Category Archives: Animal Store Staff

Photos from the Harry Potter Party with The Animal Store



Here are some of our favorite photos from launch party of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, held in conjunction with the City of Evanston and Northwestern University on Saturday, July 30, 2016. Kenn had a blast as an American Hagrid, showing off such magical creatures as:

  • an umbrella cockatoo
  • Spur the giant Sulcata tortoise
  • a legless lizard
  • a tarantula
  • a hedgehog
  • a bearded dragon (everyone’s favorite kind of dragon)
  • a smooth-sided toad

Harry Potter, The Animal Store, and Magical Creatures

Harry Potter PartyDid you know that Kenn (that’s right, our own Kenn Bearman, owner of The Animal Store) leads a double life. By day—and to the Muggle World—he is a mild-mannered pet shop owner. But to the wizarding world, he is the American equivalent of Hagrid—gameskeeper and professor of Magizoology—the care and keeping of magical creatures.

Tonight, as part of a day-long celebration of the launch of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Kenn will be showing off his Magizoological knowledge with a very special Animal Show. All are welcome to the steps of the Deering Library on Northwestern’s campus, where you will get to see a whole variety of fascinating creatures. And here’s a little secret we learned from Kenn—all creatures are magical.

Saturday, July 30, 2016
Steps of the Deering Library
Northwestern University
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston, IL

Click here or here for more information

Stick to Chocolate Easter Bunnies

EasterPoster2013Here at The Animal Store, we respect the rabbit. In fact, we love love rabbits. And we sell them … but not around Easter time. Bunnies are a cute and cuddly symbol of Easter and spring. They make wonderful pets for families that understand how to care for them and are ready for a 10-year commitment.

If you are interested in bringing a rabbit into your home as a pet, we would be happy to talk to you about it and answer your questions. In the meantime, here’s our interview on NBC Chicago that explains a little more about our Easter Amnesty policy. We are proud to support the Red Door Animal Shelter‘s efforts to get people to understand and respect the rabbit. Check out our interview on their blog, Behind the Red Door.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Come Visit Ernie the Giant Gourami

Woe is me, your pal Ernie. I’ve been temporarily displaced while Kenn and the good folks here at The Animal Store do a little renovating on my real home—the 1500-hundred-gallon tank at the back of the store. Like all home improvement projects, it seems like a better idea before you start. Check out the video below and you’ll see what I mean.

During the reno, I’m staying in a tiny (relatively) apartment of aquarium, but even though it’s a little small, there are some advantages. First of all, I’m right up at the front of the store. I get to greet all the customers as they come in, and I get to look out the window. Also, in this small place, there’s not competition for food and I get to meet people up close and personal. So stop by and say high. You can’t miss me. I’m the 27-year old gourami (the handsome one). Ask Kenn if you can feed me a cricket or grape—I love treats.

Come Celebrate our 20th Anniversary with Savings

Things are seriously hopping around here. Kenn and Yussel were busy decorating the store and stocking the shelves for our big 20th anniversary sale this weekend. There are all kinds of new animals and products around, and lots of fun stuff planned for the whole family.

Saturday November 10 & Sunday November 11 only

20% off Everything in the Store

Magic and Balloon Animals

Saturday only from 10-noon, Magician J-Magic will delight us with some closeup magic and balloon animals, so bring the kids.

Hourly Drawings

Just look at all this cool stuff we’re giving away.

Specials in Every Department

  • Buy any 4 bird toys and get 30% off each item.
  • Buy any 4 dog items and get 30% off each item.
  • Buy any 4 cat items and get 30% off each item.
  • Buy any 4 small animal chews or treats and get 30% off each item.
  • Buy any 4 items of reptile cage decor or bedding and get 30% off each item.

Many, many more birds and animals on sale throughout the store.

*discounts taken on white tags only
**groups cannot be combined

FAQ Friday #5: Why does my small animal need something to chew on?

Bunny chews come in many sizes and varieties.

I guess even fish are never too old to learn something new. Today I learned that many small animals have special teeth (called open-rooted teeth) that grow continuously. Some pets with teeth that never stop growing include:

  • all rodents (degus, gerbils, guinea pigs, hamsters, jirds, mice, and rats)
  • rabbits
  • chinchillas

The teeth of these animals have evolved over time to help the break down the tough, fibrous foods they eat. All that chewing also promotes good digestion. If their teeth stopped growing, they would soon be worn to nubs, so the open-rooted system works for them.

But, this means these pets also need hard items to chew on to grind and shape their teeth. If they don’t have proper chews, their teeth can grow misshapen or get sharp edges that can cause small cuts and mouth infections (ouch!).

The Animal Store carries a wide selection of chews that will help keep your pet’s teeth healthy. Variety, as they say, is the spice of life. Keeping a variety of chews on hand and switching them out occasionally will keep your pet interested in chewing on the right things. This is important, especially for larger animals, like rabbits, which may decide to chew on your furniture or toys instead of an appropriate chew toy or treat.

As Kenn says: “Give them something you want them to chew on, or they’ll find things you don’t want them to chew on.”

Chews come in many different material, shapes, and flavors. Ask us which ones are best for your pet. Hope you learned something new today, too. School’s out.

FAQ Friday #4: What does it mean to hand-feed a bird?

baby cockatiel

We fish have an entirely different way of life than our feathered friends, so I was curious about the whole idea of hand feeding. Luckily, the bird experts here at The Animal Store know what they’re doing.

It turns out that hand feeding isn’t what you think it is. I thought hand feeding meant that a person puts bird food in his or her hand and holds it out for the bird to eat. Of course, how could I know that this isn’t how it works—they don’t call it fin feeding, do they?

No, hand feeding means putting liquefied food directly into a baby bird’s crop (a kind of pouch in the bird’s throat that is part of its digestive system and is used to temporarily store food). Hand feeding is usually done with a spoon, syringe, or tube, depending on the kind and size of bird.

In the wild, bird parents chew and regurgitate food into a baby bird’s crop. (I know, yuck, right? But it works for them.) When baby birds are raised by humans, hand feeding mimics this process.

Hand feeding takes skill. The formula must have the right mix of nutrients, be fed in the right quantity, and at the right consistency and temperature. Other issues with hand feeding can include:

  • Underfeeding.
  • Overfilling the crop, which could result in the bird aspirating food into its lungs.
  • Crop stasis (sour crop), which happens when a baby bird get something inedible in its crop.
  • Dehydration.
  • Issues weaning to solid food.

Many people believe that hand feeding helps socialize birds into becoming better pets. If you have more questions about hand feeding, just ask one of our animal experts.

Sometimes I think it would be great to fly like a bird, but when I hear words like “regurgitate”, it makes me glad I’m a fish. Hey, did you catch last week’s FAQ Friday about how to feed your fish? Now that was some interesting reading.

Miércoles Sin Palabras #4: Noah y su perro Roscoe

¿Cuál es el Perro? ¿Cuál es el niño?

Animal Store Gift Card Winner Donates to Red Door Shelter

Hey, everybody, did you know that Kenn’s wife, Susan, has a blog called Two Kinds of People. Each year, she runs an essay contest complete with prizes. This year’s winner, Norine Dworkin-McDaniel, donated one of her prizes—a $25 Animal Store Gift Card—to Red Door Animal Shelter.

Red Door Animal Shelter is a no-kill shelter committed to helping animals in need. Its primary focus is on the rescue, shelter and adoption of cats, dogs and rabbits—the three most popular pets in the United States. The Animal Store supports the efforts of the Red Door.

We would also like to congratulate Norine on her excellent winning essay and thank her for her generous donation to the Red Door Animal Shelter. Thanks, Norine! (I, personally, love that Norine calls her blog “Don’t Put Lizards in Your Ears“. As a giant gourami, I can’t say that anyone has ever tried to put me [or my kin] into a human ear canal, but I strongly advise your readers to keep fish, as well as lizards, out of their ears.)

FAQ Friday 1: Can I volunteer at The Animal Store?

Yes, we have a volunteer program at The Animal Store called the Jr. Critter Crew. Here are a few facts:

  • You must be at least 11 years old to be a volunteer.
  • If you are between 11 and 17 years old, you must come in with a parent or guardian to learn about being a volunteer, sign a waiver, and get a tour of the store.
  • A volunteer’s primary responsibility is to socialize the birds. You will:

– Learn about their habits, food and care.
– Hold, play with, and carry them around the store to get them used to people.
– Show them to interested customers.

  • Sometimes volunteers work with other small animals to socialize them.

If you love animals, want to play with them, and are kind and responsible, then you might be a perfect person to join the Jr. Critter Crew. Fill out the form on our home page for more information.