Lee De Barriault Set to Expand Natural Pet Specialty Shop Animal Wellness Center in Melbourne
By Maria Sonnenberg // July 28, 2019
De Barriault prepares to expand her store from its current 860 square feet by U.S. 1 in Melbourne to 5,000 square feet in the Lake Washington area
SPACE COAST DAILY TV: Love your pet? Well, you should check out the Natural Pet Specialty Shop for truly healthy pet products of all kinds. Don’t settle for less than the best health for your pets who are like members of your family. Owner Lee De Barriault takes us on a tour of her amazing treasure trove of healthy pet products.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Many a pet in Brevard can thank a cat named Tessa for helping them lead healthier lives.
“She was my inspiration,” said Lee De Barriault, who owns Natural Pet Specialty Shop in Melbourne.
A couple of decades ago, De Barriault had taken then five-year-old Tessa to the vet for a wellness exam. He discovered a feline leukemia vaccination sarcoma in one of Tessa’s legs and recommended immediate amputation of the limb.
Distraught, De Barriault agreed, but when the next day the vet suggested adding a round of chemotherapy to give the cat a couple more months of life, she decided to try the alternative route.
“Why would I inject my cat with all those toxins to the tune of $5,800?” she said.
De Barriault, already a well-versed proponent of natural healing modalities for humans, began an aggressive “Save Tessa” campaign that included changing to a raw diet, no kibble, and adding tinctures, T-cell boosters, mushrooms and other natural health boosters.
It worked, and the kitty happily and healthily lived to the ripe old age of 20, fifteen years after the cancer diagnosis.
After seeing what proper nutrition and herbal supplements did for Tessa, De Barriault decided that she wanted to help people with their pets, so the former private investigator opened Natural Pet Specialty on U.S. 1 in Melbourne in 2011.
“It was all because of Tessa,” she said.
Tessa has crossed the Rainbow Bridge, but her spirit is still very much alive as De Barriault prepares to expand her store from its current 860 square feet by U.S. 1 in Melbourne to 5,000 square feet in the Lake Washington area.
“We’ll have an area called Tessa’s Corner in her honor,” she said.
The shop will be part of a comprehensive animal wellness center that includes holistic veterinarians working with alternative medicine modalities such as acupuncture, chiropractic, cold laser, herbology, homeopathy, titers, with a focus on nutrition.
“We will be partnering with them in providing holistic services to pet owners,” said De Barriault.
De Barriault could not have picked a better time to expand, because the natural health field is the hottest trend in the $60-billion-plus pet market.
At Global Pet Expo, the international pet market trade show held earlier this year in Orlando, the buzz was all about nutrition and holistic supplements such as CBD and hemp products, which have quadrupled in sales from 8 million in 2017 to $32 million just a year later in 2018.
These products are used in treating issues that range from anxiety in pets to diabetes, heart disease, hypothyroidism, and cancer.
When they first approach the store, many of De Barriault’s customers are at wit’s end with their sick animals.
“I constantly have people coming into the store telling me that their dogs have been diagnosed with cancer,” she said.
“They come in crying because they have been given a death sentence for their pets, but in many cases, if you change your dog’s diet, you help your pets help themselves.”
De Barriault suggests a raw diet that contains no sugars or starches for these four-legged cancer patients, together with T-cell boosters and other herbal supplements.
“We try to educate the public and help them deal with the issue holistically,” explained De Barriault.
Raised on a ranch, De Barriault is a big-time animal lover who grew up among horses, dogs, cats, guinea pigs and rabbits.
“We fed our animals our own food and they all lived long, long lives,” she said.
She has been an advocate for good nutrition and herbal medicines for more than three decades, since the former New York City resident saw results first-hand when a nutritionist/kinesiologist helped her with her own serious health issues.
“He turned my life around in four days, and gave me all the energy in the world,” she said.
When helping customers, De Barriault and her staff make it a point to learn as much as possible about the individual animal and its issues and personality. She typically starts at the beginning, addressing the nutritional needs of the animal at his particular stage in life.
“Nutrition is everything,” she said. “You are what you eat, but the big pet food companies continue to fool consumers with inferior products that do more harm than good. Pet food is not real food anymore and people are starting to wake up to that fact.”
De Barriault’s store specializes in grain-free, gluten-free pet food and treats, with top brands such as Against the Grain, Fromm, Ziwi Peak, Farmina, Zignature and Hounds & Gatos.
The store is not huge, but it is packed with a long list of products from companies that are industry leaders, including Ark Naturals (joint, wellness dental, remedy and overall wellness products), Pet Releaf (premier provider of CBD oil for pets), Barkworthies (naturally sourced chews and treats), Honest Kitchen (healthy pet food made with minimally processed human-grade ingredients), Rawbble (dry and freeze-dried foods), Primal (biologically appropriate raw foods), Northwest Naturals (raw frozen and freeze-dried diets) Stella & Chewy’s (frozen and freeze-dried raw foods) and Skout’s Honor (green cleaning products).
The store also hosts special events such as canine/feline anesthesia-free dental clinics under the supervision of a veterinarian.
Her success stories at Natural Pet Specialty are both heartwarming and eye-opening and stacks of testimonials express gratefulness for the care De Barriault and her shop team give to each customer.
De Barriault recounts the story of a dog diagnosed with lymphoma. After rounds of chemo, the creature was at death’s door, but with a change in diet and detox recommended by Natural Pet Specialty, the animal turned around, living almost three and half more years and dying of a heart attack at age 14.
For consumers who consider pets part of their families, Natural Pet Specialty Shop offers a resource for good health and a long life for their beloved animals, a resource often only found in much larger metropolitan areas.
“There is a big need here for holistic and alternative medicine for pets,” said De Barriault.
Natural Pet Specialty Shop is located at 398-B N. Harbor City Blvd., Melbourne. For more information, call 321-259-3005 or visit naturalpetspecialtyshop.com
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