A small pet food store in Dartmouth is about to reach a major social media milestone, because Rodney Habib's Planet Paws Pet Essentials has one of the country's biggest Facebook followings and is now approaching 1 million 'likes'.
In one corner of the store on Montebello Drive hangs a clock, given to him by Facebook last year.
"That is a live counter," Habib said Tuesday, as the numbers rolled.
"People around the world that are reading the information, liking the information and just wanting to be part of the page."
He said a recent Financial Post article compared his Facebook reach to that of Canadian icons such as Tim Hortons and Cirque du Soleil.
"I know we just recently passed Shoppers Drug Mart," he said.
Habib said his passion for pet nutrition stems from a near tragic experience that nearly killed his puppy in 2008, when he unwittingly fed the dog a tainted chicken jerky from China.
Since then, he has been encouraging pet owners to take another look at what they put in their pet's dinner bowl. Habib said dogs in other parts of the world are living long and healthy lives, and said their diets have a lot to do with it.
"Are you satisfied with your animal living to be only 10 or 12 here in North America?" he said.
Habib said it's as easy as replacing a portion of your pet's processed food with fresh meats and vegetables.
"A whole complexity of different foods that would come out of your refrigerator, not something in a bag that's processed and packaged that can sit on a shelf for 10 years, and look exactly the same," he said.