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Grooming 101 with

Some of our favorite photos of our pups are magical grooming transformations after their rescues! After you lovingly adopt one of these very good dogs, you might be wondering how to keep up their best looks at home. We reached out to our supportive partners at Paradise 4 Paws and Pooch Hotel to learn more from their grooming staff members about best practices to keep your dog in top shape!

We rescue all breeds of dogs at OTAT, which means some have fur and some have hair. Each type of coat requires different upkeep. For dogs with fur, Sandra, groomer at Paradise for Paws O’Hare, and Bryanna, groomer at Pooch Hotel, said time between grooming sessions depends on “how much fur they have, how quickly it grows, how well they take care of themselves versus how much of a mess they make. Some dogs can go 1 or 2 months without a bath and brush out. As far as other maintenance, such as nail trimming, ear cleaning, etc., 4 to 6 weeks should keep them in good shape.” If your pup has hair, they will need to be groomed on a more regular basis, typically every 4-8 weeks, taking into consideration matting or dirt that might result from playing.

Once you know how often to groom, it is important to establish a routine for your pup. If your dog is nervous about being groomed, Sandra and Bryanna said, “You can reward them with treats and/or their favorite toys. In addition, we like rubbing their ears, sweet talking to them, singing to them, and/or using pet-friendly calming oils and diffusers that aid in creating a soothing and welcoming environment.”

You can help maintain the beautiful results of a grooming session at home with some additional steps. A daily brush out is the best way to maintain your dog’s coat, but sometimes that just isn’t feasible. Sandra and Bryanna recommend breaking it up into 5 minute increments across a few days. Tackle brushing out your dog’s tail one day and their legs the next!

Sometimes you also might want to groom your dog at home. For at home grooming, bathe your dog, at a minimum, every three months. Does your pup love to roll in the dirt? You can bathe your dog every two weeks, just be sure to “use products that nourish their coat,” said our grooming experts. Pre- and post-bath, you should brush out your dog’s coat for best results.

Beyond baths at home, Sandra and Bryanna told us it’s also best to trim your dog’s nails every six weeks and clean their ears when needed. Not sure how to do that? Take your dog in to see a professional groomer. The Paradise 4 Paws and Pooch Hotel team added, “because there’s a lot you need to know in order to provide a safe grooming experience, we recommend having a trained professional groom your dog.” Your grooming team may be able to offer you tips on how to best groom in your own home.

If you plan to rely on professionals, the teams at Paradise 4 Paws and Pooch Hotel work closely with our OTAT team. They offer a variety of additional services that can be found on their sites. Thank you to Sandra and Bryanna for sharing their grooming knowledge with us!