Raise Your Paws!
Keith Zeiler doesn’t live in Easton Park, but he’s worked with lots of families who do. The owner of local pet store Paws on Chicon first heard about our Southeast Austin neighborhood when friends moved there, and soon lots of Eastonites were flocking to Paws on Chicon for advice about pet nutrition. Paws on Chicon keeps a treat jar in The Union, and the company has been a wonderful sponsor of many Easton Park events, including the Halloween Wicked Walk.
It all started with a dog…
Keith opened the first location of Paws on Chicon in 2018, after being inspired by his own dogs, Shibas named Kona and Kiley. “Kona was the runt of the litter, and he had issues with kidney and bladder stones,” Keith says. “We were going through expensive prescription food that wasn’t helping, and I went back to school to become a certified pet nutritionist. ” Keith was shocked to learn how much misleading information exists around the pet food industry. To earn his certification, Keith took more hours of classes about pet nutrition than most vets do in veterinary school. “Vets are there to heal bones,” Keith says. “I wanted to make sure I knew everything about how to help pets lead better lives through better nutrition.” As a result of a careful diet, Kona lived to 14.5, and Kiley, now 14, has never had health issues.
Now, Keith wants to share his knowledge with pets and their people. In the store, all staff members go through a 4-week training program to help them guide customers to the right food choices. “Our philosophy is to help one pet at a time,” Keith says. “We want people to find the right thing for their unique pet.” Paws on Chicon offers a range of foods across all price points, all approved by Keith, as well as a shopping rewards program and specialty treats like frozen soft serve for dogs and cats. “It’s really popular!” Keith says. “It’s made with goat milk, and it’s sugar and dairy free, so it’s good for dogs and cats. On weekends we have five flavors and assorted toppings, and we have it frozen all the time in our freezer case.”
Austin ❤s Paws
In the five years it’s been open, Paws on Chicon has garnered a huge following of grateful pet owners and been named one of the Top 10 Coolest Pet Store in America by PETS+ Magazine and Best Pet Store in Austin by Austin Fit Magazine. Keith and his team opened a second location on South Congress in 2022, and they deliver all over town, including to Easton Park. We can’t give any specific details yet, but they hope to open a third location even closer to Easton Park sometime next year. “We’d love to do more education classes, too,” Keith says. “The most rewarding thing is when someone comes in and says, ‘Our dog has completely changed and you have helped us so much.’ It doesn’t get any better than that.”
Speaking of Shibas…
Have you met Kieke the Dog? Named for her home neighborhood in Easton Park, this Shiba loves belly rubs, cheese and crackers, toy ducks, and her sweet brother, Norman Dogwell. If you see them on walks around Chrysler Bend, be sure to say hi!