Case Study

K9 Walker Leading Way in Pet Care

From swimming instructor in England to revolutionising dog walking & care in Dunadry.

Based in Dunadry

Claire Walker, promoter of K9 Walker Pet Care Services in Dunadry, stands out from the competition for her dedication to maintaining the highest standards of professionalism and care. As the first Northern Ireland business to become a member of the Professional Dog Businesses UK, K9 Walker Pet Care Services, has quickly become a go-to destination for dog owners seeking reliable and professional care for their furry friends.

Humble Beginnings

Before launching her business, Claire had been working as a swimming instructor in England, a job that accommodated her true passion for animals. But it was in 2020, amidst the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, that she decided to turn her love for pets into a full-fledged enterprise. Striving to address the concerns of leaving her own dogs alone for long hours during a 9-5 job, Claire saw an opportunity to provide a valuable service to the community while pursuing her passion.

With three successful years in business, Claire’s venture stands out as a shining example of dedication, innovation, and a true understanding of the needs of both pets and their owners.  She upholds a set of strict rules and principles possessing the necessary training, qualifications, and experience, keeping up to date through Continuing Professional Development (CPD).  Additionally, only force-free tools and methods are used, firmly rejecting choke, prong, or shock collars. It is this commitment to compassionate and ethical pet care that has garnered her, immense respect from both clients and industry peers.

In addition, what also sets K9 Walker Pet Care Services apart from the competition is Claire’s unique approach to dog walking. Understanding the importance of mental stimulation and socialization for dogs, she introduced the concept of adventure walks. These hour-long excursions take place in picturesque locations, with groups of up to five dogs exploring nature together under Claire’s expert supervision. By exposing the dogs to different scents and surroundings, the adventure walks not only provide exercise but also stimulate their minds and promote healthy behaviour.

To ensure the best possible care for her clients’ pets, Claire follows a comprehensive process before taking them on adventure walks. She personally meets with both the dog and its owners to assess its personality and determine the most suitable walks. By observing the dog’s behaviour during a short lead walk and a longer, faster-paced walk, she gains valuable insights into their needs and preferences.

Claire’s remarkable achievements extend beyond the success of her business. She is an accomplished horsewoman, competing with her Exmoor pony in the prestigious Spring National Pony Society and qualifying for Championships in July 2023. Her dedication to excellence and her love for animals shine through in every aspect of her life.

Networking and building relationships within the local pet care community have played a vital role in Claire’s journey. She emphasises the importance of learning from others, sharing knowledge, and staying informed about the latest trends and practices. Through her own experiences, she encourages aspiring entrepreneurs to seek support and guidance, highlighting the instrumental role that Antrim Enterprise played in shaping her business idea and helping her navigate challenges.

“Antrim Enterprise was the first group that looked at my idea and confirm it as a viable business idea. They then helped me break it down into a more serious business proposition. They also offered insight about upcoming changes in legislation such as Making Tax Digital, when no ones else was. If anyone asks me where to go for business help and guidance, Antrim Enterprise is the first place I send them”

As K9 Walker Pet Care Services continues to flourish, Claire remains focused on expanding her network and contributing to the betterment of the industry. She commends the efforts of Louise, the owner of Barnaby’s Happy Healthy Pets, a local business specialising in Canine Nutrition. Both driven by their shared passion for animals, they have formed a strong friendship, supporting, and cheering each other on.

For Claire, managing her health and well-being is paramount to sustain her business and maintain a healthy work-life balance. She emphasises the importance of setting aside dedicated time for herself and her loved ones, recognizing the risk of burnout that comes with the demands of running a business.

Looking ahead, Claire Walker and K9 Walker Pet Care Services are determined to raise the bar in the pet care industry. With a strong focus on professionalism, ethical practices, and a genuine love for animals, Claire is setting a shining example for others to follow. Her entrepreneurial journey is a testament to the power of passion, perseverance, and the incredible bond between humans and their beloved pets.

When asked about her advice to other budding entrepreneurs she left with her life motto “I can give you the ingredients, but you need to make the cake.” highlighting Claire’s belief in empowering individuals to take ownership of their own success and drive.



Claire Walker - K9 Walker Pet Services

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