We’re not the only ones who think our groomers are a cut above the rest. Chattanooga thinks so too! The Ark Pet Spa & Hotel was voted Best Pet Groomer in Chattanooga for the fifth year in a row. While we can’t deny that winning such a coveted award feels amazing, one look at our stacked staff will help you see why we’re the first to say that our groomers are simply the best. Learn more about our grooming services here.

ASHLEY // EAST BRAINERD

How long have you worked in pet care?
20 years

What made you want to become a groomer or work with animals?
While I was a dog bather, the groomer I worked under saw potential in me, so I went to school to become a professional groomer.

What is your favorite part of grooming?
Helping scared pets enjoy the grooming process better.

What is one thing you wish dog owners knew about grooming?
Grooming is time consuming.

Do you have any pets of your own?
4 dogs (Tuey, Nattie, Zoey Jane, Milton) and 5 horses (Blackie, Mello, Perry, Squeeks, Beau)

shai // hixson

How long have you worked in pet care?
Since I was 10 years old! My mother and grandmother were both groomers.

What is your favorite Ark memory?
Murphy and Winston are two brothers that regularly come in for grooming. Winston is deaf, but his brother stands next to him on the grooming table to comfort him . It melts my heart every time!

What made you want to become a groomer or work with animals?
I love animals and grew up working with them.

What is your favorite part of grooming?
It is so rewarding when a pet behaves great during their appointment after the owner says that their pet is difficult and may need to be muzzled.

Do you have any pets of your own?
3 dogs (Boo, Clyde, Oxy)

rachel // southside

How long have you worked in pet care?
8 years

What is your favorite Ark memory?
My favorite is when owners want a super fun groom, such as giving a mohawk to their Great Pyrenees.

What made you want to become a groomer or work with animals?
I love dogs, and I want to make them look and feel their absolute best.

What is your favorite part of grooming?
Seeing the owners’ reactions when they pick up their fresh, clean dogs.

What is one thing you wish dog owners knew about grooming?
Dogs need to be brushed just as often as people brush their own hair.

cynthia // red bank

How long have you worked in pet care?
Almost 20 years

What is one thing you wish dog owners knew about grooming?
Doodles are actually high maintenance when it comes to grooming, and owners often do not brush them often enough.

What made you want to become a groomer or work with animals?
Dogs rule and humans drool. Just kidding! But dogs are the most loving and forgiving creatures, so working with them every day is amazing.

What is your favorite part of grooming?
Definitely the dogs.

Do you have any pets of your own?
2 dogs (Bane and Appolo)

Arika // Doraville

How long have you worked in pet care?
14 years. My very first job was working in the dog kennels.

What is your favorite part of grooming?

Getting to work with all different dog breeds, honing my skills, and expressing my creative side.

What made you want to become a groomer or work with animals?
I’ve always loved animals, so I could see myself thriving in the pet care industry. Plus whenever I gave my own dog a haircut, he always got compliments on it!

What is one thing you wish dog owners knew about grooming?
Know how to best take care of your dog’s grooming needs, starting with how to brush them properly.

Do you have any pets of your own?
2 dogs (Scrappy and Diesel)


Posted by Ark Crew  | Category: The Ark Experience

East Tennessee is known for its bounty of hiking trails, so it's no surprise that Chattanooga is home to countless outdoor enthusiasts. But Chattanoogans aren't the only ones who love a good hike; your dog does too! That's why our crew has compiled this list of dog-friendly hiking trails in Chattanooga for you and your four-legged companion to enjoy. 

sunset rock overlook

There isn't a hike more classic than the Sunset Rock overlook atop Lookout Mountain. This quick hike takes you from a small gravel parking lot to a breath-taking view of the Scenic City. Like the name implies, this ledge provides the perfect spot to watch the sunset.

Pictured: Stan, an Ark customer and avid hiker, is taking in the views at Sunset Rock. This adventurous pup has explored dozens of Chattanooga's trails alongside his equally adventurous owner Frances.

North Chick Blue Hole

Care for a swim? The Blue Hole (pictured) in Soddy Daisy is the perfect spot to cool off in the heat of the summer. Take a 30 minute trek along a wooded trail to the crystal blue swimming hole or veer off at any point to take a dip in the Chickamauga Creek Gorge. 

Little Cedar Mountain Trail

The Little Cedar Mountain Trail is a 4 mile loop within TVA's Little Cedar Mountain Small Wild Area. This wooded hike has a little something for everyone including wildlife viewing, scenic bluffs, wetlands, steep climbs and Native American history.

Cloudland Connector Trail

The Cloudland Connector Trail (pictured) is a 14 mile one-way stretch through Cloudland Canyon State Park. This wide, straightforward trail is ideal for dog walking, plus you can choose to turn around and walk back to your car at any time.

Poplar Springs TRail

The Poplar Springs section of the Cumberland Trail is a moderate 5 mile hike along the Tennessee River Gorge. Some rocky terrain might make this trail a little tough for less agile pups, but this fun hike includes numerous wet-weather stream crossings, stone steps and a wooden bridge

rainbow lake trail

The Rainbow Lake Trail (pictured) is a half-mile hike atop Signal Mountain. The short trail ends at Rainbow Lake Dam - a popular swimming spot for humans and dogs alike. If you're up for an adventure, you can explore the suspension bridge and surrounding trails.

Stringer's Ridge

If you're looking for a convenient hike in the heart of Chattanooga, look no further than Stringer's Ridge. While these trails don't boast scenic overlooks or swimming spots, they sure make up for it in accessibility and family friendliness. Be aware of trail runners and bikers.

When you and your pup hit the trails, be sure to remember trail etiquette such as cleaning up after you dog and letting speedy hikers pass you. Believe it or not, other hikers might not love your dog's slobbery greetings as much as you do, so always keep your dog on a non-retractable leash. Don't forget to pack an extra water bottle for your dog and watch for signs of overheating and dehydration. 

Posted by Ark Crew  | Category: In Your Local Community

Summer is over, and your kids aren’t the only ones who wish it were longer. Your pets have adjusted to spending more time with your family, going on outdoor adventures and getting lots of attention. So before you cram your calendar full of new activities, consider ways you can help your pet ease into the new school year. 

Give Your Dog a Day Out

Let’s face it - your dog’s ideal day is not sitting at home alone. Treat your dog to a day of play with furry friends at our doggie daycare. Our daycare packages not only help your budget, but help your dog consistently stay active and practice socialization skills.

Keep Your Dog Busy

Surprise your pup with new special toy or treat. When choosing a new toy, opt for something durable like a Kong, rather than a plush or plastic toy. If your dog is a chewer, never leave them unsupervised with an easily destructible toy.

Don’t Forget to Exercise

All dogs need exercise, though the amount of needed exercise depends on breed, age and health. Take a walk around the neighborhood, visit the dog park or toss a frisbee in the backyard. If you have your own workout routine, try these 7 moves you can do with your dog.


The key to transitioning your dog to a new schedule is balancing your pet’s time spent alone and time spent with people and other pets. Bringing your dog to doggie daycare even a few days per week could drastically help your pet maintain a healthy level of physical and mental activity. Plus you won’t feel that all too familiar feeling of guilt on your way out the door every morning.

Posted by Ark Crew  | Category: Pet Heath + Wellness

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