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Meet Ryan Pry of Duke Dog Care in Darien

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ryan Pry.

Ryan, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I have been Pet Sitting and Dog Walking for the Illinois community for over 10 years. I first started out by helping out with family pets and eventually began caring for dozens of pets around town.

In 2014 I worked professionally with dogs for the first time for an established Dog Daycare & Boarding business in Downers Grove, Illinois. After falling in love with the work, I was quickly promoted to a manager and spent almost two years with the company before moving on. Shortly after leaving my first pet care job, I accepted another manager position at a local Dog Daycare & Boarding facility in Darien, Illinois that also cared for cats.

After working as a professional Pet Care Specialist for almost three years between two companies I finally made the decision to open my own pet care service called Duke Dog Care. Inspired by my now 9 year-old Black Labrador retriever, Duke. My “little brother” (Duke) has been my main source of motivation to provide every pet with the most love and care I can possibly offer.

Duke Dog Care, operated by myself, has been in business since late 2016 and has already serviced over 100 different pets of all kinds. I have cared for dogs, cats, fish, hamsters, guinea pigs, turtles, and other loving pets.

With my dedication to working with every pet as an individual, putting in the max effort to correct behavior and promote a positive environment, I have found myself building strong relationships with every animal I have the pleasure to work with. In fact, during my time working with pets I have been requested to become a full-time Dog Trainer for PetsMart and other businesses that have heard of me. I also have spent a good deal of time learning how to groom dogs and have studied animal nutrition.

Right now I am currently studying Dog Emotion & Cognition and have recently been certified in Behavior Analysis.

In the near future I plan on opening Duke Dog Care as a Pet Daycare & Boarding facility. My facility will plan to care for pets of all kinds and even include play groups for dogs!

In addition to Duke Dog Care, I also operate the one and only Luxury Travel Pet Care Service listed simply as Ryan Pry “The Pet Guy”. This is an expansion off of my original service that offers people from all over the world to request my services.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
My dream of running my own service has not always been an easy one. I have faced many struggles and have often had to overcome adversity.

With the growing interest in pet care comes more business competition with it. Locally every person who has a passion for pets has been making attempts to run their own business and have been putting professionals in a bad light. These untrained, uncertified animal-enthusiasts have been saturating the market and have not been providing the quality care that true professionals are offering, which make it harder for people like myself to get a foot in the door.

Also, I quit two very good career jobs to pursue my dream of running my own pet service. The doubts of whether “going for it all” being a smart decision and the lack of income that comes with starting up at first have been hard to face as well. Going into business for yourself can be scary.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Duke Dog Care – what should we know?
My business, Duke Dog Care specializes in Pet Sitting, Dog Walking and Doggie Baths & Nail Trims. I am soon to be opening up Puppy Training packages and other Dog Training services.

I am most proud of my company for the fact that I visit and care for all of the pets myself. I am my own quality control and have the opportunity to reach the Pet Parents directly.

What sets my service apart from the others is my hands-on experience and a true passion for animal care. I have worked with almost one-thousand pets and have been a Doggie Daycare Manager, Pet Hotel Manager, Dog Bather and Dog Training Assistant for multiple years. I also have been studying animal behavior and applying my knowledge to groups of dogs that range from 1 to 40 at a time.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I believe the quality that is most important to my success is empathy. There may be a verbal barrier between me and other animals but I believe in using all senses to understand and share the feelings of another.


  • Pet Sitting $55
  • Dog Walking $20
  • Doggie Bath $25
  • Drop-In Visits $12

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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