INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Less than two years ago, Fountain Square took its pet friendliness to the next level when Indy’s first cat café opened at the intersection of Shelby Street and Orange Street.
But then the whole block went to the dogs when Bow Wow Meow Boutique opened for business just two doors down. Recently celebrating its one-year anniversary last month, this pet boutique and grooming facility offers a holistic, eco-friendly approach and has been dubbed “Fountain Square’s Premier Pet Boutique.”
Our Rachel Bogle brought along her dog, Gizmo, to sniff out the area’s newest pet boutique and try out some of their services on this paw-some trip "In Your Neighborhood."
Gretchen Ricketts has had a life-long passion for pets, starting when she was just a young child.
“I was that kid that came home with fur down the front of me that said, ‘Mom, it followed me home,'” Ricketts recalled with a laugh.
After serving in the United States Air Force, she pursued her passion by going to school to become a licensed veterinary technician. After that, she planned on taking her education even further and going to veterinary school.
“But life happens and took a different path and unfortunately my mom passed away in 2017,” she explained. “But that afforded me the seed money to start this business that had been a dream of mine for at least the past 15 years.”
And she knew Fountain Square was the perfect community to do it.
“I love it because [my mom] was actually born here, and she was baptized at St. Patrick Catholic Church,” Ricketts said. “So, it’s just kind of a full-circle thing.”
Now, her main focus at Bow Wow Meow Boutique is offering healthy, eco-friendly products made in the United States. Several of which are made locally, like re-purposed beds made by a retired Shelbyville couple and collars and leashes by Sunshine Pet Apparel and Betty Pooch.
“I believe in supporting local,” she said. “If we don’t support each other, it does nobody any good.”
They also offer unique items like human-friendly dog treats that you can share with your pup as well as special treats for your favorite feline.
“We just got in our Meowijuana, which is for our kitty-cat friends and they have a plethora of catnips that are mixed with lavender,” Ricketts said.
In the back of the store, you’ll find custom tubs where pet owners can take advantage of a wide variety of grooming options including self-service grooming.
“We provide everything you need: natural organic shampoos and conditioners, all the brushes, the towels, the blow dryers,” she explained.
If you’d rather leave the washing and grooming to the pros, you can opt for their full-service washing (for pets who don’t require any scissor work/fur trimming) or go for the works with one of their full-service or “mini” grooming packages.
On the Bow Wow Meow Boutique website, you’ll see a full menu of grooming options and prices specified by a dog’s weight. Ricketts said this something she insisted upon offering after feeling frustrated over pricing at other grooming establishments in the past.
“When I have a short-haired dog, I don’t feel I should pay what a long-haired matted dog gets charged, so that’s why we offer the different packages,” she said.
One thing you won’t see here, however, are cages, because after plenty of research and her own horror stories (especially as an owner of two pups who had crate anxiety), Ricketts decided to make Bow Wow Meow cage-free.
“We believe in holistic and we’ll have lavender scents going to help calm them, we’ve had a lot of good success with dogs that have otherwise been told that they need to be sedated,” she said.
It’s because of those pups and owners, Ricketts said, that owning a place like this means so much.
“It’s my favorite part,” she said. “The dogs and being able to help dogs and owners that have maybe been told not to return to another grooming place… that they can come here.”
Four Things You Need to Know About Bow Wow Meow Boutique:
- Bow Wow Meow Boutique celebrated its one-year anniversary on Oct. 13. Dubbed “Fountain Square’s Premier Pet Boutique,” it offers everything from pet supplies, treats, a variety of grooming services and training classes twice a week inside the shop.
- Their focus is offering healthy, eco-friendly items that are made in the United States. Many of their items are actually locally made. When it comes to grooming supplies and services, they take a holistic approach with natural organic shampoos, calming lavender scents and no cages.
- Bow Wow Meow Boutique is dedicated to giving back to their community through partnering with other local businesses and organizations for charity events. “We’ve been able to do some great outreach together with Nine Lives Cat Café and Indy Humane. [The cat café] hosted the cats for adoption, we hosted the dogs,” said owner Gretchen Ricketts.
- Keep a close eye on their calendar for some of their special events like the Fountain Square Merchants Association’s 2nd annual Shop Small Saturday Passport Program on Nov. 30, where participants can have a chance to win a gift basket worth $400. Then, on Dec. 8 from 12-6 p.m. they’ll be hosting a “Holiday Paw Print” pet portrait event.
For more information about Bow Wow Meow Boutique, check out their website by clicking here. To see more photos and reviews by local Yelpers, check out their Yelp profile. You can also connect with them via Facebook.
While in Fountain Square, check out these other pet-friendly businesses located within a short walking distance of Bow Wow Meow Boutique: