Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in animal care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Anya Thomson, owner of Happy Dog Adventures, LLC., located in Edgewater, CO, USA.

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

Happy Dog Adventures began as a tiny spark when I discovered that hiking with dogs was pivotal in my recovery from depression. Being in nature and experiencing the unbridled joy and curiosity of off-leash dogs was so healing for me that I started to wonder if I could build a business doing exactly that.

Wondering led to the inception of Happy Dog Adventures, the ultimate hat trick in mutual benefits—adventure for dogs, peace of mind for owners, and continued healing for me.

Tell us about yourself

I began to recognize that the value of Happy Dog Adventures went far beyond a simple dog hike. My clients were finding that their relationships with their dogs improved, that their dogs listened better, and were happier, healthier, and more confident. Owners who were suddenly stuck at home with restless dogs during the pandemic quarantine had a way to give their dogs the adventure they craved, with off-leash hikes that fulfilled their instinctual needs to explore, play, and socialize with other pups.

I took courses in understanding pack behavior, reading dog language, and using positive training methods. I use that training—combined with experience and intuition—to build healthy packs for our adventures. I get to know each dog, so I can help bring out the best in them and see which of my daily dog packs they’ll thrive with.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Doing what I love and making a living doing it while providing a useful service that helps my clients have a better life. Win-win-win

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

Perfectionism will stop me in my tracks, especially in marketing. I constantly have to remind myself that done is better than perfect and that it's okay to do it "wrong."

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

  1. Make sure it's something that you feel passionate about and will fill a need/want for your customers/clients.
  2. Get help! Don't try to do it all on your own. There are so many supports for people starting and running their own business that doesn't cost a thing. Your small business association, online help, groups to join, or some money get a business coach. Totally worth it.
  3. Don't try to sell to EVERYONE! Figure out who is your ideal client is and what your niche is.
  4. Less is more in marketing, and done is better than perfect.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

It's true what they say, do what you love, and you'll never work a day in your life. It is possible!

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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