Please browse our frequently asked questions, and feel free to call us if your question is not answered here. We are always here to help!


Do you offer discounts for extended stays?

Generally, we do not give discounts unless there are extenuating circumstances. These are handled on a case-by-case basis and decided by the business owner.

Are free baths given at the end of boarding?

No, we do not offer free baths at the end of boarding stays. Paws and Claws takes a number of measures to prevent the kennels, and therefore the dogs, from becoming smelly, with heated floors to ensure they stay dry, and frequent potty times to prevent accidents. We find that this keeps them from smelling like "the kennel,” limiting the need for baths.

What do you do if a dog becomes injured or sick while staying with you?

If a dog becomes sick or injured while staying with us, we contact an owner, manager, or lead as soon as possible. They will assess the severity of an injury or illness and will decide how to proceed from there. If it is obviously something more urgent, we call your regular vet or Oakwood Hills Animal Hospital about being seen as soon as possible. (If your regular vet is outside of the Chippewa Valley, we will default to Oakwood Hills Animal Hospital.)

You're all booked up! Can you recommend another place for me to board my pet?

No, we can't guarantee the quality of other places and are unable to ensure you would be happy elsewhere.

What type of collar/harness should I bring my dog in with?

Whilst at our facility we use slip-leads to move dogs around. Pinch collars, choke chains, harnesses, e-collars, etc will be removed during their stay. You're free to bring your dog on whatever collar/harness/leash you usually use, we will keep it during their stay, and return the dog to you using your usual collar/harness/leash.

What if my pet's bed/blanket/toys become soiled?

We have both a washer and dryer; anything that becomes soiled will be washed unless we are otherwise instructed by you.

My pet's food must be refrigerated/frozen, is that all right?

We have a fridge and freezer if anything needs to be refrigerated or frozen. Please bring only what your pet will need as we don't have a lot of room for extras.

What does the daily schedule there look like?

7-9:30 am→ Everyone goes outside to potty right away at 7. While they’re outside, inside kennels are cleaned as needed and breakfast is dispersed. After eating everyone gets time to relax and let their food settle.

9:30 am-2 pm→ Playtimes and daily cleaning begin, everyone goes out to potty again around noon, and lunch is dispersed.

2-7 pm→ Playtimes and daily cleaning continue until all is complete, everyone goes outside to potty at 5:30. While they’re outside, inside kennels are cleaned as needed and dinner is dispersed.

7-9 pm→ Everyone begins winding down for the night. Everyone starts going outside to potty for the last time around 8:15.


Should I leave my dog’s hair longer in the winter?

Even with Eau Claire winters, we do not generally recommend leaving the hair longer. Longer hair tangles very easily when it gets damp from going out in the snow. If the owner is not diligent about combing the dog every time it gets damp, mats can become severe, creating the necessity to shave the dog, and defeating the whole purpose of leaving the hair long to start with. As long as they are an inside dog, they should be able to handle winter with their normal grooming. Additionally, if a dog wears a sweater on a regular basis, this can create a lot of matting as well.

Can you brush out my matted dog?

Dog hair tends to form mats at the skin, and the only way to fix this type of matting is to cut very close to the skin. It is generally easier on the dog to shave these mats than to try and comb them out, which can be very painful. Once your matted dog has been shaved, they still need to be brought in within the recommended number of weeks in order to prevent further matting and maintain what the dog has. Shaving them is really just putting them back to square one, giving the dog and owner a good starting point.

Can you shave my golden retriever/husky/shepherd?

It is our policy not to shave Double Coated Dogs (i.e. golden retrievers, huskies, labs, Australian shepherds, etc). The top coat (coarser hair) actually protects the dog from the heat and sun; the fuzzy undercoat acts as a layer of insulation keeping them cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The best remedy is to brush out as much undercoat as we can.

When you shave a double coat, you take the risk of the hair growing back patchy, or not at all. When the hair does grow back, it is usually thicker and fuzzier, so the groomer will need to shave shorter and shorter each time, which can cause clipper burn.

Help! My dog got sprayed by a skunk!

If your dog gets sprayed by a skunk, here are our recommendations for the best way to handle it.

  1. Using COLD water (warm water will make the skunk oil stick to your pet's fur more) rinse the affected areas
  2. Using a solution of 16 oz Hydrogen Peroxide, 1/3 cup Baking Soda, and a good squirt of Dawn Dishwashing liquid, saturate the affected areas using a washcloth or sponge (be careful not to get any of the solution in your pet's eyes)
  3. Let the mixture sit on your dog for a minimum of 10 minutes.
  4. Rinse with COLD water (again, being careful of your pet's eyes)
  5. Repeat steps 2–4

We do not take in pets for bathing or grooming that have been freshly sprayed by skunks as we don't want to send everyone else's pets home smelling the same way. If you follow the procedure above it will help a great deal, but unfortunately, there is no real magic solution.

How often should I have my dog groomed?

A good rule of thumb is the longer you want the dog's hair to be, the more often they should come in to maintain it. If you are looking for a number of weeks (to set up the next appointment in advance), 4-8 weeks is a good standard. Obviously, there are exceptions to this. Consult our groomers if you have further questions!

Why does grooming take so long?

We groom each dog individually, from the roughing in and bathing, to hand drying the dog and then the finishing touches. Time tends to vary depending on the breed, size of pet, as well as the condition of the coat.

Do you remove ear hair while grooming?

Unless specifically requested by the customer, we do not pull hair out of the dog's ears. This is because we have seen that dogs that have their ear hair pulled out are often much more susceptible to ear infections. Pulling out the hair leaves the hair follicles open, and more susceptible to infection-causing bacteria. Our recommendation, instead of pulling the hair out, is to make sure it is trimmed very short to allow for air circulation.

Regarding my dog's toenails... How do you get "The Quick" to recede?

"The Quick" grows continually, and left unchecked, will grow longer than desired and make it impossible to get the dog's nails comfortably short. Regular toenail trimming (every 2-4 weeks) can prevent this. The only way to truly get the quick to recede is to cut the nails very short (effectively cutting all of the nails until they bleed), which is generally not recommended.

Do you express anal glands?

We do not. Dogs should be able to express the anal glands naturally. They have small muscles and the tiny sacks can tear and weaken if they are squeezed too often, which can cause leaking. A veterinarian can express them internally if there is an issue.

Can I watch my pet be groomed?

We prefer that pet parents drop their pets and go as pets tend to behave better for us without their owner present.


How does your daycare rotation work?

Our “Daycare with a Difference” guests enjoy a rotating schedule of daycare, learning manners, tricks, and obedience followed by an hour of rest. The rotating schedule makes for exciting changes throughout the day and the perfect combination of mental and physical activity!  

How old should dogs be before they start daycare?

Dogs should be 4 months before we have them in for an evaluation for daycare. Daycare is a great way for your social dog to maintain their socialization skills with other dogs, but not necessarily the best way to teach your dog to be social. If you are looking for socialization opportunities for your 2-6-month-old puppy, make sure you check out our Puppy Socials!

Are unaltered dogs welcome?

Unaltered males are welcome until they are one year old. Unaltered females are welcome except during their heat and one-week post-cycle.

What vaccines do you require?

We only require the rabies vaccine to be up to date. We also highly recommend the Bordetella and Distemper vaccines but don’t require them.

How big is your outdoor facility?

Our outdoor facility consists of three outdoor play yards totaling 22,000 square feet. All outdoor play areas have 6-foot-tall fencing.

How large are your groups?

 Our daycare groups do not exceed 15 dogs. We can have up to three groups for a grand total of 45 dogs per day.

What does a daycare evaluation consist of?

Our daycare evaluation starts one-on-one with the dogs on leash. We will introduce five dogs on leash and then start with a one-on-one off leash between the dogs. We will then slowly add dogs until we reach a small group of 5. We see how the dog does in the small group and if they are doing good, we will put them in the larger group of no more than 15 dogs.

Do you separate based on size?

We do not. We break the groups up by temperament and play style so everyone will have someone that will fit their personality.

Why do you only have morning drop-off hours?

From our experience, the dogs tend to get riled up when a new dog is added to the group later in the day. This can cause issues within the group. To prevent this we only have an AM drop-off window for our pups.

Why is there an evaluation?

Doing an evaluation for a dog to do daycare or group play allows us to see how the dog interacts in a group setting which makes sure that the dog is the right fit for our groups. This ensures the safety of all dogs and staff members.

Can my dog do half a day of daycare if their grooming appointment is in the morning?

Unfortunately, we can not allow a dog to do a half day of daycare if their grooming appointment is in the morning for the same reason we don’t allow PM drop-offs. You are more than welcome to drop your dog off for a half-day of daycare in the morning if they have a grooming appointment in the afternoon. We will call or text you when your dog’s grooming is done.

How long do I have to use all the punches on my daycare package?

Daycare packages expire 6 months after the date of purchase.

What type of training does your staff have?

Our staff has been trained in Dog Gurus 101 and 201 as well as FetchFind through the IBPSA to learn dog behavior and how to work with a group of dogs. We are always continuing our education as we find more resources.

Do the dogs receive a daily report card?

We are more than happy to provide you with an in-depth report card that includes your dog’s demeanor for the day, friends, and lots of cute pictures! Report cards are $2 each.

What’s the medical emergency procedure?

Our staff is trained in canine first aid and is equipped to handle minor injuries. If something were to happen that would require a vet visit, we would first call the owner to inform them of what has happened. Oakwood Hills Animal Hospital is the closest vet to Paws and Claws, but we try to check with the animal’s own vet first to see if they can see the pet. If the situation is extremely urgent, we will take them to Oakwood Hills Animal Hospital since it is the closest vet to us.

How will your staff handle misbehaving dogs?

Our daycare staff is trained in redirection, which will be the first course of action if the dog is misbehaving. If the behavior persists the dog will then be put in a time-out to try and mitigate the behavior.

Is daycare every day good for my dog?

We have seen that daycare every day for a dog is not beneficial. Dogs can become extremely lethargic or withdrawn, along with developing behavioral issues such as reactivity. 1-3 days/week is a good rule of thumb.

What enrichment activities do you do?

We do a multitude of enrichment activities; from tasting new foods to fun photoshoots! These get the pups’ brains working, giving them a mental challenge to tire out their brains as well as their bodies along with adding variety to their day.

Is daycare the only socialization?

Daycare should be additional socialization, not the only socialization. Dogs whose only socialization comes from daycare can have issues regulating themselves during play thus being pushed to reactivity from over-stimulation.

Is daycare good socialization for puppies?

Daycare is for dogs who are already confident and socialized. It can be overwhelming and cause the dog to become fearful or reactive if they are not used to being in a group play situation. Puppy Socials are a great way to start your dog off on their socialization journey.

Do you group sibling dogs together?

We don’t tend to group sibling dogs in the same group for a few reasons. Some sibling dogs are codependent and we want daycare to be a way for them to branch out, make new friends and build confidence. Sibling dogs also tend to play rougher with each other which can cause issues in a group setting


Is your pool available for use?

Yes, our swimming pool is available! Pool times can be added onto daycare days, before grooming appointments, during boarding stays, or by appointment. We offer two packages, as well as individual sessions.
Pool Rehabilitation Use Packages: 10 visits of 10-minute sessions for $150.
Pool Recreational Use Packages: 10 visits of 10-minute sessions for $200.
If you would like to purchase individual sessions, we offer 10-minute sessions for $20 and 20-minute sessions for $25. Please contact us for additional information.

What is your flea policy?

If we discover fleas on a pet that is already checked in, we will call the owner and inform them that the pet has fleas and tell them that they can either come to pick up their pet immediately or we will give it a Capgard. If Capgard is chosen, we will wait 30 minutes until all the fleas are dead and follow up with a bath in a natural flea shampoo. Please note that additional fees will apply if we have to give the Capgard and a flea bath. The client will need to follow up with a flea treatment (preferably an oral treatment like NexGard). We do not recommend a topical flea treatment, since those are spread through the oils in the coat, which were stripped by the flea bath.

If a client calls and says their dog has fleas, we cannot accept them here until two weeks after flea treatment has been started. They will also want to treat their other pets and possibly their house (depending on the extent of the fleas). A veterinarian will have the most effective treatments for the pets; flea bombs for their house can be purchased at Pet Food Plus.

Everything For Your Pet But The Vet Experience the difference with our large outdoor yards, home-like bathroom schedule, indoor/outdoor room setup, small playgroups, detailed grooming, and "Daycare with a Difference" which combines mental stimulation and basic training along with regular daycare. We also offer training classes through No Limits Canine. We’ll make your pet’s daycare, boarding, and grooming experience the very best!
The facility is clean and professional and the staff was super friendly!— Sierra H.
Our Location 3820 Old Town Hall Rd.
Eau Claire, WI 54701
Pet Supplies Visit Pet Food Plus, our pet supplies store, or shop online for food, toys, and more!
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