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.

We serve Washington County, MN: the east metro suburbs of Ramsey and Washington Counties, in and around Oakdale, Woodbury, Maplewood, North Saint Paul, White Bear Lake, and Lake Elmo.

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Central Bark® Enrichment Dog Day Care gives your dog a place to play and learn in a safe and loving environment.

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We offer everything you need to keep your dog clean and healthy at the Central Bark® Dog Salon & Spa.

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Dog Boarding at Central Bark® offer your dog a calm night in a comfortable environment that they know.

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Our retail market offers the highest quality food, treats, toys, training aids, dog lifestyle products, and apparel.

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Our dog training professionals use fun and positive techniques to help dogs of all ages develop important life skills.

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Pet insurance is almost like health insurance for your pets. It can cover costs associated with certain illnesses or types of veterinary treatment.

How to get started

  1. Click Request Appointment
  2. Register Online
  3. We’ll contact you to help
    schedule your first visit

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Stay-n-Play?

Our Stay-n-Play program offers boarding for dogs that have not enrolled in our day care program. Each overnight guest gets a restful night’s sleep, followed by a day of play, exercise, and plenty of TLC from our staff. Stay-n-Play guests sleep and play in their own designated areas. 

Learn more about our Stay-n-Play boarding service.

How to choose the best day care for your dog

Selecting the right doggy day care is an important decision for you and your family. You want to make sure you find the right fit for your dog and your family’s needs. Follow these tips to find the perfect place for your pup! 

Tour the day care center before leaving your dog there. We recommend visiting several centers in your area before making a final decision.

While you’re there, ask yourself:

  • Is the play space clean, odor-free, comfortable, and safe for the center’s stated capacity? 
  • Pay attention to how the management and staff treat you, your dog, and the dogs in their care. Are they mature, knowledgeable, courteous, professional, and patient at all times? 
  • Note how the dogs respond to the staff – do they seem happy, relaxed, and excited? How do staff members greet and treat each dog?
  • How do other dogs act during your visit – relaxed, happy, stressed, scared, or out of control?
  • Is there a great deal of noise? 
  • Does the facility seem well organized and equipped with essential tools and supplies? Look for access to fresh, clean water, sanitation tools, ready access to treats to reinforce good behavior in playgroups, toys, secure fencing, rubber flooring in the inside play spaces, and access to outdoor play spaces.
  • Are there enough crates for every dog on-site in case of an emergency?
  • Are the dogs ever left alone together without a staff member present?
  • Are the handlers engaged with the dogs in their care and actively working with them? Or are they sitting on the sidelines? 

Questions to ask the doggy day care provider:

  1. Will my dog get individual attention time with staff?
    Ask if staff will have time to work individually with your dog on behaviors, play with them, and give them support and love while at day care.
  2. Are there small group play options?
    Small playgroup options help ensure your dog will have a social environment that allows them the freedom and comfort to thrive based on their unique needs, preferences, and play styles. 
  3. What’s the daily schedule? Is this tailored to my dog’s unique needs and preferences?
    Dogs thrive on routine, so the center should have a clear schedule for how things run every day. A consistent program tailored to your dog’s individual needs and style will promote a healthy and happy dog. 
  4. Are there regularly scheduled playtimes and nap times throughout the day?
    Day care should offer your dog a safe and balanced day of play, learning, rest, and love so you can look forward to a happy, well-balanced dog at the end of every day. 
  5. How and where are the dogs’ given downtime to wind down from the day’s activities to help prevent exhaustion and overstimulation?
    Maintaining a healthy balance of rest and play is important for the physical, mental, and social health of dogs. Just like human athletes, rest helps dogs avoid bodily injury and provides a space for them to unwind, so they do not become over-stimulated or over-aroused during play. This creates a much safer social environment for dogs. 
  6. Are there fenced and secure outdoor play areas? 
    Safe outdoor areas are important for a healthy, fun playtime. Whether it is romping in the snow or playing in swimming pools, everyone loves recess outside!
  7. How are new dog introductions handled?
    The center should clearly outline their procedures around new dog introductions, with effective policies that encourage happy, healthy, and lasting relationships and experiences.   
  8. What training does the staff receive?
    Doggy day care staff should be professionally trained and educated in animal behavior, socialization, and obedience training to ensure every dog’s well-being.  
  9. Are the dogs supervised at all times?
    A trained staff member should ALWAYS supervise dogs.
  10. Ask about behavior management tools used at the facility while caring for the dogs. What happens if your dog does something right? What happens if your dog does something wrong?
    Staff should use positive reinforcement and reward-based techniques to develop and reinforce behaviors that will enrich dogs’ lives at home and day care. Avoid centers that use punishment or correction to manage dog’s behavior as those techniques can create negative associations and fear. Utilizing reward-based techniques and positive reinforcement, on the other hand, can help build healthy relationships and happy experiences.
  11. What provisions are there for avoiding dog scuffles?
    Ask staff how they manage the dogs in their care. What do they look for in dog-dog interactions? How do they deal with emergencies and scuffles? How do they interrupt and redirect dogs? How do they build useful playgroup skills to keep the dogs safe proactively? Pay attention to how staff redirects dogs who need additional support to stay safe and whether they respond promptly and use effective strategies in these situations.
  12. Is there an in-depth interview to determine relevant background, behavioral, and health information including confirmation of spay/neuter, proof of vaccinations, flea and tick prevention, etc.? How is this information kept up to date?
    Find out what kind of assessments and evaluations the center uses before they accept a new dog. Also, every dog’s information should be regularly updated and kept on file to prevent illness and injuries.
  13. Do they have safety, cleaning, and disinfecting policies and procedures? What are they?

Learn more about Enrichment Doggy Day Care.

What’s a Behavior Assessment and why is it important?

As part of joining the Central Bark® family, our expert staff conducts a thorough behavior assessment at your local Central Bark store. These assessments help ensure that your dog is placed with a playgroup they’re comfortable with so they can play safely every day they’re with us.

This four-day evaluation, while your dog participates in our Enrichment Day Care, assesses your dog’s:

  • Comfort and social skills with people 
  • Social skills and playstyle with other dogs to help determine the playgroup and play schedule they can benefit from the most
  • Comfort in both indoor and outdoor play spaces
  • Comfort in rest areas and a crate 
  • Ability to share resources like water and toys in social settings
  • Level of comfort taking treats in social settings

This process gives us a chance to get to know you and your dog while your dog gets acquainted with their new favorite place away from home. Through the entire four days, your dog’s comfort and safety is our top priority.

Once your pup passes all the behavior assessment elements, you are welcome to sign up for any of our daycare services or a sleepover!

To schedule a Behavior Assessment for your dog, please contact your local store.

NOTEPlease bring all required signed forms, vaccination proof, and a collar and leash for your behavior assessment.

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 the lobby) and a quick-release collar. Not sure what a quick-release collar is? No problem! We’ll be happy to show you on your first day. If your dog usually wears a harness while walking, you’re welcome to bring that as well.

If your dog typically eats a midday meal, you can bring it in an airtight container clearly labeled with your dog’s first and last names. 

Learn more about Enrichment Doggy Day Care.

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