Central Bark®
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.

COVID response

Central Bark Madison’s priority is the health and well-being of you and your dog(s), our staff, and our community. Please know our store cleaning procedure already exceeds the mandated protocol and that we remain vigilant about in-store cleaning procedures. With that said, it is still imperative that everyone follows the CDC guidelines as it relates to hand washing, etc.
We are monitoring the coronavirus situation and will alert you if anything changes per the CDC and our local government.
We know that many are wondering if COVID-19 is transmittable to our furbabies and wanted to let you know that World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) state that there is no evidence that specifically links the two.
The CDC’s statement:
“There is no reason to think that any animals including pets in the United States might be a source of infection with this new coronavirus. To date, CDC has not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19. At this time, there is no evidence that companion animals including pets can spread COVID-19.”
So, what do you do with your dog during the outbreak?
We feel very strongly that your dog sticks to its regular routine in order to keep a level of continuity they have become used to while at Central Bark. For your peace of mind, we will now offer:
• Concierge service: when you get to Central Bark, message us on Facebook. A staff member will immediately come out to your car and bring your pup inside and will bring them out to the car at pick up.
• Additional sanitizing stations at the door and counter.
• Bathrooms easily accessible to our customers for hand washing.
As a small, local business we depend on our regular customers. And, while many businesses are affected by the current situation, we typically get hit hard when travel plans are canceled or when office workers stay home. Unfortunately, it’s our groomers, day care and boarding staff that are affected by booking cancellations or reductions in service requests.
Please know that if anything changes in our current approach, we will contact you immediately. Thank you for your ongoing love and support of our small business. We love what we do and want to serve your family to the best of our ability – even during this unsettling time.
If you have any questions or concerns, you can reach us anytime at 608-663-8300 or via email.

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. 

Facility design

24/7 Monitoring

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.

Two-door rule

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.

Quick-release collars

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.

Sarah B.

Great place for doggy day care and boarding!! My pup loves coming to this Central Bark. He always has a smile on his face when he is dropped off for boarding and sleeps well after each sleepover experience 🙂

Allison H.

We just moved to Madison from Rochester where our dog Chester went to a Central Bark. The Madison Central Bark is just as awesome! Welcoming staff, super friendly, and Chester comes home exhausted! So thankful we decided to go back to a Central Bark again.

Lana N.

Very happy we found this place for our German Shepherd, Maddux. They are so good to him and he’s so excited when he gets there. You can totally tell they love what they do. Highly recommend!!

Candy P.

We've been taking our dog Crouton to Central Bark for several months and she loves it there! She seems to have lots of fun and get plenty of exercise. The staff is super helpful and genuinely seem to love dogs. It's not cheap, but it's worth it!

Francessa A.

We just adopted our dog Hero a few months ago and we've taken him here a few times for the stay and plays and for the grooming services. So far we absolutely love it. The staff are great and really take the time to get to know the dogs and listen to the owner's requests. Being a rescue, Hero has a lot of anxiety and the first couple of times we came here he was afraid of even walking into the building. The third time he remembered where we were and almost ran in, which we take as a great sign! Definitely will continue coming back for their dog day care services

Carla S.

My dog Cooper loves going to ‘school’ at Central Bark!! We got him very young (6wks) and my boyfriend & I both work full time. We felt horrible leaving him home alone! Even though we would come home on our lunch break, it just still made us feel like bad parents.Cooper has been going to Central Bark for approximately 4 months now & he loves it, & they love him too! When it’s time to go home, he never wants to leave!I love that they offer grooming services, & overnights! (Both of which we use) ! Each day they post pictures on Facebook and a few days a week you get a report card which is so cute! Everyone is very nice & knowledgeable! Having a puppy (first time dog owner, & to a puppy!!) they answer all my questions and offer suggestions, which I appreciate.Cooper especially loves Ms. Jay & Ms. Mikayla! Even the crew that allow him to get dropped off early in the morning, for a very small charge. Well worth it!! If you are looking for a daycare, grooming services, overnights, I would HIGHLY recommend Central Bark! Be assured your ‘baby’ will be given high class treatment!!

Andrea S.

Our dog loves this place!! She gets so excited when she gets there and the staff is always so helpful and all smiles. She is also so tried from playing all day we get some nice cuddles ❤️We have also done sleepovers and they always take great care of her! Thanks!

Julia A.

My dog Millie and I love Central Bark. It’s her favorite place to go besides the dog park. The staff is always so pleasant, and always remember Millie even if we haven’t been there for awhile. It’s affordable and after a long shift at work, it’s nice to pick up a high energy puppy that’s played with her friends all day. I couldn’t recommend Central Bark enough!

Emmeline J.

Central Bark is without a doubt the single best Doggie DayCamp in Wisconsin.We’ve been to other places and no one has cared and loved our BellaLuna like they have. She has become more trusting, more social, and has learned so much from her time here. 10/10 for sure!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it ok to board your dog?

Yes! When your dog spends the night with us, we do everything we can to ensure your dog has a safe place where they can […] Read More

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 […] Read More

What is the best dog shampoo?

Choosing the right dog shampoo can give your dog a shiny coat, less itching, and irritation, for a happy, clean-smelling dog. The best option for […] Read More

How can I be sure that the play space is clean, odor & disease-free, comfortable and safe for the stated capacity of the center?

Central Bark® is licensed and inspected by local government or regulatory authorities. We also clean and disinfect nightly, regardless of how many dogs have visited. […] Read More

Read all FAQs

Central Bark® Whole Dog Care

Our whole dog care approach 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.

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