By Kathleen Swift • Photos by Savanah Mandeville

Walking into Big Dog Boutique on the west side of the historic Carthage square is finding a dog lover’s paradise. Everything you could need or want for your dog is there. The name may be Big Dog Boutique, but their selections include sizes that range from teacup to giant breeds and every size in between. And owner Jeanette Cartright hasn’t forgotten our feline friends either. Cat lovers can find items for their purry friends at Big Dog Boutique, too.

Founded in 2004 as an online business, Cartright has owned Big Dog Boutique since 2015. In June 2018, Cartright decided it was time to add a brick-and-mortar shop to the Big Dog Boutique business.

“I wanted something unique to offer the area and was very specific in my idea of what the space should look like,” said Cartright. She found what she wanted on the square in Carthage.

“A brick-and-mortar store brings in a completely different customer than an online store. I knew I needed to offer a wider variety of products for my local customers. I have what I believe to be the largest line of American Made collars and leashes in the Four-State Area. We carry affordable printed nylon collars in seasonal patterns as well as collars for training and waterproof hunting collars and leashes. I believe in quality of product and offer what I believe is the best for both dogs and dog parents,” said Cartright. “I like supporting fellow small businesses that manufacture products using quality materials and natural, honest ingredients.

“During this past year, we have expanded our product lines to include ethically sourced dog and cat food. We wanted to offer a premium brand at an affordable price while being knowledgeable about the concerns of cardiomyopathy and the recent recalls. All dogs are individuals that require different nutritional needs, and we wanted to take a holistic approach to our food selection and help our customers choose a formula that is best suited for their dog in their particular life stage,” said Cartright.

Cartright has two dogs: a German shepherd named Max and a golden doodle named Ted.

“I don’t sell anything that I haven’t researched and fed or used with my own dogs. The dog food we carry is a premium food without the price tag of a big-name dog food. We have affordable, holistic food that can meet the special needs of dogs.”

Recently, Cartright has added CBD hemp oil formulated specifically for pets.

“Again, quality meant everything in the selection of what hemp product to bring in. I can feel good about recommending hemp to our customers knowing it will be effective in treating the particular issue they are dealing with. We have had tremendous feedback from customers reporting the positive effects hemp has had with issues such as anxiety, gastrointestinal issues and pain management.”

All dogs are welcome at Big Dog Boutique, and Cartright makes a point of taking a photo of each doggie visitor and posting it on the Big Dog Boutique Facebook page.

“Our motto is ‘Dogs and Well-Behaved People Welcome.’ We love getting to know our furry customers and try to let our customers know we care about them. While it’s hard to compete with big-box online stores, what we can offer is a unique shopping experience for dogs and owners alike,” said Cartright.

This fall, Big Dog Boutique will expand to add a self-serve dog wash where customers can bring in their dog for an aromatherapy bath. No grooming services are available yet, but certain days will offer a drop and wash service where we do the dirty work while fur mamas have coffee next door at Mother Road Coffee.”

Dogs and their owners will enjoy the selection of quality, American-made and long-lasting toys, cute outfits, a multitude of tempting treats, travel items, elevated pet beds and more. Big Dog Boutique offers rawhide-alternative protein treats that last and that dogs love. You can fill your own bag of bakery doggie treats or purchase packaged treats.

Big Dog Boutique continues to expand its supply of pet items and services. Stop by with your pet and see what is available. You won’t be disappointed.

Big Dog Boutique is open Monday through Friday from 10 am-5 pm and Saturday from 9 am-4 pm. To keep up with specials and to see all the cute pets that visit, check out the Big Dog Boutique Facebook page.