Doggy Day Care Blog

Why Central Bark uses Quick Release Collars:

During normal play, dogs are very loose and wiggly. They will run, chase, chew, flop, nip at and mouth on other dogs’ necks, feet or whatever they can catch! This is fun for dogs. However, in this type of play, there is risk that the dogs will get caught on another dog’s collar.

When this happens, the dogs begin to panic and try to get away from the other dog, making a tighter connection with the collar (either around the dog’s mouth, foot or neck). Our handlers need to be able to intervene quickly and get the dogs apart before injury occurs.

This is why the quick release collar is so important. Our dog handlers can easily snap the collar apart, thereby releasing the dogs involved from one another and resolving the problem. The dogs can move away from one another, the panic diminishes, and the handler can take control of the group once again.

A Look Into A Dog’s Diary (How they see the world)

Think you know some Breed of Dogs…Think Again

Here is a study by the American Temperament Test Society, Inc. on different breeds of dogs and there are quite a few suprises.

Some breeds known (or should we now say falsely known) for bad temperaments as others percieved to be friendly or passive are quite the opposite in this study.

Because of breed-specific dog legislation and negative publicity associated with many breeds of dogs, temperament testing has assumed an important role for evaluating temperament and gives pet owners insight into their dog’s behavior. It can have an impact on breeding programs and educating owners about their dog’s behavioral strenghts and weeknesses as well as providing a postive influence on dog legislation.

Labrador Retriver: 92.3%, Staffordshire Bull Terrier*: 90.3%, American Pit Bull Terrier*: 86.3%, American Bull Dog*: 85.5%, Golden Retriever: 85.2%, American Straffordshire Terrier*: 84.2%, Australian Shepherd: 81.7%, Border Collie: 81.3%, Beagle: 80%, Miniature Poodle: 77.9%, Bichon Frise: 76.7%, Shih Tzu: 76.2%, Chihuahua: 68.3%.

Don’t Pass on Getting Your Dog’s Teeth Cleaned!

Dogs need dental care, too! Unfortunately, dental hygiene for dogs is sometimes overlooked. Many people seem to just expect dogs to have bad breath, and few people brush their dogs’ teeth frequently enough. Much like fitness and grooming, dental hygiene is an important part of your dog’s overall health.  Help keep your dog healthy and don’t forget his teeth!

Keeping an eye on their teeth will help avoid severe dental disease. The best way to keep track of your dog’s teeth is to look at them on a regular basis and be able to detect warning signs early. To inspect your dog’s teeth, lift the lips all around the mouth, looking at the front and back teeth as closely as possible. Be gentle and use common sense as they most likely will not like this examine. Your veterinarian will also take a look at your dog’s teeth during routine examinations, so make sure you keep up with these – visit your vet every 6-12 months for wellness check-ups. Contact your vet if any problems arise. These are some of the things to look out for:

  • Reluctance to chew
  • Increased salivation
  • Puffy and red gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Tartar / Calculus
  • Loose or missing teeth
  • Anything else about the mouth that appears unusual
  • Bad breath
  • Crying or unusual noises when chewing

Plaque builds up on the teeth and turns into tartar just like our teeth. This is one of those things that the longer it goes, the worse it gets. Halitosis, periodontal disease, oral pain and tooth loss can occur. This can sadly be just the start of other health related issues– they can also affect other parts of the body, like the heart and kidneys. The most important thing to do is address dental disease as soon as it is detected, no matter how minor. Being proactive when your dog is young can help prevent many of these problems.

Starting a dental care routine as early as possible in your dog’s life will get him used to the feeling of having his teeth brushed and inspected. Puppies have 28 deciduous teeth that typically fall out by about six months of age. Hopefully by this time you are already having his teeth examined on a regular basis. Here are some things to remember if you are going to be doing this:

  • Never use human toothpaste. Too many of us think that this must be safe and try this without realizing that it makes them sick.
  • It only takes one to two days for plaque to turn into tarter.
  • Ask your veterinarian for advice along with any other questions.

If for some reason you may not be able to brush your dogs teeth there are other options.

Research for certain oral rinses or dog treats that will help with cleaning. Hopefully between constant observation and monitoring their teeth you can avoid any problems. Also remember to make an appointment for anything that does not appear normal. By starting them at a younger age it will help out in their ability to be more comfortable and become part of their everyday grooming.



Is Getting a Second Dog Right for your Household?

Your home life seems pretty happy and almost complete. There’s just one thing you may have thought about: getting a second dog for your family. You have been a “one dog household” and really enjoyed the love and joy your pooch has brought your family. However sometimes you feel that your family enjoy a second dog.

After flirting with the notion of a second dog you must thoroughly examine the entire picture. Some things that come to mind are; size, activity level, grooming, and interaction with people and animals. Will you start with a young puppy or an adult? How much noise will the dog make and or will he have an effect on your current dogs barking and noise. Things to think about …right?

How about deciding on a breed, gender and if you have enough space for two animals in the home and yard? And one very important fact is two dogs means twice the poop. Keep in mind, doubling the pooch population in your life also doubles the food and, well, the poop.Many professionals recommend getting the opposite sex as they usually do better together. According to veterinarian Kathy Davis same sex dogs tend to fight more and one will be the alpha. This could result in more stress for both the dogs and also the people in the house.

Living with another dog of the same sex can also have a negative effect during their walks. Living with another dog of the same sex can impair a dog’s working ability, which is why many dog professionals (breeders, trainers, handlers) don’t keep their dogs together except perhaps for short periods at a time. This is probably not the lifestyle you have in mind. Chances are this is not quite what you had in mind by getting a second dog.

Take time to also check out gender differences of breeds you are thinking about. One example is toy breeds, males can be difficult to house- train, or in some cases not really possible to ever fully house-train. Breeds that have strong guarding instincts, for example a male may not be suitable for a novice or new dog owner but a female may be easier. In some other breeds you will have the opposite results.

Discuss all of your questions and concerns with an expert before you make any choice. Start by looking online and determining if the expert has good reviews you can read and feel secure about. You can contact your local Central Bark Doggy Day Care with questions and help on how to get you started.

Timing is also crucial. Some dog owners may want to get two at the same time; however this is rarely a good idea. With some dogs it may take more time to get integrated into the family and having two at once will only further complicate things.

Does the likelihood of having two dogs work out with upcoming vacations or plans? This is where Central Bark Doggy Care can truly help. Giving them both adequate play time and space along with attention is extremely important. Our team members are trained to make your pooch feel right at home. Give us a call or better yet stop on by and find out why Central Bark Doggy Day Care should be your dogs home away from


Why a Puppy for Christmas is a Bad Idea

By: Chris Gaba and Jackie Jordan


In any given holiday season, many people have visions of an adorable puppy with a bow around it’s neck under the Christmas tree. But no matter how endearing that vision seems to be, if you’re thinking of giving someone a puppy for Christmas, think again. There are a few reasons why this is simply a bad idea.

Dogs as Gifts

There are many reasons why people are tempted to give dogs as gifts. When someone displays an obvious love for dogs, or expresses a general wish to have a dog, it could be tempting to just break out the checkbook and hand over a little bundle of joy.

The problem is, a dog is a huge, long-term responsibility. A healthy dog could live for 15 years or more, and the commitment involved is, in many ways, similar to having a child.  It is a very serious decision to take on the responsibility of a dog, especially a puppy. It will take time, attention, money, and love to raise a dog right. No matter how good the intentions are, having that level of responsibility placed on a person without their permission is not fair to them, or the dog.

The Christmas Puppy

Ah, once again, “the Christmas puppy,” doesn’t it sound cute? Of course it is cute. Who would debate that? But even if someone has weighed the pros and cons of overall dog ownership and has confirmed that they are ready to take that leap, Christmas is just a bad time. The main reason is that the holidays are a crazy time. It’s more likely that dangerous things, such as tinsel, ornaments, toy wrappers, and even chocolate candies will be lurking around every corner. A new puppy will find these things, and he will get sick or hurt. It’s the nature of the beast, so to speak.

A new puppy is also especially dependent. He will need extra attention, LOTS of trips outside to become house trained, extra trips to the vet for shots, sterilization, or a cornucopia of puppy ailments that are still unknown. If it’s cold, he’ll resist going out, because face it — he’s just a baby. No matter how attentive the person who is taking on the job of being the puppy’s new person parent, they will likely be extra busy recovering from the holidays. This means they have less time — not a good fit while the puppy needs more

But They Really Want One….

There are times when a person can be reasonably sure that a person they care about both wants a puppy and has the time, love, and financial stability to take on the task. In these cases, making a contribution towards a new addition to their family can be nice, if done correctly. While Christmas time is a bad time for the actual puppy, you can still express your intent to contribute. You may get them books so they can learn more about the breed of dog they are considering. You may tell them an amount you are willing to contribute towards a dog they select, or even hand over research you have done on a puppy rescue, dog care and training facilities or responsible breeders in the area that may have puppies ready– once spring comes around.

At Central Bark Doggy Day Care, we understand that bringing a new dog into a family is a big decision that should be discussed by the entire family and planned.  After all, this is an anticipated event and something everyone involved should get excited about and rally around.  If you have questions about dog ownership or would like information on where or how you can adopt a dog in your area, Central Bark can help.  Your local Central Bark Doggy Day Care can also provide you with information about the importance of early puppy socialization and training. Click here to find a location near you.

Winter Grooming Tips

Winter Grooming Tips
By Jackie Jordan & Chris Gaba
With winter just around the corner, there are several things that dog owners need to take into account. No matter the weather, all dogs need to be groomed. Dogs suffer with chafed, dry skin during the winter months, just as humans do. The indoor heat and harsh weather cause your dog’s coat and skin to dry out. At Central Bark Doggy Day Care, we offer our clients some of the finest dog groomers in the industry.
Winter shedding
As winter approaches, your dog starts shedding his summer coat. This summer coat is gradually replaced with his protective winter coat. Shedding will usually start by mid autumn.
The importance of brushing your dog’s coat
Your dog’s coat must be brushed on a daily basis during the shedding season. By brushing and combing him, you make his skin more supple while stimulating the growth of his new winter coat. If you do not brush and comb your dog’s fur as suggested, your dog could suffer from severe skin conditions. These conditions can occur when the snow that accumulates on his matted hair causes the hair to stay wet.
The significance of professional dog grooming
Having your dog professionally groomed at Central Bark Doggy Day Care regularly helps to remove his accumulating dead skin and undercoat. Maintaining his coat throughout the winter gives him greater protection from the cold.
While his fur offers him some insulation, you may even want to consider using doggie sweaters, coats or boots to protect your dog during the winter months.
Keeping his feet groomed is also vital during the winter months
The majority of dogs do not wear anything on their feet while they walk in the snow and on the ice. The snow and ice prevent your pet’s nails from wearing down as they normally would. If his nails are not trimmed, maintaining control on the snow and ice is difficult for him. Your dog’s feet and pads also need to be groomed. The fur under his pads needs to be removed and the length of his fur around the paws needs to be short.
If his feet are not groomed properly, they are apt to collect excess snow and ice which can cause irritation and/or injury. A professional dog grooming at the Central Bark Doggy Day Care can take care of your pet’s feet and keep his nails trimmed.
Dangerous ice and snow can be eliminated with pet-safe salt
You can use pet-safe salt around the areas your dog frequents.
Things to keep in mind
•    Limit the amount of time your dog stays outside during frigid temperatures.
•    A little warm water on a rag will remove any snow that has accumulated on your pet’s fur.
We are here to help
At Central Bark, in addition to the number one rated doggy day care service in the U.S., we also offer dog training, dog grooming, a complete line of pet retail products and overnight boarding. We also offer our clients a canine cab service. We will pick up your pooch and return him home after we have completed his services. If you have any questions about your pet, please do not hesitate to contact your local Central Bark Doggy Day Care. To find a location near you, visit us at

These Fresh Foods Are OK for Your Pet

Good food and nutrition is just as important for your pooch as it is for you. In today’s Super Sized World obesity is on the rise for us and our beloved four-legged friend. Yes, diabetes is not just a human disease.

Very few of us can say we’ve always resisted passing out bite size treats, especially when we’re looking down into those big adoring eyes. Often we tell ourselves that it’s just a little bit here and there but fatty foods slowly add up in calories and in pounds. Don’t forget, a few pounds on a dog can be an additional 10-20% in body weight. Imagine how you’d feel if you added another 30-40 lbs to your girth.

Please take time to research and ask your local Central Bark Doggy Day Care what may or may not be healthy AND safe to feed your pet. In addition to knowing what’s nutritionally good, it’s also important to be familiar with the types of food that can make dogs sick, such as baker’s chocolate, onions, raisins and grapes. True Story: Foods that we take for granted may be critically dangerous for your sweet pooch.

Just like our food and treats, the same equation of high calories, fats and other bad additives are common in produced dog foods/treats.

Whole foods that are nutritionally sound for your dog and may help him/her shed some weight are as follows:

CARROTS:  Raw carrots are an excellent alternative to bones. Did you know that frozen carrots can be given to young pets that may be teething? What’s more, carrots have a high concentration of beta-carotene, which is an antioxidant that protects against cell damage by neutralizing free radicals. Beta-carotene improves immune function protecting pets from infections and illness.

EGGS:  Scrambled or boiled eggs are always a safe bet for your furry friends. Eggs are a delicious source of easy to digest protein and other healthy nutrients. Best of all, eggs are a great treat if your pooch is recovering from an upset stomach. One important thing to remember is that you don’t forget the yolks. Animals do not have cholesterol problems so the yolks are great for their coat.

APPLES:  One of the best sources for fiber and typically a favorite tasty treat for your pup are apples. Along with a slightly sweet taste apples also protect from certain cancers. Keep in mind that apple seeds may contain arsenic which can have a harmful accumulative effect over time. Simply cutting up the apple to remove any core and seeds will make this a healthy treat that your dog will love.

PUMPKIN:  This is the perfect time of year for one of the healthiest treats for your pooch. Pumpkin is an amazing source of fiber for dogs. It will help maintain a healthy intestinal lining and good nutrient absorption. If your dog has chronic digestive issues feeding them pumpkin can help with firmer stools.

YOGURT:   Want a good source of protein that’s helpful for the digestion? Yogurt is also an excellent source of calcium needed for strong bones. When selecting yogurt, pick one that’s sugar free and

contains no artificial preservatives or sweeteners. If your pet’s on a weight-loss program, you may want to consider a fat-free yogurt.

Remember, changing or adding new foods to your dog’s diet can be an adjustment on their digestive system, particularly breeds with sensitive stomachs. Always check with your vet before making changes in your pet’s diet. For more information, call your local Central Bark store or send your questions to

Central Bark & Pathways to Hope Join for a Great Cause!

Central Bark Doggy Day Care has teamed up with Pathways to Hope, a volunteer-based nonprofit organization that helps establish Prison Pet Partnership Programs in prisons across the U.S. and in several other countries around the world, in order to raise money and awareness for these programs.  Last year, Central Bark raised over $10,000 (over $20,000, to date) in support of this worthwhile organization.
Sister Pauline Quinn, a Dominican nun, initiated the first Prison Pet Partnership Program was at the Washington State Correctional Center for Women in Gig Harbor, Washington, in 1981.  Sister Pauline’s concept has provided an innovative solution to the problems facing all of the parties involved in the program: dogs are rescued from animal shelters, trained by prison inmates to become assistance dogs, and then donated to people living with disabilities. By using a personal approach, based on mutual respect and dignity, deep bonds are forged between the dogs, their trainers, and above all, their eventual partners.

The dogs are saved from uncertain futures and receive constant care and attention while living with the inmates. The prisons participating in the program (mostly women’s correctional facilities) reap the rewards of bringing dogs into their facilities as part of vocational training courses, offering inmates not just unconditional acceptance, but the opportunity to gain valuable, marketable skills for employment in the outside world.

While saying goodbye to their constant companions, who, on average, have spent over a year with the inmates before heading off to the outside world, can be very difficult for the trainers.  However, the inmates will soon be assigned another special puppy to train, which helps fill the void left by their previous dogs when they move on to their permanent homes.  Moreover, the inmates gain a sense of self-worth, knowing that the work and effort they have put into training their dogs will serve a special purpose by helping others who desperately need assistance.

We would like to thank everyone involved with our efforts to assist Pathways to Hope, especially those who have made generous donations to help support this organization.  The program could not continue without the generosity of people like you. We would also like to acknowledge the efforts of our amazing team here at Central Bark Doggy Day Care for helping make this program such a success.  Two members of our team have gone above and beyond and deserve special recognition: Geno and Dawn from our Sussex, WI and Lake Country, WI locations.
For those who would like to get involved with this remarkable program, you can do so in any of the following ways:
•    Donating dog supplies or food
•    Donating a gift card in any amount
•    Serving as a foster parent to one of these dogs until they are placed
•    Volunteering to participate in socializing one of the dogs
•    Donating veterinary services or access
•    Donating air miles for travel
For more information about this program or to learn more about how you can get involved, please visit

Fido Fest was a Huge Success!

On Saturday, July 21st 12 Milwaukee area Central Barks came to together to host “Central Bark Fido Fest” Milwaukee’s Ulti-mutt Day out!  The event was attended by over 1000 people that came out to enjoy music, food, and a whole lot of Fido Fest Fun!  Activities included lure coursing, agility demos, police dog demos, dog product vendors, paw-tography, breed testing, animal massage, and so much more!!  This fun filled day benefited the GOOD NEWZ REHAB CENTER located at Michael Vick’s former Bad Newz Kennels.  Dogs Deserve Better transformed the property from a place of tragedy into a place of hope and rescue!  This years Fido Fest raised $10,000 for the property and the money will help build an outdoor socialization and exercise area for these deserving dogs.  Thanks to all who attended, supported, and donated! You helped turn Bad Newz GOOD!!