “making the world a better place, starting with our local community.”

Location: 123 N El Camino Real, Encinitas. For more information, call 760- 436-1226 or visit

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