What's New: Happy Dog Hotel and Spa

January 25, 2012
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Welcome to What’s New Wednesday, where we profile local startups—and the entrepreneurs behind them. This week, meet Bev Schroeder, who opened Happy Dog Hotel and Spa in Carmel last month.

Type of business: pet boarding, grooming and day care

Address: 233 2nd Ave. SW, Carmel

Phone: 580-5050

E-mail: Beverly@happydoghotelandspa.com

Website: www.happydoghotelandspa.com

Founded: August 2011

Owners: Bev Schroeder and Jim Bremner

Owners’ background: Bremner, president of Indianapolis-based Duke Realty Healthcare, has more than 25 years of experience in commercial real estate. He founded Bremner Healthcare in 1996 and sold it to Duke in 2007. The company, which develops and owns health care facilities, has more than $600 million of medical office assets on its books. He and Schroeder are family friends.

Schroeder, 47, studied marketing and broadcasting at Indiana University and worked in sales after graduation, spending 15 years at a division of consumer health giant Johnson & Johnson.

She quit the medical sales job in 2000 following the death of her grandfather, founding a pet-sitting company in Broad Ripple.

“I really wanted to pursue something I was passionate about,” said Schroeder, whose vehicle is adorned with a personalized license plate proclaiming its owner “DOG CRZY.”

After a few years of pet sitting—“The hardest work I’ve ever done,” she said—Schroeder and a partner opened a pet hotel and spa in Broad Ripple. She sold her share of the enterprise two years ago and did some business and sales consulting until the entrepreneurial bug bit again.

Why started business: Schroeder traveled often during her sales career, and she was never completely satisfied with the options for boarding her beloved canine companions (she and her husband have two now, down from as many as six).

Happy Dog Hotel and Spa owner Bev SchroederBev Schroeder wants to give other pet owners the kind of service she expects. (IBJ Photo / Perry Reichanadter)

With Happy Dog, she aims to provide the kind of service she would want: Overnight guests bunk in custom wood-and-glass paneled “suites,” for example, with scrambled egg breakfasts and Muttinis available through room service. The spa offers standard grooming as well as extras like blueberry facials and paw soaks.

“Customers and dogs come first,” Schroeder said.

Competitive advantage: Happy Dog feels like an upscale retreat, from the dark wood floor and comfy chairs in the lobby to the decidedly un-kennel-like accommodations. That’s the idea.

“People really love their pets,” Schroeder said, “It’s a real privilege to be able to care for them.”

So she refuses to succumb to the “pack ’em in, and move ’em out” mentality she says is all too common, preferring to maker her facility “as home-like as possible.”

Startup cost: Schroeder declined to provide specifics on startup expenses, which included purchasing and renovating the building overlooking the Monon Trail and installing 62 of the custom-designed cages (in three sizes).

Potential problem and contingency plan: Given her pets-first philosophy, Schroeder expects her biggest challenge to be keeping her costs down and profits up.

So she’s keeping a close eye on labor expenses. Happy Dog has 15 full-and part-time employees who staff the facility from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Requiring reservations for services helps Schroeder manage their schedule.

First-year goal: Schroeder wants to make sure Happy Dog meet—and exceeds—clients’ expectations, something she said will help the business meets its financial obligations.

Ultimately, she and Bremner want to expand the enterprise, opening additional locations and possibly selling franchises.

  • Love this place!
    I have taken my young very active 16 mo old great dane here for about 3 months and we could not be happier! Not only does she LOVE to go to day care, literally dragging me thru the door and to the play room, only to come home very calm and tired from an afternoon of fun. We have also done boarding with them. It was the first time I have ever picked up my mix breed humane society little girl from being away from me (she does not handle this well at all) and she was as calm as I have ever seen her. The grooming that was done on her was the best I have ever had also. When you walk in the front doors, if you were blind folded, you would never know that there is a room full of dogs just around the corner playing and having a great time! It smells as clean as any place I have ever been to. Lastly, all of the workers are wonderful and do an amazing job at accommodating our every need. They are well loved by my babies, and that means a lot to us!

Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
  1. Good Day I am Mr (Victoria Wright) from United state of America, i stayed in NEW YORK, and i have a broke up business, until i found this company email who help me to gain a loan for business,, and now i want to used this short medium to congratulate the below company for the fast and safe money they loan to me without any form of collateral, i loan 500,000USD from the company to save my business and lots more, i saw their mail on the internet, everyone always give testimony for what they did, so i quickly contacted them and they all did everything for me without stress and my money was sent to my account just 3 days later, i was surprise and i feel so glad, now i have a standard business control agent who help me, now i will advice those who need urgent loan to contact him at the bellow email:zenithfirm12@gmail.com

  2. NOTICE:This is to inform the general public that Vampires are real. My name is James Franklyn.,am an agent of vampire,am here to introduce our new world trend to you,a world of vampire where life get easier,we have made so many persons vampires and have turned them rich,you will be assured long life and prosperity,you shall be made to be very sensitive to mental alertness,stronger and also very fast,you will not be restricted to walking at night only even at the very middle of broad day light you will be made to walk.In case you are wildly oppressed by some unscrupulous persons we can still help you fight them.Your protection is assured immediately you join.Just contact the bellow email if you are interested we are here to attend to you anytime you want us. Contact the bellow email for more details. Email:vampirescreed@hotmail.com Sincerely: James Franklyn.

  3. Bravo! Someone else that is willing to speak the truth! Bravo!_____NBCSN is available in almost 2 MILLION more homes than just a few years ago, but Indycar STILL gets less total viewers than it did just a few years ago when NBC took over Versus. Attendance and ratings cratered with the end of season races (just when the title battle got "interesting" HAH!__________And now...new race in Basilia, where Miles celebrated the "rich history" of Indycar racing there. Rich history? What, 7 events in the 100 years of AOW? Yep, some history. Well, at least its an oval. It's not??? Are you kidding me??? Gosh darn road racin furriners.

  4. PURITY RAY LOAN OFFER........ Have you been denied by your banks,or are you in need of of an urgent loan to pay of your bills we are capable of giving loans @ cheaper rate to interested individuals, student, companies and members of the public in need of finance to settle bills, we do offer considerable loans which you can count on. For more information on our various types of loan,then you will have to contact PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM, to help you achieve your desire LOAN APPLICATION FORM TO BE FILLED BORROWERS INFORMATION * Full name:………………………. * SEX * ……………………………. * Country………………………….. * State:……………………………. * Land:…………………………….. * Occupation:…………………….. * phone number:…………………. * Telephone: ………………………….. * Age:………………………………. * Amount needed as loan:……… * Loan Duration:………………….. * Propose of Loan:……………….. * Annual revenue:………………… * Monthly Income:……………….. * Guarantee:………………………. * Payment: monthly or annually Email.....purityrayloanfirm@gmail.com Thank you and God bless Mr Purity Ray PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM we tend to serve you better

  5. Problem: most of the people responding to this article don't know about this service AT ALL! Why? Lack of awareness. This isn't IndyGo. This is CIRTA: might as well be the mattress company because they are asleep at the wheel - something like 3 directors over the last year? Playing with federal grant money is great! This "region" wants commuter rail service, has spent MILLIONS on Transportation studies yet can't even support a commuter bus line? This is largely for suburban riders to get to downtown - not for "service people to work in our hotels and restaurants" ! Get your head out of your backside!! These are professionals, students etc. that don't want to fight traffic, save some money on parking, gas, stress.... if CIRTA would put their federal money into widely promoting the sevive to Greenwood, Fishers & Carmel instead of finding directors and studies - this would be a successful service. Our family uses(d) it daily for the last several years - but the recent uncertainty & now unreliability due to cuts from Carmel has been a problem. Now, costs us an additional $350/month for gas & parking ( $4200/year) plus vehicle wear, service, environmental impact ... YES - this REGION needs this this type of service in order to keep growing and getting the people it needs to fill skilled positions in downtown Indianapolis. Think outside of your own car !!!