Our Family

Our pack is all about support. We not only strive to provide great service and products but also to help solve issues that may arise throughout the life of each and every member of our extended furry family. Throughout our existence we hold this as our core value.

Our Founders

Pets First Pet Food Founders Canada

Bandit and daughter Halo (our Guardian Angel) are pictured above.

Ursamajor’s Stellar Bandit is the reason we developed these great recipes starting back in 1994. His name was Bandit and he shared his life with Phil and the Pets First family. He was a Bernese Mountain Dog – handsome and intelligent. A show dog … and so much more. He loved to draft in his cart, play at agility, dabble in obedience and just lay around. He came to trade shows and stopped everyone … he was really handsome!

So everyone knew who he was and we would explain why these recipes were better than anything else then available. In those days there was a lot of choice but very little quality. There were sometimes dangerous ingredients in pet food so we started educating the public that proper nutrition is the foundation of a healthy life. Bandit helped develop these early recipes. Our very first recipe was unique. We used two meat proteins (lamb and chicken) as our first ingredients. Imagine a dog food in 1994 with TWO meat proteins as the FIRST TWO INGREDIENTS.

Our Chicken Lite diet was introduced because it turned out that Bandit had a sensitivity to Lamb. A lower protein, lower fat, diet with chicken as the first ingredient! This was the beginning of a company with great vision and a tenacity to produce what was and is the best pet food value around.

Our President

President of Pets First (Pets 1st) dog & cat food manufacturing company

Phil, Bandit’s dad decided that there was a need to bring something better to the pet nutrition world and started a second career. He used his business knowledge and developed the systems that are unique to Pets First. These systems allowed the company to grow with the knowledge that we were providing not only great products but also great service. Phil’s family includes many Bernese Mountain dogs over the years. These have enriched his life with both camaraderie and lasting friendships. They include Bandit and Bella (the taster – she excelled at this job), Halo- the Guardian angel, Passion – the travelling salesgirl – she loved to go on all the road trips and visit all the Pets First families. ZeeZee – zippity because she ran so fast. Welkin crossed over a few months after his twelfth birthday and for a Berner to live to twelve is pretty cool and quite rare. Welkin became part of the Pets First pack just before Halo passed due to complications from anesthesia following a routine spay just past her fourth birthday. Welkin lived to see every family member except Bandit and Mac. Paxton left us in shock and feeling a little stunned when he passed several months after his seventh birthday. He did make it to veteran status but losing a family member so young was devastating. Every member of our family has been unique and every member has taught us something new. Life with dogs is the only life!! All now gone but still part of our forever family.

Currently Phil’s family includes Mac and Ripley- who is commonly regarded as the queen of Canada. Since coming to Phil and Lea at age five she has thrived and is now close to her twelfth birthday. She is pictured in the masthead of our Earth Options facebook page. Extremely talented in many dog disciplines including agility and drafting. Mac is quite the character. He excels at enjoying life. Always ready to give you a hug or a tail wag. Quite demanding around dinner time. Don’t be late or you’ll hear about it.

Phil loves Pets First and everything that it represents. A dream that just continues living. Sometimes challenging but almost always fun. Making a difference is a key part of the passion. Offering products that really do meet the discriminating standards of all those furry families out there. Natural and freshly made to keep our furry family in prime health and as long lived as possible

It is always about the product. The best we can make with the best of ingredients.

Our Business Development Manager

Business development manager team member

Pam is happily owned by three Pugs. Yes you read it right – THREE PUGS. Pam is perfect for the job! Norm came to Pam because her husband wanted a dog – and they chose a pug? Well Norm is the cutest, most handsome pug that exists! The perfect showstopper. One of corporate promotions features Norm as a puppy with all his stuffed animals. The All Canadian Pug! –eh

It gets better The next Pug – Oprah has a lot to say. She has a following you know. … and a look. Wouldn’t you know that Oprah is also prominently featured in our ‘Peace of Mind’ campaign. Well she is happy, WELL FED (loves the Salmon) and very cute!

Then there is Theo – he is deaf ! Theo came into Pam’s life because she read that he needed a home. What a home – the puglets have their own solarium to lounge in and sleep on the bed. The latest invention is the pug-mobile. A converted contraption that allows Pam and husband Terry to go on long walks with the pugs. When one or all of them gets tired they get to ride comfortably while the humans walk. Pugs rule!

Pam has a blast with everything Pets First related. Pam spends her days educating everyone that will listen about the benefits of Earth Options by Pets First recipes and the companies great services. Pets First is a unique business and although it’s over twenty years old many in the pet world have no idea it exists. We like it that way. It enables us to stay true to ourselves and allows us to follow thru with the daily commitments we provide our many pet guardians.

Boarding Kennels, Groomers, selected pet stores and individual puppy or kitten people, there is always time for each and every customer.

Pam also spreads the word about the need to reduce our carbon paw print by telling everyone about the Earth Options by Pets First bag recycle program. This is another of the many unique facets that is Pets First. Pam is on a mission to help Pets parents in North America make better choices and to help fulfill their need to find and feed a superior diet that keeps their furry family healthy and happy.

Pam loves to talk, text, and can be found on twitter, Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram sharing pug stories or other interesting pet stories. She loves to answer pet related questions or just to chat about dogs and cats.

Our Administration Manager

Administration manager team member

Robyn lives in a black and white world. But at home, both of her dogs are a shade of gold. Teddy is one of those demanding terriers and Cally, well if you want to be the center of the world you are a Golden Retriever.

Robyn has been part of the Pets First team since October of 2005. She handles the day to day business in the administrative world of Pets First. Robyn keeps our paperwork and administrative systems in tip top shape while still enjoying speaking with all the customers. Pets First differs from other manufacturers as we speak directly to our customers – all of our customers. Our lines of communication are always open and Robyn is ready to take up any question or help solve any issues. And when she gets home, she knows Teddy and Cally will be happy at dinner time!

Our Great Support Staff

Support staff

Al Zylstra

Al has been with Earth Options for quite a number of years. He began as a customer in 2004 and then as a part time employee starting in 2013. He has been in sales and marketing all his life and knows the value of good customer service but, more importantly – providing a quality product. Earth Options definitely fits that bill and is a key reason for joining the Earth Options family. He wants to make sure as many people as possible know about Earth Options by Pets First and their great products.

He lives with his husband, Alex and their menagerie of furry, feathery and finny family members including Beau and Phantom, the most recent additions. They are pair-bonded brothers rescued from Mexico and have proven themselves to be wonderful family members.

Staff at Pets First

Simi and Mac

Sim has been visiting Pets First since she was in diapers. We watched her grow up. At a young age and through her formative years she would come in and volunteer for the company. She would make little dog treat bags and have fun decorating them. She would come out to events and have fun with all the people. She would help us prepare for special events. For the most part she is a joy and a very caring and compassionate team player.

For the past three years, Sim has been doing several key jobs. She is our receptionist and greets everyone as they come into our head office. She manages our social media pages. She views things from a different perspective. Sim is always trying to figure out ways to positively spread the word about Earth Options by Pets First on social media. She loves being a member of this team and loves being silly and making jokes around the office.

Sim is currently studying to be a social worker. She is participating with Big Brothers Big Sisters organization. She is a big sister for a young girl who is in elementary school. She is dedicated and passionate when she puts her mind towards something. It’s been fun to be part of her life and we look forward to whatever is in her future.

Our Extended Family

The Pets First family extends throughout Canada and the Western United States. We have a strong network of caring distributors that are eager to pass along the knowledge that they possess in pet nutrition. Give us a call or send us a text or email and we will gladly pass along their names and contact information. In the event we have yet to explore your city or region we will answer your questions and have our recipes delivered directly to your door. Once you try our recipes you may even want to help spread the word!!