FAQ's

Facility Questions

What makes Bark-A-Bout different from a traditional kennel facility?

Bark-A-Bout’s mission is to provide the highest quality pet care in our conveniently located, fully-equipped and accredited facility. We offer many pet-related amenities that are provided in a respectful, fun and luxurious manner, knowing that cleanliness and security is paramount to the health and peace-of-mind of our clients and their pets. All dogs enjoy their afternoon adventure in a safe, structured social environment that is supervised by trained, qualified Pet Care Handlers. The positive socialization and nurturing that takes place at our facility helps your dog become a well-rounded, healthy dog.

Can I take a tour of Bark-A-Bout?

Absolutely! Feel free to stop in any time during business hours! We pride ourselves on full transparency and are very proud of our all-inclusive resort. For the comfort and safety of pets, pet owners and staff, we ask that no pets accompany you while walking throughout our facility during your tour. Tours last about 10-15 minutes. There is no appointment required, but we do recommend calling us ahead of time to best coordinate a tour with our staff. We are excited to meet you and guarantee that all the tail-wagging fun you see unfolding will have you smiling from ear to ear.

Is Bark-A-Bout air-conditioned and temperature controlled?

Yes. All the kennel areas are air-conditioned and temperature controlled with a medical-grade air-filtration system with UV filters. Though dogs love to run in and out of our large indoor-outdoor bark park, the safety and comfort of your dog is our top priority. We monitor weather conditions closely and follow strict protocols regarding wind chill and the range of temperature we allow dogs to play outdoors. During winter, if you have a short-haired dog, puppy or elderly dog, we advise you to provide a sweater for your dog’s comfort.

How do you keep Bark-A-Bout clean?

Each of our Bark-A-Bout staff cares deeply for the pets that come through our doors.
We each pledge to do everything within our power to keep your pet happy and healthy during their time with us.

Each day we routinely:

  • Wipe down all surfaces including kennel suites with veterinary-approved disinfectant
    (doors, walls, gates, toys, bedding, floor, etc).
  • Staff must wash hands with anti-bacterial soap frequently throughout the day.
  • All water/food bowls are stainless steel (doesn’t harbor bacteria like other products).
  • Food and water bowls are washed daily with veterinary approved products.
  • Clean, circulating air flow; Bark-A-Bout has a medical-grade air filtration system.
  • We diffuse therapeutic essential oils that combat airborne pathogens.

Is my pet supervised while at Bark-A-Bout?

Yes. The safety and well-being of your pet is our highest priority, so Bark-A-Bout always maintains a high employee-to-pet ratio. Our handlers are certified in Pet CPR and First Aid, and receive ongoing training on canine behavior, pet care handling and more. Bark-A-Bout has a night staff and full-time Vet Tech on staff each day. If your pet shows any sign of a medical issue, you and/or your emergency contact will be notified immediately. For this reason, be sure to keep your contact information current within your online Customer Portal account.

What if my dog gets sick or injured while at Bark-A-Bout?

Just like little kids on the playground, sometimes accidents happen. During an unexpected emergency or sickness, we will always act in the best interest of your dog or cat. Our Vet Tech on staff will be summoned to assess and evaluate your pet. After a brief evaluation, the pet owner and/or emergency contact on file may be contacted for discussion regarding treatment. Depending on the severity of the medical issue, your pet may require a trip to the vet. In this case, for hotel guests, we offer timely transportation of your pet to the nearest available veterinary office for small fee. During your pet’s treatment, we will be seeking consistent communication with you or your emergency contact. Please keep your emergency contact information updated within your Customer Portal.

For pets whose medical issue may not be urgent, the owner will be advised upon pick-up, and a course of treatment may be sent home with your pet. Please feel free to speak to our Vet Tech and Pet Care Handlers anytime regarding the care of your pet. We understand that safety and security is paramount to the health and peace-of-mind of our clients. Our team is comprised of only the most passionate, devoted and dedicated caretakers who are enthusiastic about nurturing animals.

Can I watch my dogs play?

We pride ourselves on complete transparency. Please feel free to check in on your pet as they enjoy their stay in our care, by:

1.) LIVE WEBCAM: Log into our hi-def webcams anytime throughout your dog’s playtime hours! Visit Barkabout.net and click on the “Live Webcam” tab on the top of the page.  If you are logging in during the playtime hours, enter the password “bark”. Please know that your dog’s 2.5 hours of playtime during half days of doggy daycare, and the 4.5 hours of playtime on our playfloors is broken up into groups in order to give your dog many breaks. Your dog will still receive the same amount of playtime, however, he will return to his suite for rest and meals throughout the day.

2.) LIVE UPDATE: Always feel free to call up Bark-A-Bout at (586)566-8900 and ask for a live update about how your dog is doing.  The receptionist taking your call will radio to the girls caring for your dog out on the playfloor, and they will let you know how his stay has been adjusting, eating and playing within our resort.

3.) REQUEST A REPORT CARD: Any time your dog stays at our resort, you can request a report card through our receptionist.  The report card will describe your pet’s demeanor throughout their stay, including how the ate, napped in their suite, played with fur’ends on the playfloor and more.

4.) WATCH FROM THE COMFORT OF OUR CAFE VIEWING LOUNGE: Feel free to come into Bark-A-Bout anytime.  Kick back on the couch in our cafe viewing lounge, and watch your dog play through any of our many aerial viewing windows. Enjoy a complimentary coffee and bottled water and stay as long as you like.

5.) REQUEST VACATION PHOTOS: Pictures are available to be emailed or texted to you upon request for a charge of $5.

6.) CHECK OUT OUR SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES: Also, feel free to check out our Facebook Page and our Instagram Page for pictures of our furry fur’ends playing throughout the day.  You may be able to catch your pup in a few pictures.

Appointments & Cancellations

Do I need to make a reservation for your amenities?

Yes. All hotel, daycare, swimming and grooming reservations are created on a first-come, first-served basis. No appointments are required for our Dock Diving Pool during Open Swim practice. Please note that for hotel bookings during our holiday/peak seasons, a $50 deposit may be required. Please refer to our cancellation policies below for possible cancellation fees.

What are Bark-A-Bout's reservation cancellation policies?

Daycare Reservations: Daycare reservations are made on a first-come, first served basis. As a courtesy to our staff and customers looking to book their dog for daycare, if your dog will not be attending daycare for an appointment you have already set up, please cancel their reservation as soon as possible. There is no daycare cancellation fee. Also, if your dog has a routine daycare schedule, feel free to sign your dog up for recurring daycare.

Hotel Reservations: For hotel stays booked during peak season or holidays, we strongly encourage you to reserve your pet’s stay weeks or even months ahead. During peak season, hotel guests may be required to put down a $50 deposit. Only cancellations made two weeks or more ahead of time will be refunded this $50 peak-season deposit. For any cancellation made inside the two weeks window, the $50 deposit becomes non-refundable and will be applied towards your pet’s hotel stay. Outside of peak-season/holidays, no deposit is required, and no cancellation fee.

Grooming Appointments: Grooming reservations are made on a first-come, first-served basis. As a courtesy to our talented groomers, we ask that if you must cancel your dog’s grooming appointment, please provide Bark-A-Bout with at least 24 hours’ notice. Failure to provide a 24 hour notice will be subject to a $20.00 non-refundable deposit when scheduling your next grooming appointment.

Grooming No-Shows:  Grooming clients who do not show up for their grooming appointment and fail to call us and cancel will be considered a NO SHOW, and subject to the same $20 non-refundable future scheduling deposit stated above.

For all swim classes or swim lessons with our swim instructor: For group swimming classes and private swim lessons, a $25 deposit is required upon booking. Cancellations must be made at least 48 hours in advance or this $25 deposit will be forfeited.

Indoor and outdoor swimming pool rentals: Swimming pool rental reservations are made on a first-come, first served basis. No deposit is required, so feel free to cancel anytime.

Since you have day and night staff, can we make arrangements to pick up our dog outside of business hours?

No. For the safety and security of our night staff and hotel guests in our care, we only allow drop-off and pick-up during business hours. If an emergency arises and you cannot pick-up your dog by the close of the business, please notify us as soon as possible: (586)566-8900. A fee will be applied to your pet’s stay, but your pet will be cared for throughout the night alongside all hotel guests. For your convenience, Bark-A-Bout’s pet hotel is open 365 days a year.

Required Vaccinations

What vaccines are my pet required to have?

For pets using our amenities of dog daycare, pet hotel, or our swimming pools, each pet is required to be current and up to date on the following age-appropriate vaccinations:

DOGS: Rabies, Distemper, Bordetella, Influenza Bivalent and Fecal Screening.

CATS:  Rabies, Distemper and Fecal Screening.

GROOMING: For grooming clients, each pet must be vaccinated for Rabies.

Please click here for further instructions on our Vaccination Requirements Policy. If you would like to upload your proof of vaccinations paperwork to your customer portal, please click here for step-by-step instructions. For further questions or assistance, please call Bark-A-Bout at (586)566-8900.

Why do you require proof of current vaccinations for boarding and daycare?

We take the health and safety of your pet very seriously. Just as humans can appear healthy, pets can still be carriers of common viruses that cause illness. By requiring all dogs to provide proof of vaccinations, we are doing all that we can to protect all pets enjoying our facility from preventable diseases.

If my pet can’t get vaccinated, can they still come to Bark-A-Bout?

Bark-A-Bout always has your pet’s best interest at heart. For a pet that requires special vaccine accommodations, please consult with our Vet Tech through medical@barkabout.net or by phone: (586)566-8900. For steps to upload your pet’s updated vaccination records or titers waivers, please visit our instructions page here.

For First Timers

Are there any breed restrictions at Bark-A-Bout?

Absolutely not! Dogs, like people, are individuals. Bark-A-Bout requires each new dog to pass our Meet~N~Greet Enrollment Evaluation to ensure they are friendly in our social play environment. Our “Meet-N-Greet” program is intended to evaluate your dog’s personality and temperament after they become comfortable in their new surrounding, so that your dog can eventually earn “Full PlayGroup Certified Status” and purchase hotel and daycare packages.

How old does my dog have to be to attend daycare or hotel at Bark-A-Bout?

Puppies must have completed at least two of the three distemper vaccinations of the series, in addition to receiving the bordetella vaccine and a fecal screening with negative results. Under the guidance of most veterinarians, ten weeks is the soonest a puppy can complete these vaccinations; however you may want to wait additional time until your dog’s immune system bolsters. For additional advice, please call and speak to our Vet Tech: (586)566-8900.

Does my dog have to be spayed or neutered?

To participate in dog daycare or pet hotel, all male dogs 6 months or older must be neutered. Though we highly encourage female dogs to be spayed in order to extend their life expectancy and for health purposes, we do NOT require female dogs to be spayed. Female dogs that are in heat are not allowed in group play or our swimming pools. If your female dog unexpectedly goes into heat during the middle of her hotel stay, accommodations will be made where she will become a one-on-one. An additional fee of $3 per day will be added to each of her remaining hotel stay days, and additional sanitization fees may apply.

Will you administer medication for my pet?

Yes! Your dog’s health and safety is always our top priority!  Bark-A-Bout has a full-time Vet Tech on staff. We can administer pills, ointments, eye drops, ear drops and insulin for a small fee. Please bring your pet’s medication in its original container from your pet’s vet, and give us a thorough explanation and instructions regarding your pet’s medical condition. Please be sure to approve the food enticements you will allow us to administer to entice your pet to take their medication, shall they choose to become picky. For dogs we offer: chicken broth, hot dogs, cheese, peanut butter and pumpkin. For cats: tuna. Bark-A-Bout does not provide pill pockets.

Does my dog need to be on a leash when entering or exiting Bark-A-Bout?

Yes. All dogs must enter Bark-A-Bout on a ‘regular’ leash. For the safety of all humans and pets, NO retractable flexi (retractable) leashes are permitted at Bark-A-Bout. At our entrance you will see a stand that has slip leads hanging. Feel free to borrow one of these leads to escort your dog through our lobby. Once your dog is checked in, we will return the slip lead to its stand.

*Training collars and leashes are permitted and will be placed with pet’s belongings during their stay.

Why is it important to fill out all the application questions about my pet in the Customer Portal?

We are fully committed to making Bark-A-Bout your pet’s “home away from home” where every visit is a tail-wagging adventure. No one knows your dog better than you do. Our trained staff is eager to meet your dog and gather as much intel about their playstyle and demeanor prior to adding them into a playgroup. Once we are fully equipped with the important information you provide us in your pet’s Customer Portal, in addition to the insights we gain during our first our Meet~N~Greet Temperament Evaluation, we will be able to appropriately match your dog to suitable play group based on their play style and demeanor.

My dog occasionally likes to play rough. Is this kind of play allowed at Bark-A-Bout?

Sometimes dogs act like 4th grade boys. They tousle and bounce around just like kids on the playground. And sometimes they will end up with a scrape or two. The important key is to ensure that if rough play begins to escalate or if any dog shows signs of feeling uncomfortable at any point during playtime, our well-trained handlers recognize this body language and immediately intervene to separates this type of rough play. To the average pet owner, what looks like a worrisome brawl might simply be two dogs having the time of their lives. For dogs that bring excessive energy to the playgroup, accommodations will be made for time-outs. For the safety and well being of all dogs in playgroup, Bark-A-Bout reserves the right to remove any dog from playgroup either temporarily or permanently.

Always feel free to reach out to our fur’endly receptionists or your dog’s handler to ask any questions you may have, and to learn the steps our staff takes to ensure your dog’s ongoing safety.

If my dog fails their Meet~N~Greet, can he/she ever come back to Bark-A-Bout?

Yes. Just like humans, the temperament of a dog can change based upon circumstances or life experiences. Because of this, Bark-A-Bout requires all dogs to go through a Meet~N~Greet Temperament Evaluation. Dogs that have not partaken in our dog daycare or pet hotel for a year or more must be re-evaluated with a new Meet~N~Greet.  Because group play may not be suitable for every dog, if our group play program is not a good fit for your dog today, we may suggest obedience training or other socialization alternatives before returning for another evaluation in a couple months or year.

Why is my dog being humped?

Humping can be caused by various reasons, such as: heightened excitement levels, or a rude way of saying “I am the leader”. Or it could be a play gesture which becomes a habit over time. Regardless of the reason, our handlers are trained to separate dogs engaging in humping gestures. If the behavior becomes a frequent nuisance to others in playgroup, a small lightweight backpack will be placed on the humper and it usually stops their behavior.

Will daycare/hotel ruin my potty training efforts?

Bark-A-Bout is well-equipped to deal with all the messiness of eliminations. However, as a pet owner you may be concerned about what this means for your dog’s house training. We dedicate so much time teaching our dogs that going indoors is BAD and going outdoors is GOOD. To us, it looks so obvious – if there’s a ceiling, floor and walls, it’s considered “indoors”. If there’s grass and sky we consider that “outdoors”. Of course your dog notices these differences but the primary sense for a dog is not sight, it is smell! With so many differing scents and pheromones a dog comes across within our facility, to a dog, our resort more closely emulates the outdoors. Dogs don’t have any problems distinguishing between our bark park turf and your living room carpet.

Why does my dog come home so thirsty?

Your dog’s health, safety and comfort is our top priority.  All this playing can make a dog pretty thirsty. That’s why fresh, clean water is provided at all times, both indoors, outdoors and while resting in the comfort of their suite. We adhere to very strict cleaning standards to ensure all water is clean and free of debris, and available at all times throughout their stay.

Grooming

If my dog is staying for dog daycare or hotel, can he be groomed during his stay?

Yes.  All grooming appointments are made on a first-come, first-served basis. If your dog is enjoying an adventure at Bark-A-Bout for daycare or hotel, we will do our best to work around their playtime. After your pet’s grooming session, owners may choose to have their dog returned to their personal suite for rest and relaxation, or re-join in group play.

Daycare

What is the difference between dog daycare and pet boarding?

Dog daycare means dropping off your dog for a period of time during the day for socialization and great exercise; while you’re at work, taking a day trip, shopping, etc. You would then pick up your dog at the end of the same day before our lobby closes. Pet hotel simply means that you are leaving your dog or cat for one of more nights, while on vacation, business trips, etc. Dogs enjoying our pet hotel will also experience all the fun of dog daycare, in addition to a nightly stay in one of our many spacious suites.

I work from home. Why would I bring my dog to dog daycare?

Socialization and active exercise gives dogs the healthy stimulation they require. Dogs that are left to sit for several hours a day during the work week may become exceedingly bored, anxious or develop separation anxiety. These feelings can manifest into a wide variety of undesirable destructive behaviors such as chewing, excessive barking or howling, and even accidents. Daycare gives your dog a chance to run around and have fun, expel energy, and soak up affection and attention from our handlers. A tired dog is a happy dog, and a happy dog means a happy parent.

Why don’t I see my dog playing on the playfloor?

Playtime is exhilarating and all this exciting playtime can really wear a dog out! Just like working out at the gym, dogs need breaks too. Dogs are returned to their private suite multiple times throughout their stay for short rest breaks and meals. While your dog is resting, another group of dogs will be playing on the playfloor.  Check back after your dog’s break to watch them enjoy more playtime with their pack. For full days of dog daycare/hotel, each dog is guaranteed 4.5 hours of playtime on our play floors. For ‘half days’ of dog daycare each dog is guaranteed 2.5 hours of playtime on our playfloor. (More than 4 hours within our facility will be charged as a full day of dog daycare).

What if my dog doesn’t like to play with others?

Each dog’s personality and energy level is unique and individual.  Not every dog likes to wrestle, and some older dogs may prefer to relax and lounge around or hang out with our handlers. As each of our handlers get to know your dog’s play style, your dog will selectively be placed in playgroups that best suit their personality and energy level. Socialization and exercise is important for a healthy, well-adjusted dog, so our handlers guide playtime by cycling through periods of active group play and interaction (like fetch and follow-the-leader), followed by periods of relaxation and supervision.

Regardless of your dog’s energy level, we pride ourselves on giving your pet a positive, healthy experience at our resort. For the new first-timers or for the dogs that haven’t visited in some time, after all the fun and excitement at our resort it is not uncommon to return home tired and ready for a good nap.

Is my dog physically fit for daycare?

Dog daycare/hotel is NOT appropriate for every dog at every stage of their life.

Bark-A-Bout prides ourselves on fun, safe, active mental stimulation and socialization in addition to physical exercise and movement. However, we do not advise dog daycare or hotel for dogs that have serious health complications, compromised immune systems or are nearing their end of life. Similar to humans who go through big changes like getting married, moving, having a baby, etc, these big changes are happy and exciting, but alterations in sleep pattern and daily routine alone can cause additional stress on the immune system. Even simple changes of environment and daily routine alone can impose too much stress on a tired or weak dog. If you are looking to board an aging dog or dog that has a weakened immune system, instead, we suggest finding an entrusted family member or friend to dog-sit at your home who can adhere to your dog’s daily routine and therefore minimize any additional unnecessary stress on their system.

For all dogs enjoying our facility, we suggest adding a daily all-natural immune boosting supplement to their balanced diet. Bark-A-Bout’s Pet Boutique offers an array of immune boosting support supplements in treat form, powders and pill capsules. For additional all-natural immune boosting suggestions, please stop into Dr. Sheppard’s Alternative Animal Care Office located in upstairs Bark-A-Bout, or call Dr. Sheppard at: (586) 884-0882.

Please use your best judgment to decide if your dog is physically fit for the changes surrounding placing your dog in a new environment. If you are having doubts in any way that your aging dog might not be a good fit for our facility, please call up Bark-A-Bout and speak to our Vet Tech for professional advice: (586)566-8900.

Hotel

What is the difference between dog daycare and pet boarding?

Dog daycare means dropping off your dog for a period of time during the day for socialization and great exercise; while you’re at work, taking a day trip, shopping, etc. You would then pick up your dog at the end of the same day before our lobby closes. Pet hotel simply means that you are leaving your dog or cat for one of more nights, while on vacation, business trips, etc. Dogs enjoying our pet hotel will also experience all the fun of dog daycare, in addition to a nightly stay in one of our many spacious suites.

Does Bark-A-Bout offer discounts for extended stays?

Yes. We offer hotel and daycare packages for 10 day stays and 25 day stays at a discounted price. These packages expire 6 months after purchase. If your dog regularly attends dog daycare  consider signing up for Bark-A-Bout’s Easy-Pay Program. Our Easy-Pay Program is a hassle-free monthly recurring ‘dog daycare package’ that is automatically withdrawn from your credit card. Simply pick a package that closely matches the number of times you bring your dog to dog daycare each month and start saving!

Is my dog physically fit for overnight hotel?

Dog daycare/hotel is NOT appropriate for every dog at every stage of their life.

Bark-A-Bout prides ourselves on fun, safe, active mental stimulation and socialization in addition to physical exercise and movement. However, we do not advise dog daycare or hotel for dogs that have serious health complications, compromised immune systems or are nearing their end of life. Similar to humans who go through big changes like getting married, moving, having a baby, etc, these big changes are happy and exciting, but alterations in sleep pattern and daily routine alone can cause additional stress on the immune system. Even simple changes of environment and daily routine alone can impose too much stress on a tired or weak dog. If you are looking to board an aging dog or dog that has a weakened immune system, instead, we suggest finding an entrusted family member or friend to dog-sit at your home who can adhere to your dog’s daily routine and therefore minimize any additional unnecessary stress on their system.

For all dogs enjoying our facility, we suggest adding a daily all-natural immune boosting supplement to their balanced diet. Bark-A-Bout’s Pet Boutique offers an array of immune boosting support supplements in treat form, powders and pill capsules. For additional all-natural immune boosting suggestions, please stop into Dr. Sheppard’s Alternative Animal Care Office located in upstairs Bark-A-Bout, or call Dr. Sheppard at: (586) 884-0882.

Please use your best judgment to decide if your dog is physically fit for the changes surrounding placing your dog in a new environment. If you are having doubts in any way that your aging dog might not be a good fit for our facility, please call up Bark-A-Bout and speak to our Vet Tech for professional advice: (586)566-8900.

How should I prepare my pet for a stay at your resort?

Click the following links for a printable guide on how to prepare for an adventure at our all-inclusive resort. We offer hoteldaycare, grooming, indoor swimmingprivate pool rental and dock diving. Still have questions? Please don’t hesitate to call us up and speak to our friendly receptionist.

Can all my pets enjoy the same suite together?

Yes. We are excited to hear that your dogs love to snuggle. For families with more than one dog enjoying a suite, we encourage you to upgrade to a larger, more spacious suite. Suites are offered in varying sizes. Click here to visit our photo gallery. For families that include a hotelling cat, we offer our spacious, Feline Suite, where your dog(s) and cat(s) can rest together. This feline suite is reserved on a first-come, first-served basis and accommodates only one family at a time, so be sure to reserve this suite as soon as possible.

What if my dog runs out of food during their stay at Bark-A-Bout?

Please login to your Customer Portal and account for ALL food that is being sent with your pet, and approve any tasty additives that our Vet Tech may add into your pet’s food, shall they become picky. Keeping your pet on their regular diet is important for their digestive system. Any disruption in their diet may contribute to digestive upset.

Dry kibble, wet food, treats, raw diets, or pre-portioned home-made meals are all allowed. Meals will be left out for your pet(s) to graze on until their next scheduled meal. At the time of their next scheduled meal any uneaten food from the prior meal will be thrown out and replaced with a new pre-portioned fresh meal. During your pet’s stay if we calculate that your pet may run low on their food or run out during their hotel stay, we will reach out to the owner or emergency contact. At that time you can decide to have someone deliver more food for your pet, or you can choose to feed your dog Bark-A-Bout’s dry kibble for a small fee. Though we do offer this as an option, we encourage you to try and keep your pet on their regular diet. We always suggest packing a few extra pre-portioned meals for this reason.

No need to bring serving dishes or dog bowls unless your dog requires a special bowl such as: slow feeders, raised feeders, paper plates, etc.

My dog lost weight during their stay at your resort. Is this common?

It is not uncommon for a pet to lose some weight while enjoying all the activities and exercise at our resort. Dogs in our care get consistent activity and burn additional calories which their body may not be accustomed to.