Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in animal care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dr. Taron Carruthers, co-owner of Stockyard Chiropractors & The Dog Joint, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Hi, I’m Taron. I have been a dually certified human and animal chiropractor since 2014. Most people have never heard of an Animal Chiropractor - but I promise it’s a real thing. You must be a licensed Chiropractor or Veterinarian to qualify for post-graduate certification in Animal Chiropractic and be licensed to adjust animals.

I have two small businesses: a mobile practice called Stillwater Animal Chiropractic (2014) and a practice in Toronto called Stockyard Chiropractors & The Dog Joint (2018) that I co-own with my business partner, Dr.Craig Landry.

Stillwater Animal Chiropractic is predominantly an equine-based practice with an enormous travel radius. In addition to treating horses/riders/dogs in the GTA, I provide services to Northern Ontario four times per year between April-December. My dog ‘Briggs’ and I go on the road for ~10 days at a time for these northern trips. I adjust anywhere from 70-90 horses and 25-40 dogs between Muskoka - North Bay - Timmins - Sudbury and Manitoulin Island. I have such amazing and appreciative clients up north, and every trip up is an adventure!

Stockyard Chiropractors & The Dog Joint is a full-time practice located in the Stockyards District of Toronto (Jane & St. Clair West). My business partner and I treat people and pets at the office Monday-Saturday. In addition to chiropractic treatments, we also offer myofascial/soft tissue release, shockwave, laser therapy, custom orthotics, therapeutic kinesiology taping, and rehabilitative exercise prescription. We have an amazing patient base and love being able to help members of the community feel their best - both two and four-legged!

Tell us about yourself

Growing up, I always thought I would become a Veterinarian. I grew up competing as an equestrian and thought that Veterinary Medicine was my calling. Then one day, a Veterinarian who was certified in Animal Chiropractic made an assessment/adjustment on my aging horse, and the results were remarkable. Not only did he alleviate my horses' pain, stiffness, and performance issues, but he did so without the use of any medication in just one visit. That day changed everything for me - I knew exactly the career I wanted and began the eight-year academic journey to make my dream job a reality.

Motivation is easy - I get to help people and animals feel better on a daily basis. I love improving quality of life and alleviating pain. Animals, in particular, are extremely rewarding because there is no placebo effect: they either have a therapeutic benefit and respond, or they don't. They don't have a preconceived opinion about whether or not therapy will benefit them - and the majority of the time, animals respond faster and more profoundly to chiropractic care than their human counterparts. Animals are truly remarkable and extremely resilient in their ability to tolerate pain and recover from injury. I love being a part of their journey towards relief and optimal well-being.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Having happy clients/patients and cultivating two successful businesses and a career that I am extremely proud of and passionate about.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Balance. I struggle finding a healthy work-life balance and often find myself doing administrative work: invoicing, emailing, charting, brainstorming way later than I should be on weekdays and even on weekends. Unlike being an employee or contractor, your shift really never ends once you leave the office as a business owner. You are constantly thinking of that next thing, the next promotional idea, and ways to improve your business and take your company to the next level. I am getting better about making hard boundaries for myself and taking time to unplug and decompress when I get home. However, it is still an ongoing balancing act.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Manifest. I am a huge believer in manifesting your own reality. Vision boards, goal-setting, meditation, practicing gratitude, and positive thinking will come back to you in ways that you cannot imagine possible. One example: I struggled to get funding from the bank to start my second business because of student loans from chiropractic college, so I took a black sharpie and turned a $10 dollar bill into a $100,000 bill and taped it to the wall beside my bed. I stared at my $100,000 manifestation bill every night for six months, just asking the universe to deliver while knowing I was going to succeed. Needless to say, I got the funding I needed, and my business dreams became a reality.
  2. Passion. If you aren't passionate about your product or the service you are providing, then reconsider embarking on that particular business venture. Your energy won't be there without passion, and success and business longevity will be a challenge.
  3. Hustle. Be prepared to work hard and struggle for the first few years. I know I did. Growing pains are real for the vast majority of small businesses. Once you start growing and people start talking about your skills/brand, things will pay off! Keep that energy going, and enjoy the ride! Suppose you are passionate and offer an amazing service/product that people value and respect. In that case, there are no boundaries to where your business can go!

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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