When Tricia and Doug Phillips were talking three years ago about their future business goals, they discussed the idea of a dog day care and grooming facility, and even began searching for spaces. They had always used a place in Carmel for their two dogs, 8-year-old Lulu, a cavapoo, and 1.5-year-old Penelope, a miniature standard poodle, noting the lack of locations in the Zionsville community where they live.
Little did they expect COVID-19 to hit in the spring of 2020. Tricia found herself furloughed from her sales position and Doug chose to retire, spurring the couple forward to make their joint dream a reality.
They opened the doors to Pampered Pooch Resort & Spa this spring, just in time for spring break, and found themselves booked with happy dog owners heading out of town, pleased to have a local option for their furry family members. They chose the former Hook’s Drug Store location, which had also been a dog day care, adjacent to Hotel Tango on Zionsville Road. They liked the 8,000-square-foot indoor area and 6,000-square-foot outdoor space, and they also love that their neighbor is dog friendly and has the same passion for community involvement.
“The funny thing is that when we got Lulu, we brought her to day care in the same building we selected for our business,” Tricia Phillips says.
As for the name, “that was so easy,” she says. “We call our own two dogs pampered pooches.”
Already familiar with day cares because of their own dogs, Phillips says they also toured facilities in Florida and Kentucky while doing research.
Business has been brisk, and Phillips says the phones never stop ringing. She also says the dogs seem to stop barking as soon as a staff member picks up the phone.
The decor is fitting to the business name, with artwork and a community postings board at the entry, a crystal chandelier in the lobby, and even soundproofing panels in multiple colors. Glass windows give visitors a peek into the puppy area and training room, as well as the grooming room.
Outdoor runs have play areas with tunnels and slides, and each pet’s leash colorfully lines the wall outside the small-dog and large-dog pens inside. Staff members accompany the dogs in each of the pens to monitor their activity, and are equipped with radios for easy communication. The rear of the facility has more than 40 kennels with circular water and feeding stations installed at the bottom of the door framing, to allow the staff easy access at feeding time.
Understanding that some dogs just need a break from the others for nap time, there is a break room for tired or overstimulated dogs as well. This is just one example of how the staff members at Pampered Pooch strive to go above and beyond for their furry guests.
Services include day care, boarding, training and grooming. Initial visits begin with a meet and greet to familiarize a potential client with the facility, and for the staff to assess the dog. For training, there is a free evaluation and plan established, which is individualized to the needs of the client and dog, along with a daily report, video of training, and homework for the family to do in between visits to reinforce newly learned skills.
Grooming options include any combination of a full groom, bath only, and nail trim. All groomers are employees and not contracted out, in order to maintain quality control and operate within business hours. For people needing boarding services, kennels are available in little, standard, king, royal and super-royal sizes.
“We are a little different in that we include the day-care indoor and outdoor play in the service,” Phillips says.
Recently, just like spring break, fall break saw a full boarding house once again.
“Overall, we create a portal and call the veterinarian to make sure all vaccinations are up to date, and have a meet-and-greet assessment, which 99% pass,” Phillips says. “It’s so important and when they board with us, they go in day care. We have a separate area for dogs that don’t get along with others, to ensure a safe environment for all. Once we accept the dog, they are getting trained and exhausted.”
As per dog boarding services in Naples Florida, both of the Phillips’ dogs stay at the day care often, and Penelope participates in the training program. All dogs are fed or receive medication, at the owner’s suggested schedule, in a separate kennel area, and dog beds and treats are welcome for those who choose boarding options.
The Pampered Pooch team prides itself for going “above and beyond” for clients, Phillips says, adding that they are happy to take pets to regularly scheduled veterinarian appointments. The Pampered Pooch recently co-hosted a “Howlaween” event with Hotel Tango in the parking lot, and the event included photos, door prizes, food and drinks, and plenty of pups in costumes.
“Right now we’re in a grooming crisis,” Phillips says. “There is a nationwide groomer shortage, and through the COVID-19 epidemic people adopted dogs, especially doodles because they are hypoallergenic. What people didn’t know is they need to be groomed every four to six weeks and brushed daily. Matting leads to parasites and skin rashes, and then the dog needs to be shaved.”
“We really want to educate our clients,” she continues. “When adopting, we suggest they research dogs, including appetite and grooming routine, because we have seen so many re-homed. One of the great things about our Facebook page is that we show rescues and work with other rescues. We have a lot of fun and treat them like royalty. That’s why we’re Pampered Pooch.”
Pampered Pooch Resort & Spa is located at 10617 Zionsville Road in Zionsville. For more info, call 317-342-3500 or go to pamperedpoochresortandspa.com.
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