Commitment to Safety
At Central Bark, our commitment to safety is uncompromising. Our mission is to create a clean, healthy, safe, and loving environment where every dog and person feel welcome and treated with respect, care, and compassion.
Safety is our #1 priority. That’s why we have comprehensive policies and procedures to ensure your dog is safe and healthy every day they’re with us. A proactive approach to safety is woven right into the fabric of our doggy day care program and incorporated into our facility, specially designed with your dog’s safety and comfort in mind.
Cleaning and disinfection
Deep cleaning and disinfecting
Our store cleaning procedures exceed mandated protocols to safeguard you and your pet’s health. We clean and disinfect regularly throughout our facility to ensure a clean and healthy environment. All staff follows CDC handwashing guidelines. Also, hand sanitizer and restrooms for handwashing are available to all guests.
As you know, Central Bark Fort Lauderdale temporarily closed its doors on March 23, 2020, in response to local and state “Shelter-In-Place” orders. Temporarily closing was a very personal and difficult decision for me. This store is my baby, and we’ve operated here since 2000 with only a few closings due to hurricanes. but I felt a moral obligation to close after understanding the direct correlation between staying at home and flattening the curve, combined with feedback from my staff. To me, it wasn’t worth putting my staff, their families, or my customers at risk of possibly contracting COVID-19. However, in light of new data and positive changes in the State, we’re thrilled to announce that Central Bark Fort Lauderdale will reopen on Monday, May 4, 2020. While the threat of COVID-19 still exists, we’re taking extra precautions to help ensure the health, well-being, and safety of our customers, staff, and community:-General Safety and Efficiency–We’ve moved our check-in counter to the very front of the store to support all of our efforts in keeping you safe.-Physical Distancing–You’re welcome inside the store to drop-off or pick-up your dog. However, we will limit the number of humans inside our facility to 10 or less. During high traffic times, we will have an extra staff “greeter” at the door to help monitor this. Please respect social distancing while in the store and note the 6 ft markings to maintain the CDC-recommended spacing. -Face Coverings –All customers must wear a mask upon entering the facility. All front-line staff will be wearing masks in our Market area and will have access to masks and gloves while working. -Minimal Contact Drop-off and Pick-up–We now offer a “valet” service for pick-up and drop-off. Just call or text when you’re parked outside the store and we’ll handle the rest. All we ask is for your patience at this time. -Disinfection Station–We’ve added a hand sanitizer dispenser at the front of the store for your safety and convenience.-Leash Disinfecting-All leashes will be sprayed down with a veterinary-grade, fabric-safe disinfection spray before being returned to you. -No Cash Payments/Hands-free Transactions–We will not be accepting cash payments at this time. Please log in to your customer portal at https://cbusa-oaklandpark.gingrapp.com/front_end/ to pay online. You can safely upload your credit card information to your account so we can easily check you out for day care, any other service, or for Market purchases. -Market Purchases–Please call or email us with the market item(s) you’d like to order. We will add them to your reservation and will have it ready for you to pick up. As a small business, we will be greatly impacted by this pandemic, so we appreciate the opportunity to meet your dog supply needs. It’s a great time to stock up on dog food, interactive toys, treats, and other supplies to keep your dog engaged and healthy. Check back often for new products and stay tuned for our new online store for even more shopping convenience.-Prepaid Package Expiration Extension–We will adjust all pre-purchased package expiration dates. No one will lose any pre-paid visits during this time.-Regular Days/Reservations-Our Reservations and Regular Day policies are not only important for the safety of your dogs, they’re equally important for your own well-being. Please confirm your regular day/s and make your reservations.
-Behavioral Re-Assessment-Because of the amount of time that has passed, all dogs will need to be re-assessed by our staff. There will be absolutely no charge for this, but this may affect scheduling. As we welcome everyone back to Central Bark, we ask for your help, cooperation, sensitivity and patience as we all adjust to this “new normal.” It’s our goal to help you feel as comfortable and safe as possible using our services during this uncertain time. As always, we strive to give your dog/s the very best day and to nurture, enrich, and inspire their whole lives through the Central Bark experience. We appreciate your feedback and continued support! Together, we can get through this.
Chris and your Central Bark Fort Lauderdale Team.
Dog-safe cleaning products
We clean and sanitize all play and rest areas every day – sometimes more than once a day – with veterinary-grade cleaners and disinfectants, air purifiers. This helps us ensure a safe, clean, and sanitized facility that smells good and reduces the risk of spreading infectious diseases. Dog-safe cleaning products
Our store has fire and motion-monitored security systems with keyed-in codes for staff to enter when they arrive. These systems provide 24/7 monitoring, and emergency services get notified quickly should any concerns arise.
There are always two doors between the dogs and the outside world. If one entry fails, there is a second door to prevent dogs from accidentally leaving our facility.
Indoor and outdoor play areas
Indoor and outdoor play areas help reduce stress and create an enjoyable environment for dogs to play and socialize.
Special flooring and play surfaces
We offer multiple surfaces for dogs to play on. Rubber flooring has some “give” and is less slippery than other alternatives. It provides excellent traction for our playing pups, but it’s also gentle on dogs’ bones and joints. It’s also easy to clean and sanitize daily. Turf gives dogs a natural grass feel. Both are gentler on dogs’ paws, which helps if they aren’t used to the level of activity they’ll get at day care.
Individual crate spaces
Dogs have access to their own private space, where they can rest, relax, and feel comfortable away from the group. These crates help us create a much safer social environment for dogs by allowing them to take a break and maintain a healthy balance of play, learning, and rest. It also helps dogs avoid physical injury (from over-exercise without enough rest) and provides a space for them to unwind, so they don’t become overstimulated or over-aroused during play.
Professionally equipped salon and spa
From a simple bath to an elaborate treatment, our fully equipped salon and spa is designed for all of your dog’s grooming needs.
Doggy Day Care program safety
One-day-per-week attendance requirement
A proactive approach to safety is woven right into the fabric of our program. We require all dogs to attend day care at least once a week because we know that consistency and continuity promote safety.
Ideally, dogs will attend day care on a regularly scheduled day, so we can consistently match them with the social environment they will enjoy and benefit from most. This regular weekly schedule helps your dog feel more comfortable, confident, and social, creating a safer day care environment for all. It also ensures our staff is as familiar with your dog’s normal behavior, so we are attuned to any changes.
Benefits of a consistent attendance:
- Less stress – When dogs don’t visit us weekly, each time they come is like their first day at a new school or new job, which can be stressful. This requirement reduces stress and anxiety to promote safer social interactions for every dog in our care.
- Dogs love routine – Coming on the same day every week keeps dogs comfortable and familiar with our environment, which creates a positive, predictable, and safer social setting.
- More social time – Dogs play more safely and are more social with familiar dogs they know.
- Safety all around – Our staff can keep everyone safer when they know when each dog is attending. This allows us to create playgroups that match the dogs’ play styles, preferred playmates, energy levels, and sizes.
- We know your dog – By seeing your dog every week on the same days, our staff knows them. It helps us regulate safe play and lets us know when your dog might not be feeling like themselves.
Dog Behavior Assessments
All dogs enrolled in our Enrichment Day Care program must pass our behavior assessment before joining our Central Bark family. Our highly trained staff conduct a thorough evaluation at the facility. It helps ensure that dogs are social with other dogs and people and will be comfortable with our daily routine. During the assessment, we will get to know your dog, which helps us place them in a playgroup that’s right for them to play safely and have fun. It also allows us to proactively staff so we can keep our dog-to-staff ratios low, promoting safety.
Vaccination requirements and monitoring system
Dogs who are vaccinated are less likely to become ill or pass on diseases to other dogs in our care. That’s why all dogs must have up-to-date vaccinations. We also require that all dogs are spayed or neutered by six months of age. Parents must submit written verification that their dogs have current rabies, Bordetella (kennel cough), and DHPP (distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, parvovirus) vaccinations. If these vaccinations are lapse, you will have to get them updated before your pup can return to day care.
- Rabies is a standard vaccination all dogs should have. Note that puppies less than six months old will need to receive their rabies vaccine by six months of age (or as consistent with state law) to continue coming to day care.
- Bordetella helps protect dogs from kennel cough; a common illness quickly spread in day cares, boarding facilities, and shelters. Although veterinarians don’t require the Bordetella vaccine, it’s necessary for day care. Please double-check that your dog has received it before coming to day care.
- DHPP is also a standard vaccination that protects against distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, and parvovirus.
Also, we have an operations system to help monitor and track vaccination. This system will automatically remind you when your dog is due for a vaccination one month before its expiration date. It also notifies our staff, who will tell you in person as well.
Highly trained and caring staff
Only the finest will do for our furry guests. We train our team in our unique Central Bark Training program, which incorporates the latest behavioral science and dog training principles with a focus on positive reinforcement. Included is a comprehensive training in canine first aid and CPR. Also, all franchisees are required to continue their ongoing education.
Our focus on positive reinforcement has never wavered. We continuously update our skills and policies to stay at the forefront of new advances in behavioral science and positive reinforcement techniques.
Low dog-to-staff ratio
We keep our staff-to-dog ratios low to help ensure the safety of every dog in our care. It helps us give more individual attention to each dog because we have more time to get to know them. Plus, we ALWAYS supervise play. Whether it’s a group of two dogs or 12 dogs, we never leave them unattended during group play.
One of our model’s benefits is that dogs who need a little more one-on-one time with their handlers can be placed in smaller class sizes. It gives our staff more opportunities to teach your dog, work on behaviors, and play while your dog is at day care.
Our goal is to set every dog in our care up for success with staff members who can meet their unique needs. Our low dog-to-staff ratio is enriching for your dog and our staff too!
Small Group Play and Enrichment
Small group play and enrichment groups give your dog more one-on-one time with their handlers, allowing our staff to teach your dog, work on behaviors, and play. After a balanced day of play, learning, and rest – you can look forward to a dog who is not only better behaved but also a healthy, well-balanced, and tired mentally and physically.
100% Supervised Play
Dogs are never left alone with another dog or unattended in playgroups to ensure their safety.
While playing, sometimes dogs can get tangled in each other’s collars, causing them to panic. Quick-release collars make it easy for us to disengage the buckle and defuse the situation quickly and efficiently.
Quick-release collars are better than having no collars because we can use them to quickly and safely redirect dogs when needed, especially if they become overstimulated during group play. Quick-release collars also fulfill the requirement to have a name tag that correctly identifies each dog in our care to ensure they get the food and care they require.
All collars get removed overnight when dogs sleepover to reduce the possibility of accidents, such as dogs chewing on their collar or getting tangled in. Collars are put back on when dogs get let out in the morning.
Dedicated rest time
Maintaining a healthy balance of rest and play is important for dogs’ physical, mental, and social health. Like human athletes, rest helps dogs avoid physical injury and provides a space for them to unwind, so they don’t become overstimulated or over-aroused during play. Play-breaks give dogs the support they need to stay as safe and appropriate and create a much safer social environment for every dog in our care.
Frequently Asked Questions
How are staff trained and what behavior management tools do they use in a playgroup?Our staff is trained in dog body language and positive playgroup management techniques so they can respond proactively to help avoid issues between dogs. These tools include praise, treats, and work on important Group Play Skills daily like name recall, group sits, and going calmly in and out of doorways and […]
What should I bring to Doggy Day Care?Once you have enrolled, we will need a copy of your dog’s vaccination records, which you can upload to your online account or bring with you on your scheduled first day. We also ask that your dog comes in on a regular 6-foot flat leash (no retractable or flexi-leads in […]
Why choose doggy day care for your dog?There’s no bond like the one between our furry best friends and us. We love our dogs and want to give them the best life possible. But it can be challenging to fulfill all their needs to stay healthy and happy for a lifetime. Doggy day care gives pups a […]
Do groomers sedate dogs?No. At Central Bark®, we never sedate dogs in our salon. Our expert groomers always aim to help your dog feel as calm and relaxed as possible during their bathing and grooming experience. Suppose your dog has shown extreme stress or anxiety toward grooming in the past. In that case, we suggest […]
Central Bark Whole Dog Care
Our whole dog care approach in Fort Lauderdale offers a full range of fun and personalized products and services. To promote your dog’s physical, mental, and emotional health and happiness throughout their entire life.