WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – Amanda Wilbourne opened up The Nautical Dog in 2006 at age 20 for her first dog, Roxie. Originally located in Mattaponi, Virginia, The Nautical Dog has now resided in Williamsburg since 2008.
“Roxie is why I opened up the store,” said Wilbourne, 37. “She had really really bad allergies that we could never really quite figure out and at 18 years old, I didn’t know anything about pet nutrition. So I did a lot of learning with her and realized that a lot of better foods, natural remedies, supplements, those are how you fit it because a lot of allergy prescriptions are really dangerous for dogs.”
In recent years, Wilbourne has begun fostering hospice dogs with the goal is to help them live a better quality of life for longer through the use of holistic care and foods, like those at her store.
“My last hospice dog, when I got her, she was a really, really old shih tzu and they expected her to live a couple weeks,” said Wilbourne. “She was in really rough shape and I switched her diet and added some supplements. She ended up living for over a year, so just me seeing the changes it has made with animals I just think the holistic thing is the way to go because the whole idea of all the processed stuff that’s just something we made to be convenient but it’s not really what they were meant to eat.”
Shopping at Nautical Dog supports everyone who works here, in addition to shelter animals. The store does so much for animal shelters, not just local ones, but one in Richmond as well. Next week, over 4,000 pounds of food coming in that is being split up between the shelters, said Wilbourne.
“Everytime someone shops here it allows us to do something like that,” said Wilbourne.
This photo story and timeline depicts the current location and three time expansion of the Nautical Dog including the Cat Cove, dog washing stations and the store’s holistic food, treat and supplement supply.