Pet Store Review: BONeJOUR

BONeJOUR is a small independently owned boutique-style pet store and dog wash in the Old City section of Philadelphia. Located at 53 North 3rd Street, BONeJOUR is easily accessible via the Market-Frankford line and a brisk walk from either 2nd or 5th street stations.

The store boasts a wide variety products which its staff guarantee are only the best for your pets—and theirs. According to BONeJOUR’s website, “we’re not so good at selling products we don’t believe in.”

BONeJOUR, Old City pet store and dog wash
BONeJOUR, Old City pet store and dog wash

Quality products…

Unlike shopping for pet care in the tiny aisles of grocery stores or pharmacies, I don’t feel like I have to worry about the quality or safety of the products I’m buying at BONeJOUR. Most of the labels in the store contain phrases like “all natural” and “made in America.” Many of the products are also made by small time brands, so small in fact, that I barely recognize any of the goods in store. Some are even made in local kitchens; BONeJOUR stocks an assortment of homemade dog cookies made by a local baker.

But apart from the gimmick of cheesesteak shaped dog biscuits, the store also sells high quality treats and food in countless varieties for dogs and cats alike—grain free, gluten free, pumpkin flavor, venison formula—as well as specialty products I’d be hard pressed to find anywhere else. Most notably, BONeJOUR sells Scoot Bars, a brand of treat that promotes anal gland health in dogs. Who knew?

Browsing the shelves at BONeJOUR, I actually feel confident that the products in stock won’t kill my dog, something I can’t even be sure of in pet store chains like PetSmart.

A hit with the tourists: cheesesteak and cannoli shaped dog cookies
A hit with the tourists: cheesesteak and cannoli shaped dog cookies

…But at what cost?

However, the products might kill my wallet. High quality goods come with equally high prices. A single bully stick—a chewable alternative to rawhide—can cost upwards of $5. Other treats, food, and toys are similarly expensive, with one particular variety of canned dog food costing nearly $6. As a college student, I don’t even eat that well.

BONeJOUR also stocks a wide variety of leashes, collars, and harnesses at varying levels of expensive. Admittedly, these are the first things I look at in any pet store, and I’m usually disappointed. However, the little boutique has an incredible assortment of pet accessories, as long as you can get past the price.

Quirky, elegant, and rustic collars and leashes
Quirky, elegant, and rustic collars and leashes

Buddy Belts, luxury leather harnesses, retail for no less than $50. Leashes from Found My Animal, essentially handmade ropes with a clasp, cost just as much. But I spent a good half hour ogling all of the different accessories before I splurged and bought Dipper a pretty Up Country dog collar for a shameful $20 plus tax. I’m currently saving up for the matching leash.

Price that pays

Shopping at BONeJOUR, I realize I’m paying for more than just the products. The little boutique offers a unique, pleasurable shopping experience. The store itself is cute and quirky, and the staff are friendly and knowledgeable. This is what I like most about BONeJOUR—it’s human element. The collars and leashes I like so much are there because someone picked them out personally. If I need help finding a new food for my dog, I now know I have somewhere to turn and someone to ask. And there’s even a loyalty program for a lot of the foods—for instance, if you buy 12 bags of food, you get the 13th free.

Shelves are packed high with countless varieties of food. Some sound better than what I eat
Shelves are packed high with countless varieties of food for all dogs and cats—old age formulas, puppy food, limited diets. Most brands are part of a loyalty program, too

For special occasions, I can stretch my wallet for a new collar or chew stick. I like to think I’ll be a regular customer once my student loans are paid off. Until then, shopping at BONeJOUR is a splurge.

Some stray observations:
  • BONeJOUR also operates a dog wash; customers can pay a dog washer or bathe their dog themselves for a lesser fee (the dog washer does NOT cut hair but trims nails, cleans ears, etc.)
  • They sell spot-on flea medications and preventative heartworm pills
  • In partnership with PAWS, the store is the temporary home to a resident shelter kitty up for adoption

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