CHARLOTTE – Bark twice if you’re looking for a new kind of doggy daycare – one that’s more than just a place to drop off Fido while you’re at work. Well, look no further because Central Bark is opening Aug. 27 and it’s just a bone’s throw away from south Charlotte and Matthews.
The 7,000-square-foot facility, located at 9600 Monroe Road, has four indoor play areas, four outdoor play areas, grooming rooms and sleeping rooms with the opportunity to upgrade your pup to a luxury suite. There is also a retail shop with dog food, treats, toys, training aids, dog lifestyle products and apparel.
Central Bark has 34 locations across the country, but the Monroe Road facility is the first in the Carolinas.
Owner Jennifer Adams, who lives in Myers Park, spent 14 years in the banking industry before she decided to purchase a Central Bark. She said a major part of her decision was the franchise’s “Whole Dog Care” philosophy, a personalized approach designed to enrich a dog’s physical, mental and emotional well-being throughout its life.
As a dog owner, Adams said that’s what she had been seeking for her 7-year-old American Boxer, Annabelle.
“Everything they believed in, I felt strongly about,” Adams said.
Central Bark offers training, full-service grooming and sleepovers, but its bread and butter is Enrichment Doggy Day Care.
Throughout the day, dogs enrolled in daycare have small group play, which consists of shorter but more frequent play and rest sessions. Adams said groups maintain a 12-to-1 dog-to-staff ratio so each dog has the opportunity for individual attention.
Another activity is group play skills. Staff uses positive reinforcement, including food rewards, to help dogs develop behaviors and practice skills like name recall, group sits and calmly going in and out of doors and gates.
When dogs are tired, rest period enrichment sessions help them relax and recharge in their own private space, semi-supervised by an enrichment specialist. They’ll get calming, interactive food toys and healthy food pairings tailored to their preferences and diet.
Adams said rest periods help prevent overstimulation, which in turn creates a safer environment.
“If a dog is overstimulated, that’s when they become overtired. They become cranky,” she said. “We like to equate it to an overtired child at Disney.”
After years of bringing Annabelle to other doggy daycares, Adams said she’s looking forward to finally opening one of her own. Adams said she loves being around dogs — sometimes they can be easier than people — and wants Central Bark to be a fun and welcoming environment where they want to be.
“The reward of seeing a happy dog is certainly beneficial,” Adams said. “It’s a good feeling seeing them so happy.”
Want to go?
Central Bark is located at 9600 Monroe Road. Visit www.centralbarkcltmatthews.com for details about services and pricing. Follow @centralbarkcltmatthews on Facebook and Instagram to stay connected.