This week we caught up with small business owner, Jess Kemp, who shared her story on how becoming a new dog mum led her to launch a bespoke pet service, tailored for fear aggressive, reactive and nervous dogs. Surrounded by all types of animals at an early age, Jess began her career in animal care working at kennels in her local area, Whitstable. She told us:
"Around this time I had taken on a rescue dog named Bella. I quickly discovered she was fear aggressive with other dogs. I started to look for dog walkers and sitters who could give her the one on one care she needed. Sadly, no one was offering this in my area."
Jess saw this as an opportunity to start her own business that would allow her to look after Bella and also provide a service to help other dogs and their owners. Hoof & Paws began in 2018 and by March 2020 the team grew following the addition of fellow animal lovers, Sarah and Beth.
Hoof & Paws personalised service aims to help dog owners by identifying their dogs specific needs and behaviours to provide a customised plan for their dog. They specialise in dogs with no recall, nervous dogs or dogs who display aggressive behaviour.
Is your dog showing aggressive or anxious behaviour? Find out how to identify if your dog is showing shows of fear aggression and Jess's top tips on how to walk and calm fear aggressive dogs.
As small business owners ourselves, we understand the challenges faced with starting your own business. We asked Jess what the biggest challenge has been so far. She says,
'Every day is different and brings a new challenge but that's why I love it! I started Hoof & Paws with nothing and no money but I stayed true to my dream and I can't believe how far we've come'.
Small and big victories keep that fire alive for small business owners. Jess reflects on her biggest achievements,
'We’ve taken on some animals with really challenging behaviour that have been failed by other careers. While some companies would have given up, we stick by them and their owners to help them best we can. The biggest achievement will always be working through those challenges and seeing the bond you create with otherwise difficult or nervous dogs.'
We were curious to know how Jess relaxes after a long day. 'A hot bath, a glass of gin and a good film - you and me both, Jess!'. When she's not dedicating her time to her clients dogs, she loves taking long hacks around the beautiful woodlands in her local area. Then it's back home to look after her own pack of animals: Bella the dog, Mimzy the cat , Spyro the crested gecko (who else remembers Spyro?!), Apollo the rabbit and horses Penny, Kobi and Tyson.
Jess's dream with her small business Hoof & Paws is simple - 'to continue to help as many pet owners and their pets as possible and change their lives'.
Are you looking for bespoke one on one dog walking and pet sitting services in the Whitstable area? Email Jess at email@example.com for more information. Keep up with Jess's small business journey on Facebook & Instagram
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Are you a small business owner in the pet industry? Would you like your own Pack Leader Of The Week feature? Get in contact today to find out how to share your own small business story, reach new audiences and join our pack.
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