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The Little Animal Co.

Home > Adelaide > Animals and Wildlife | Dog Friendly | Family | Pets | Weddings | Lists
by Bernhard Sayer (subscribe)
A freelance writer living in suburban Adelaide, taking his first tentative steps. You can see some of his past work at
Published June 3rd 2019
Furry kisses for the Mr and Mrs on their big day
So, the big day is approaching. You're planning your wedding day. What to do with your fur baby? Why should your treasured non-human family member miss out on the joy of the day? How can your pet be involved in the day too?

Claire Petersen established the Little Animal Company a few years ago purely with your questions in mind. Claire established her business to ensure that your little one (be it canine, feline or otherwise) is as much a part of your big event as you are. She'll style your pet to look its most photogenic for the photos, and even arrange whatever apparel and accessories may be required for that special final touch! (She even has a bridal couturier who will tailor-make their outfits to complement your own!) She will chauffer your furbaby to get it to the ceremony on time, and then care for it through the event and reception, and while you're away on your honeymoon too. All through the big day itself, she will be where your pet is so you won't have to fret for a moment.

Little Animal Company pet dog wedding
All dressed up for the day!

It all comes from a deep and genuine love of all animals, great and small. Her background as a veterinary nurse and zookeeper at the Adelaide Zoo, as well as working as a conservation educator, guide dog puppy trainer and wildlife keeper, all adds up to a thorough skill set that means that you can have confidence that Claire will be able to expertly care for your poodle, parrot or python. (Yes, the python bit is serious.) "I see my business as a really involved care role. I immerse myself in what I love, and what I love is animals. People know me for my enthusiasm for everything animal!"

When Claire got married in 2014, there was no question that she wanted her fur babies present in some form or another on the day. "That was quite a different menagerie. The best I could do (for the ceremony) was to put portraits of my pets amongst the audience. It felt like my pets were present. I got purposely married close to the wildlife park where I was working, and where my koala was living. So, after the ceremony, we got some photos with him and he was like our best man. He was living with us as an orphan and we wanted him to be a part of the day. The photos with them are my favourite wedding photos."

Little Animal Company pet dog wedding koala
Bride, groom and koala

From that day, Claire had people asking her to help get their pet as a part of their wedding day, and she has jumped at the each opportunity. "The business lends itself to dogs, but I'm very open to any species. If they're suitable and capable of being part of the day, I'm happy to work with them."

Jess Wight used Claire's services when she got married earlier this year. "We came across Claire on Facebook because we were looking for someone to mind our two dogs who were part of our wedding. "We've got two greyhounds. She was brilliant with them and treated them as her own. Claire fitted in so well, she spoke to all of the guests, she really blended in. You could tell that she loved her job, which was really important to us.

Little Animal Company pet dog wedding
Claire will help your pooch be part of it all

"She brought everything with her so we didn't have to supply anything. They had little tuxedos on when we came out of the church, and then when they were at the photos later and at the reception, they were dressed in more fun flowery colours, a bit more bright and colourful which fitted in well with the different tones of the day.

"She collected the dogs from our friend's place and then dropped them back there too, so we didn't have to worry about any transportation. She had that all under control."

In summary, when I asked if Jess would recommend Claire's services, she instantly responded that she would "100% recommend her 100 times over." That's quite the recommendation.

After the ceremony and assuming that you and your partner are taking off for a short honeymoon, Claire can take your pet home and include them in her domestic life. "It's a farm stay for pets! Couples really get a kick out of the fact that their pet is getting some safe enrichment in a controlled environment."

Claire's expertise is a great comfort to owners who have anxiety about their pet's ability to mingle with other animals on her farm. She'll discuss both the owner's and the pet's anxiety with you and work out the best path forward for her guest. "Animals aren't silly, and (taking consideration of their anxieties) comes naturally to me because I've done zoo keeping, I can read animal behaviours and what is and isn't working, and can keep it all positive. I'm not a yahoo just running along I employ a professional approach based on expertise."

"I'm lucky because most people who approach me, do so because they love their pet and want a special experience. The people I deal with every day are lovely, empathetic and invested in their pet, and I get a kick out of that. I want to treat them the best that I can."

She remembers the day that a couple got married with their dog Molly present. "Some people don't understand why you'd want a dog at a wedding but when you see scenarios like theirs, you don't need to say anything it just makes total sense. The love they had for Molly they were beaming. She was a poodle cross, and was so easy going to care for on the day. She hung out with me in the car and took the day in her stride. But the photos from the day show what it's all about. I had Molly, and I was like a pet Ninja, and jumped in and out of their photos as they needed. But when they were setting up they were under a gum tree, and we looked up and there was a little koala looking down at them, and Molly was looking up at it. It was like he was looking down saying 'yep, you're doing the right thing, this is what it's all about' it was a really special moment."

Little Animal Company pet dog wedding
"I feel home with animals around me. I love to share that with other people."

Based near Harrogate in the Adelaide Hills, Claire is willing to travel all around the state to assist you on your special day. "Weddings are all sorts of places and locations now, so I travel everywhere."

Prices vary depending on the nature of the work Claire undertakes on your behalf. Contact her at or on 0401 004 848 for further information. Alternatively, find The Little Animal Company on Facebook.

Footnote Claire's love of animals really shows when you ask her about her pet koala and emu. When I asked her about her koala, she immediately told me "it's amazing, it's a privilege to look after them. I do have a very soft spot for our native animals because they need a lot of help. To raise a koala was a lifelong dream and goal. He was part of the family just like having a cat or a dog in a way. Stressful, but very entertaining he used to chase us around the lounge room, he'd have his cuddles after his bottle. Everywhere I went, he went. It was glorious, and my husband loved it, and he definitely immersed himself in it.

Little Animal Company pet dog wedding
Claire and her pet emu

My pet emu well, he loves a cuddle. You apply the same affection and attention as you would to any other animal, but I tried to mimic what the father would do with him. To have the husband bob up and down (to mimic the emu father) was really just for me to have a bit of a laugh! But he got the TLC, cuddles, he had lots of interaction with us which means that he's not the normal emu. I'm fortunate that I have a farm so he got to roam around bigger areas, got to investigate with us and go for walks around the farm. Five years later he's still around he's a very funny bird.
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Why? Furry kisses for the Mr and Mrs
Phone: 0401 004 848
Cost: vary - contact Claire
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