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Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve never been to The Barker Lounge. Can I just pop in and let my dog play?
In order to ensure a safe and healthy environment for all of our guests, all new customers must complete the entire registration process prior to scheduling any of our services.  This includes a completed registration form, proof of vaccines and good health, a credit card on file, and a successfully completed Meet & Greet.  You can learn more about this process by visiting the REGISTRATION section of our website.
Will my dog be supervised?
ABSOLUTELY!  ALWAYS!  All of our daycare and boarding guests who participate in group play are never left alone.  They are always supervised.  The only time that your dog is ever left alone is when s/he are in their individual kennels napping or eating.
What's this "Meet & Greet" thing that I've read about and how does it work?
The Meet & Greet is an opportunity for us to evaluate your dog to ensure that your dog and this type of group environment are compatible.  It's an all day process during which we make sure that your dog is a) not aggressive towards people or other dogs, and b) able to manage the stresses that exist in a group setting.  

We work hard to create a very controlled environment, to give new dogs the greatest opportunity to succeed.  So we only accept a limited number of new dogs each day.  Once we receive your registration form and confirm that all vaccinations are current, we’ll contact you to schedule your Meet & Greet.  We’ll choose a day and a time that works for you.  We ask that you leave your dog with us all day long so that we have the opportunity to thoroughly evaluate him/her in a variety of different situations.  

IMPORTANT: Please plan ahead when scheduling your M/G.  If you have dates in mind that you need to board your dog, please keep in mind that we cannot take any boarding reservations for new dogs until your M/G has been successfully completed.  And sometimes there are waiting times for M/Gs.
Are there outdoor areas for the dogs, or are they stuck inside all day?
There sure are!  All of our facilities have large outdoor play yards that the dogs get to play in, all day long, weather permitting.  Come by and check them out!
Do you require reservations to use your services?
While reservations are not required, they are highly recommended for both daycare and boarding. Boarding is on a first come first served basis. We often fill up weeks/months ahead of time on holiday weekends and during the summer. So we highly recommend that you make boarding reservations as far in advance as possible.

Daycare reservations are also highly recommended. We’ll usually accept a limited number of walk-ins for daycare. But please keep in mind that we can only accept as many dogs as our facility safely allows. So walk-ins always risk being turned away due to lack of space. Dogs with daycare reservations are guaranteed a spot!
Will my dog be with aggressive dogs?
No way, José.  All of our guests are very carefully screened prior to being permitted to use our services.  Dogs who display aggression to people or other dogs are not permitted to use our services.
What if my dog doesn’t want to play all day?
She certainly doesn’t have to.  Our group play for both boarding and daycare guests runs from 7am to 7pm.  Our boarding guests go into in private kennels for their meals  and our daycare guests go into private kennels for a mid-day nap.  That is the only time our guests are required to rest.  The rest of their day is spent in play group.  And while in play group, dogs are very good at self-regulating.  Dogs who want to play the day away can do just that.  And dogs who want to rest occasionally, or frequently, can do just that as well.  Daycare doesn’t mean that we force dogs to play.  It simply means that we provide them with the opportunity to play.  And all dogs want/need different amounts of play/rest.
My dog is an "old man". 
Can I still board him at The Barker Lounge?
This one is a bit tricky to answer, as "old" is a very relative term.  A 13 year old Jack Russell Terrier in excellent health and a 13 year old Great Dane who struggles to get around, are two very different conversations about "13 years old."  

What we can tell you is that any type of boarding environment adds stress to a dog's day...especially an environment that involves group play.  Some dogs are excellent at managing their stresses while others...not so much.  And age certainly plays a role.  As dogs reach their senior years, the stresses to which they are exposed impact them far more profoundly.  So older dogs who might not otherwise experience complications with their health, very well may when exposed to the stresses of being away from mom and dad for extended periods of time, and being part of group play.

For these reasons, we ask you, the owners of our "seasoned" guests, to exercise caution when deciding where to leave your senior pets.  In some circumstances, we may suggest that we're not a great fit for dogs of certain ages.  But ultimately we expect you to consider the comfort, well being, and changing needs of your older pets.  For some older doggies, the best possible care that you can provide for them while you're away may be in the comfort of your own home with a sitter, or at the home of a family member or friend.
If you're ever uncertain about what type of boarding is best for your pet, ask us!  We'll be more than happy to help you make a well-informed decision.
How late can I drop my dog off?
We ask that all of our guests, both daycare and boarding, are checked in by no later than 12:00pm.  We assure you that there is a method to our madness.  This is not an arbitrary rule.  Our animal management program is very carefully designed to keep our guests safe and the timing of our guests’ arrivals plays a large part in those efforts.
My dog is sleeping over. How late can I pick him up?
You can pick your dog up anytime before closing time.  Please see the left side of this page for the hours of the facility that you attend.  Boarding dogs get to play for FREE until noon on the day of check-out.  Check-outs after noon will incur an "extended-daycare" fee. 
What if I can't make it on time to pick up my dog?
Simply give us a call as soon as you know this to be the case and we’ll be more than happy to board your dog overnight.
Should I bring my dogπ’s food if he is boarding?
Please do!  It is important that your dog is as comfortable as possible while staying overnight with us.  Abruptly changing your dog’s diet can upset his/her belly and cause diarrhea and other GI issues, in turn creating additional stresses for your doggy.  For this reason, we encourage you to bring your dog’s food, a favorite toy or blanket, an unlaundered shirt, or anything else that makes your dog feel most comfortable staying away from home.  Please make sure that food is individually bagged, by meal (not by day), and clearly labeled.
Should I bring food for daycare?
There is no need to bring food for daycare.  Unless there is a medical reason that dictates the need for your dog to have three meals a day, lunch is not necessary.  At nap time all of our daycare guests will get a kong stuffed with peanut butter (with the exception of doggies with dietary restrictions or their humans with peanut allergies).  It helps the doggies transition from an active play state to calmer rest state.  They love it!
Can my daycare package be used at any Barker Lounge facility?
Daycare days can only be used at the facility from which they were purchased.  They cannot be transferred to a different Barker Lounge facility. 
Can you groom my dog during daycare or boarding?
We sure can!  In fact, it is quite common.  Many of our daycare and boarding guests make reservations for baths or groomings while they are here for daycare or boarding.
Are there additional fees that I should expect in addition to the boarding fee?
Absolutely not.  You can expect no surprises on your bill.  What you see is what you get.  Our boarding price includes EVERYTHING: Play time all day long, any medication that needs to be administered, all the TLC in the world, and anything else that you can think of.
What if my dog gets sick while at The Barker Lounge?
We are extremely diligent about not allowing dogs with expired vaccinations or poor health into our facility. All dogs must be in good health and current on all vaccinations. But even with the most diligent care, doggies can still get sick while in our care…just like a child at daycare or school. All that we, as pet care providers, can do, is make sure that it is handled responsibly and transparently.

Any dogs that we suspect of being ill are pulled from group play and put into an area where he/she cannot infect other dogs, and where they are comfortable and cared for. You will be immediately notified to make arrangements to have your dog picked up and appropriately cared for.

We take the health of our guests very seriously and you have a right to expect that we will always do what's in the best interest of your pet.  We hope that you understand though, that as is the case in any group setting (with children, dogs, etc), the chances of a dog getting ill naturally increase and this is an inherent risk that you accept by using our services.
What is Canine Cough and how is it possible for my dog catch it if she's been vaccinated?
 While Canine Cough is comparable to nothing more than the common cold, it is important that you take a minute to read the information below so that you are have the opportunity to make an informed decision when choosing whether or not to leave your pet in any type of environment in which there are groups of dogs, ours included.
Canine Cough (often misleadingly referred to as Kennel Cough) is most easily understood when making the analogy to the flu, or the common cold, in children. It is an upper-respiratory disease that is most often spread through the air, but can also be transmitted on hands or clothing.

The incubation period is roughly three to ten days. This means that a dog can be infected without showing any symptoms for three to ten days. And, an infected pet may be contagious for three weeks after showing the first signs of illness. This is one of the reasons why it is very difficult to control in pet care facilities.

The main symptom is a hacking cough, sometimes accompanied by sneezing and nasal discharge, which can last from a few days to several weeks. Although this coughing can be very annoying, it does not usually develop into anything more serious. However, just as with a common cold, it can sometimes lower the dog’s resistance to other diseases making it susceptible to secondary infections. So often times your dog’s veterinarian may put your dog on antibiotics to prevent any secondary bacterial infections. This is why we suggest paying a visit to your vet if you suspect your dog has Canine Cough.

The more frequently a dog visits a pet care facility, the greater the chances that he/she will acquire immunity to the illness. So even during a widespread breakout, only a fairly small percentage of exposed dogs are usually affected.

From our experience, Canine cough most often affects dogs who are new to our facility, dogs who visit infrequently, young puppies, geriatric dogs, or any other dogs with potentially compromised immune systems. This is not always the case but rather the patterns we have observed over the years.

Does Canine Cough occur only in pet care facilities?
Absolutely not.  Since Canine Cough can be present anywhere, and can travel for considerable distances through the air, it can affect any dog, even ones that never leave his/her own back yard.

But, Canine Cough is more likely to occur when the concentration of dogs is greater such as at dog parks, dog shows, kennels, dog daycares, veterinarian offices and hospitals, groom shops, and pet shops.

Dogs can also be exposed while running loose or while being walked near other dogs, or even playing in the park…one reason why it’s important to exercise caution when using dog parks. Very often there are a fair number of dogs at who attend dog parks who are not properly vaccinated.

Can’t The Barker Lounge prevent my dog from catching Canine Cough?
While the spread of Canine Cough can be minimized by proper vaccination protocols, proper cleaning, isolating obviously sick animals, and properly ventilating the facility, no amount of supervision, sanitation, or personalized care is guaranteed to be 100% effective against the illness.

All that a good pet care facility can do is require that all guests are properly immunized, refuse to admit an obviously sick dog or dogs without proper immunization, follow responsible cleaning and sanitation practices, listen and watch for any signs of sickness, and make sure that any dog requiring veterinary attention receives it promptly.

It is important to understand that just like flu vaccines for humans, the vaccines that are used to prevent Canine Cough do not guarantee prevention. So even though your dog has been vaccinated against Canine Cough, it is still possible for your dog to contract it. The vaccine may prevent your dog from getting ill, or it may just minimize your dog’s chances of contracting it or minimize the severity of the symptoms. This too is best understood when thinking about it in terms of the flu in children. A child who attends daycare/school and has received a flu shot can (and often does) still get the flu, right?

Just as you have a right to expect us to provide the best possible care for your dog, we hope that you understand that we too, expect you to accept the inevitable risks associated with that care.

How is Canine Cough cured?
Just as in the case of the common cold, Canine Cough is not “cured” but must run its course; however, any animal displaying signs of the illness should be seen by a veterinarian. Many times antibiotics will be prescribed to prevent secondary infection, and sometimes cough suppressants will be prescribed to reduce excessive coughing.

What does all this mean for me and my dog?
This is simply information that we are providing to you to remain transparent and to provide you with the information necessary to empower you to make good decisions. We are not veterinarians. This information is not meant to be a substitute for veterinary care. In all of our years in this industry, anytime that we have ever had reported cases of Canine Cough, only a small fraction of our dogs exposed to it have ended up catching it. This does not mean that your dog will or will not get Canine Cough. There is no way for us to know that with any certainty. It is simply an explanation of it’s patterns and how it has affected us in the past.

If your dog DOES contract canine cough, we kindly ask that you notify us immediately. And although inconvenient, we ask that you do not bring your dog back to our facility for at least 2 weeks after his/her symptoms disappear.  Sometimes we may also require a letter from your veterinarian stating that your dog is in good health and in no way contagious to our other guests.

If you have ANY questions about Canine cough… If your dog displays any of the symptoms described above… If you suspect your dog of having Canine cough… If your dog is diagnosed with Canine cough…kindly make us aware with a quick email. We will answer all of your questions and help you determine the best course of action for your dog.
Can my dog get injured while in the care of the Barker Lounge?
We’ve gone to great lengths to build an Animal Management Program that is unparalleled in the pet care industry…a program that is focused, above all else, on the safety and well being of your dog. It involves not just proper group management, but also canine stress management, understanding group dynamics, proper acoustical management, facility engineering, your doggy’s daily routine, group leader assignments, dog grouping, procedures and protocols, and much more!

We also use a proprietary employee-training program, as well as continuing-education and ongoing testing for our staff to ensure quality employees at every level. Only employees who successfully keep up with our program, pass their tests, and meet carefully designed standards are permitted to care for your pets.

Beyond this, all of our doggy guests are carefully screened in order to be permitted to participate in group play. Once permitted to use our services, these dogs are grouped in a very calculated fashion that requires years of experience and Barker Lounge know-how in order to be done properly.

In other words, we take the safety of your pet very seriously. That all being said, dogs, by their very nature, are unpredictable. Despite the greatest amount of care and foresight, confrontations occasionally do happen. It’s a risk that is inherent in any group play environment. Just as you have a right to expect us to provide the best possible care for your dog, we hope that you understand that we too, expect you to accept these inevitable risks associated with that care.

When incidents/injuries do occur, you will be contacted promptly to be informed of the incident as well as how it is being handled. If at any point we believe that any dogs in our care are a danger to our staff or our other doggy guests, they will not be permitted to return.

The opportunity to care for your pet is something that we take very seriously and while it’s an impossibility to guarantee that there will never be incidents involving your pet, we can guarantee that they will always be handled responsibly and with transparency.
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