Peter and Mariana Meredith were inspired by their dogs, Frida, Chato and Oso, to open Poochie's Austin Groomers & Pet Lounge.
Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper
Mariana and Peter Meredith have always been dog people. This, they said, is evidenced by their three dogs: Frida, Chato and Oso. The trio is pictured on the wall of Poochie’s, the couple’s dog grooming and pet lounge business in Steiner Ranch. Mariana said that from the beginning, their dogs have served as the business’s inspiration.
After a negative experience taking one of her own dogs to a groomer, Mariana said she decided to open her own grooming business, one focused on the precision and gentle care needed to properly groom a dog. Last year, Peter left his job of 16 years to work with Mariana.
Peter said they had to dip into their savings to get the business going. But now, the venture is in full gear, as Poochie’s Austin Groomers and Pet Lounge offers grooming services, daycare and overnight boarding.
But the Merediths' commitment to caring for dogs goes well beyond their business.
To date, they have fostered 18 dogs through a partnership with Cuz I Matter, an animal rescue operation in Pflugerville. The Merediths explained they have a relationship with that particular rescue because it focuses on dogs outside of Austin, where stray animals are more vulnerable to euthanasia, Mariana said.
As part of their partnership with Cuz I Matter, the Merediths showcase the adoptable animals, some of which had previously been scheduled to be put to sleep, within their business. They also host and attend frequent adoption events in the area.
Mariana said it is important for any business to be profitable, but helping animals has always the couple’s main goal, and it is their way of giving back to the community.
People who adopt a dog from the Merediths will receive a lifetime discount for grooming services at Poochie's, which includes a consultation, facial, bath, groom, blow out and nail trim, with the option to add teeth and ear cleaning, she said.
All of the products used in the grooming process at Poochie's are organic and safe for all dogs, Mariana said, adding that in the spirit of transparency, all grooming and boarding services are conducted in an open area surrounded by windows.
Customers who travel or work long hours may also utilize Poochie’s day and overnight care services. In their first year of business, Peter and Mariana said they have seen many repeat customers, and those dogs have come to feel like part of the family.
Moving forward, the couple said they would like to expand both their business and resource work; Mariana has set a goal of finding 1,000 dogs new homes.
Peter added that he would like to open another Poochie’s location in the future—as well as a larger sanctuary—so the Merediths can continue to help animals in need of a home.
"Ultimately, I'd like to have a ranch for all animals," he said. "They don't have anywhere to go, so that could be a safe place for them."
Poochie's Austin Groomers & Pet Lounge
5145 N. FM 620, Ste. G170, Austin
512-927-7744 | www.austinpoochies.com
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 8 a.m.-5 p.m., closed Sun.