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Hidden Gems: Meet Anela Tayan of Cactus Paws

Today we’d like to introduce you to Anela Tayan.

Hi Anela, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I first started dog sitting when I was 12 years old. I would watch the dogs for some of the residents in my neighborhood that I grew up in. As the years went on, and I moved to Arizona in 2019. I eventually met my partner, Traigen. We met during a timeframe where I was gradually accumulating dog clients. We began to watch dogs together! Just as a side hustle though. Two years into the relationship, we were trying to figure out what really makes us happy. He finally came to the conclusion after a few trials and errors. The answer was dogs. We slowly started taking on dog clients. A few dogs walking clients turned into multiple back-to-back overnights cares and dog boarding clients. Here we are now at about five months into running our business. We have accumulated over 50+ reoccurring clients. We wouldn’t want it any other way. We are continuing to further our pet knowledge and credentials as time goes on. We are very committed to serving our Arizona dog community!

Alright, 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?
For the most part, it has been a relatively smooth road for us. We have noticed along our career journey that the dog sitting industry is not always taken seriously. Many dog sitters tend to barely make minimum wage. To care for an animal for a 24-hour+ period is a very attentive job. We, Cactus Paws, are very big on providing one-on-one care to the best of our ability. We believe that your pet is your family and should be treated as such. The same way that you would hire a babysitter to care for your children, or the way that you would hire someone to care for the elders in your family. We believe that it is the same for your dog. Your dog deserves the best quality care. A happy dog creates a happy dog owner! Dog owners deserve to have a peace of mind when away on vacation or work.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Cactus Paws?
The cofounders of Cactus Paws are Anela Tayan and Traigen Ledezma. We are a couple-owned, family-run professional dog sitting business. We are based in Queen Creek, Arizona — but travel to all parts of the Valley. We have over ten years of experience combined. We, Cactus Paws, are all about providing our dog clients with professional one-on-one love and care. We currently offer overnight care, dog boarding, and daytime dog sitting. What sets us apart from other dog sitters/boarding facilities? We prioritize the owner’s peace of mind and the comfortability of the dogs we care for. We like to be prepared for any scenario that could possibly occur. We are committed to consistently expanding our knowledge on how to properly nurture the dogs we come across. We will be hosting meet-ups in the near future and dropping our first collection for our product side of the business — Fuzz + Ruffles.

Where we are in life is often partly because of others. Who/what else deserves credit for how your story turned out?
We truly have the best clients ever. Some of the sweetest and kindest individuals we have ever met. Not to mention! They also have the best dogs in the world! We are extremely grateful to have genuine people in our lives who support our dreams. Encouragement from others will never go unnoticed. We love our AZ dog community!

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Stephanie Smelser of Luv Luxe Photography (IG Link:

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