Proper Techniques to Groom Your Dog

Posted by Pack Leader | Posted in Dog Grooming, grooming

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Customers in need of dog grooming in Seattle often wonder how they can maintain their canine’s fabulous looks in between professional appointments. Fortunately, our knowledgeable pet lovers have some great tips, and we will bring a few basics to your attention here.

Start Small

The first home beauty treatments should be short. Beginning with a 5- or 10-minute session will allow your furry friend to adjust to this new experience.

Keep Tangles at Bay

One simple and enjoyable treatment is the brushing of your dog’s coat. This may need to be done daily if he or she has a long or easily matted coat. Short, smooth fur may only need to be brushed weekly.

Bathe Sparingly

Keep the bath sessions to every few months unless your pal is truly dirty, and use appropriate pet shampoo. This will prevent skin irritation.

Watch the Nails

One tricky aspect of canine care is the clipping of the nails. This may be best left to professionals, but if you would like to do it yourself, purchase high-quality dog clippers, and follow the directions faithfully. Note that dog nails contain a vein that can easily be nicked if the cutting is not done carefully.

With these grooming tips, Fido will be looking and feeling fabulous. Use these “spa” treatments as a relaxing bonding time for you both.

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Benefits of Dog Day Care

Posted by Pack Leader | Posted in daycare, dog daycare, Dog Daycare, doggie daycare

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We all want our dogs to be happy, healthy, and energetic. Seeing our beloved pets happy and active eases a multitude of worries about their long-term health and well-being. However, it can be hard to give them all the time, attention, and interaction they need to stay healthy if you have a full-time job and responsibilities. It can be exhausting to come home from work every day and put in hours of walks and playing so that your pup gets all the exercise and interaction that it needs. Looking for a solution? Doggy day care in Seattle or your home town might be it! Read on for some of the benefits.


If raised around a lot of other dogs, your pup will naturally learn how to interact with playmates and be a friendlier, more outgoing dog. This can solve the problem often seen with dogs that are never socialized when they are threatening or intimidated around other dogs. This is especially good if you want to ease your dog into introducing a new dog or even a baby into your household.

Exercise and Playtime

Dogs have huge amounts of energy when they’re healthy, and to keep them that way you need to make sure they get their exercise! Often, just having a dog walker come by doesn’t cut it–most pups need interaction and playtime all day long to get the amount they need. If you don’t have the time and energy to give your pup all the energy it takes, you can rest easy knowing that your pet is getting all the playtime needed at day care.

Medical Attention

If your dog is getting elderly and needs some more attention in the form of medication and special care, many dog day cares can help out by administering medication and care.

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5 Insider Tips to Boarding your Dog

Posted by Pack Leader | Posted in Boarding, Dog boarding, Dog Boarding, Dog Boarding, dog daycare, Dog Daycare, Dog Hotel, dog kennel, doggie daycare, Kennels, tips

Memorial Day has finally arrived, kicking off the summer vacation season! We have been revving up for weeks and are ready for the start of summer which means a lot of doggy sleepovers. With this in mind, we want to share with you some tips you may not of thought of for boarding your dog. Whether its your pup’s first time boarding or the thousandth time we always want to make sure their sleepover stay is the best it can be!

Vegas tucks himself into bed every night!

Vegas tucks himself into bed every night!


1. Add a Yummy Incentive

  • Sometimes dogs can be a bit pickier than usual about eating meals; the dog who gobbles up everything in sight at home, may choose to not eat meals during a boarding stay. Adding just a small amount of a ‘high value’ item to every meal will make them more likely to eat all of them. The ‘high value’ item can vary between treats, wet food, raw food, chicken broth, yogurt, etc. The idea is to add something special the dog doesn’t normally get everyday to encourage them to eat. This isn’t a fail safe trick, there are always the extremely picky eaters who won’t eat even with their incentive but it works with majority of dogs.

2. The T-shirt Trick!

  • Bring a shirt/article of clothing that you have slept in so it smells like you that can be put in their kennel with them at night. This can be in addition to their favorite bedding and favorite toy too

Donald & Sadie soundly snoozing on their bed from home.

Donald & Sadie soundly snoozing on their bed from home.

3. Short ‘Dry Run’ Boarding Stays

  • If your dog is not an experienced boarder and you have a long trip planned, the best advice would to plan short 1 or 2 night stays over a couple weeks before the long trip to help acclimate them to boarding. It’s not mandatory of course but it will lessen the stress on your pup and ease them into the long boarding stay.

4. Check in on them

  • This might sound obvious but you should always feel welcome to check up on your pet while they are boarding.

5. Time for a Bath

  • Ask for a bath or nail trim to be done before you pick up your dog. If your dog is a big player they will be a tad stinky from consecutive days of playing with other dogs.

Ask for a Bath Blog Photo

We want to hear from you!! What do you do to help you dog have a smooth boarding stay? What’s a good tip for dog owners new to boarding?

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Was Your Dog the Most Popular Dog of 2014?

Posted by Pack Leader | Posted in Uncategorized

There are approximately 83.3-million pet dogs in the United States. It seems we love our dogs. Seattle is no exception to this; nearly 63% of all Washington residents are pet owners. It’s no surprise, considering what great companions our furry friends make.

Studies show that dog owners have lower blood pressure, lower triglycerides, higher activity level, and less stress and anxiety than people who don’t own a dog. There is something about those wagging tails and wet noses that make us happier, healthier people.

All dog breeds have wonderful characteristics and traits but some dogs are more popular than others. You may have noticed a breed trend while visiting your local dog park or dog day care in Seattle. The American Kennel Club compiles an annual list of the 10 most popular breeds. Is your pup on the 2014 popular list?

1. Labrador Retriever

The Labrador retriever is America’s favorite dog and has been for the last 23 years. The lab, in its various colors, was originally bred to assist fisherman with fetching ropes and hauling nets. They are a muscular, athletic, and friendly breed and are often used as police dogs and assistance dogs because of their loyalty and intelligence. Their warmth and obedience makes them a wonderful family dog but not the best guard dog.

2. German Shepherd

German shepherds are herding dogs with high energy. Because of their strong sense of smell, fearless nature, and dependable personality, German shepherds are the leading police, guard, military, and search-and-rescue dog. They also make a loving family dog but are happiest when kept mentally challenged and physically occupied.

3. Golden Retriever

Golden retrievers were originally bred as hunting companion dogs and are most recognized for their flaxen coats. They are intelligent, hardworking, good natured, and playful. They often retain their puppy-like playfulness even into old age. Golden retrievers are pack animals and will look at their owner’s family as their own; it is important to involve them in family activities.

4. Beagle

Beagles have been gaining popularity over the past few years. They love the outdoors and often have their nose to the ground, looking for a new scent. Beagles are spunky, playful, and cheerful, and they make a great family pet. With their size and gentleness, they are fine for apartment living, as long as they get plenty of exercise and outdoor time. Beagles love to eat and can become obese if their feeding isn’t monitored.

5. Bulldog

Bulldogs were originally bred from mastiffs and were used to fight in bull-baiting tournaments. Today, they are extremely affectionate and kind. Bulldogs are very gentle but are fiercely protective of their families and won’t hesitate to use their muscle when threatened. They are people lovers and can often be found close to their owners. Their gentle demeanor and loving nature make them an ideal family dog.

6. Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire terriers, or “yorkies,” were once used to hunt rats in clothing mills and later became a status symbol for English high society. They are considered a Toy Group dog in size, rarely exceeding 7 pounds. Yorkies are a consistent favorite in the U.S. and are known for their long, silky coat and brave, energetic nature.

7. Boxer

Boxer dogs were bred for hunting large game and fighting. During war time they made excellent couriers. Today, they are known for their intelligence, powerful build, and love of people. They are naturally protective of their families and make good guard dogs. Boxers are gentle with their human companions and love to please.

8. Poodle

Poodles, known for their distinct curly fur, come in 3 different sizes and a variety of solid colors. They were originally bred in Germany as water retrievers for hunters and have been regarded throughout history as a status symbol. Poodles are exceptionally smart and excel in obedience training.

9. Rottweiler

Rottweilers are confident, hardworking, and intelligent, and they have high endurance, making them great police and search-and-rescue dogs. Despite their muscular build and aggressive appearance, rottweilers make loyal companions. They are innately protective of their territory and their family, so proper introductions are crucial.

10. Dachshund

Dachshunds have a low, long body and excellent sense of smell, making them ideal hunting dogs. They are friendly, confident, eager, low maintenance, and a great household dog. Dachshunds come in standard and miniature sizes and can have short, long, or wiry fur.

It’s clear why dogs are such popular pets. They offer love, protection, and companionship. If you have questions about grooming or boarding your pet contact Central-Bark to find out more.

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5 Amazing Things You Didn’t Know about Dogs

Posted by Pack Leader | Posted in Ask the Trainer, behavior problems, dog behavior, dog health, Dog lovers, dog psychology, dog training, dogs, Exercise, Pet diets, Training

Surveys show that there are over 80 million dogs on this earth and approximately one out of every two households owns a dog. We see them in movies and on television, making us laugh or solving crimes. Dogs are even in the news. They are used for companionship, they assist people with special needs, and they are known for being great pets and members of the family. Everybody knows that dogs are smart, friendly, and loyal, but we bet there are some things you don’t know about our canine friends.

Dogs Keep You Healthy

Dogs are being used in the care and recovery of patients in a variety of settings. Alzheimer’s patients have an easier time stabilizing their temperaments when they have exposure to dogs as companions. Petting a dog has been proven to help elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine in your body. Serotonin and dopamine are neurotransmitters that contribute to the moods in your body and help you feel happy or good. People who have struggled with depression reported feeling improvements after caring for and loving a dog. Dogs have also been known to help their owners lower their blood pressure levels and reduce anxiety.

Dogs Snore

A large number of dogs snore when they sleep! It’s not very adorable when our spouse or significant other does it, but we think it’s pretty cute and entertaining when a puppy or grown dog snores. Some dogs begin snoring when they are new puppies and some dogs don’t exhibit the behavior until they are grown and aging. Snoring can also be the result of a dog gaining extra weight.

Dogs Dream

Dogs have similar sleep patterns and brain waves to humans and a lot of recent studies have suggested that dogs, in fact, dream. Nobody quite knows what dogs dream about, but researchers speculate that their dreaming would be comparable to humans. We tend to have dreams related to the events or occurrences that take place during the day; this is probably the case for dogs as well.

Dogs Can See in the Dark

Night-vision goggles won’t be needed for your pooch. Dogs are able to see in the dark because of the structure of their eyes. A dog’s pupils are a lot larger than human pupils, and as a result, they let more light in. They also have a lot more of the cells in their eyes that distinguish light from shadow, so it’s easier for them to get around when the lights are out.

Unique Nose Print

Just like a humans fingerprint, a dog’s nose is unique. If you look closely, their noses are made up of tiny little ridges and bumps. Each dog’s nose print is as different as each human’s fingerprint. Several countries and a few U.S. states have already adopted the method of using a dog’s nose print for identification of lost dogs.

There is so much to learn and love about these animals. Whether they are helping us stay healthy or keeping us company, dogs have a way of making us feel good. Getting professional dog training in Seattle can make your relationship with your dog even more beneficial.

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Looking for the perfect food for your dog?

Posted by Pack Leader | Posted in Uncategorized

I often get asked about dog food; which ones do I recommend, what do I feed my pack, what is best for dogs with allergies? All good questions! First let’s cover how to choose a high quality food. Can’t you just picture yourself standing in the aisle at the pet food store trying to read that tiny type on the side of the bag?
(Label pictured is for Kirkland adult dog food.)
Let’s start with looking at the first ingredient. The first ingredient should ideally be the main protein that you intend to feed (such as chicken, lamb or white fish). I like mine to be whole chicken….no chicken meal or chicken byproduct. But I will offer a word of caution, most dogs that are allergic to a protein source it will be chicken. I’m just lucky and my three dogs all do just fine on a chicken based food.
Next I look at the grains used in any perspective food. I avoid soy, corn and wheat. These are the top three dog food allergens. I am usually looking for things like brown rice, millet, barley or quinoa. These are higher quality grains with more fiber. Always avoid all foods that contain sugar or salt! There is no reasons to have these non-nutrient ingredients in you pups food.
Lastly I’m looking for things flaxseed for good omegas and fruits and veggies for taste and natural nutrients.
If you find a food with these basic components you will likely have found a good quality kibble for your best friend. Also I like to think you should be able to find food with quality ingredients and a agreeable price.
If you are looking for a limited ingredient or customized food there are more choices out there now than there has ever been! I was pleasantly surprised by some of these foods that can be made to order based on your dogs breeding, age, weigh and exercise levels! Here are a couple fun sites that have interesting concepts. I can’t vouch for their products as that I have not tried either of these but I love the idea.
Happy chomping!

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Healthy treats and snacks for your best friend!

Posted by Pack Leader | Posted in dog health, Dog lovers, dogs, Facebook, indoor activities, Pet diets, Pet Stores, Raw food, tips, Uncategorized

It seems like everywhere we turn these days there are fun looking treats made just for our canine best friends. They are in every grocery store, farmers market and in mass at every aisle of your local pet store. We all love our pets nearly more than ourselves so it’s terribly hard to say no to them. But as with us, too many empty calorie treats equal bulging waists. Did you know your dog is supposed to have a waist? Well, let me tell you, they are! They should have a intent at their waist and you should be able to feel their ribs (not see them just feel them).

So with this bit of information the question is what can I give my buddy to eat that’s both delicious and healthy? Well, I’m so glad you asked! There are lots of great options of healthy delicious snacks for your pups! Some of them are so simple, inexpensive and likely already in your kitchen you’ll be shocked! Things like apples, carrots, lean cooked meat, plain yogurt, cooked sweet potatoes, bananas, cooked green beans, peanut butter (in limited amounts) and scrambled eggs. Here are a few more fun options; pineapple, Popcorn, oatmeal, peas, rice and pumpkin! Just make sure there isn’t any added sugar or salt. So with all these great options why buy expensive store bought junk food? I love giving my dogs a apple slice with a dab of peanut butter on it (also one of my favorite treats) as a treat for good behavior. This brings up a good point, one of the best things you can do for training a happy dog is make him or her work for you. What kind of work? How about a nice sit, stay or down? Dogs like to be praised and get treats, you like a well behaved dog, let’s call it a win win! :)

Here are some fun recipes;

Yummy Oat, apple, peanut butter treats
2 mashed bananas
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup of unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup of natural peanut butter

In a large bowl mash up two bananas with a fork until smooth, mix in the other ingredients. Mix until oats are moist and everything look consistent.
Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.
Put one large spoon of the mix in your hand and roll it like a meatball. Put them on a lightly oiled pan (pan or olive oil work well). Put them in rows with about 2 inches between them. Cook them for about 10 minutes or until they look slightly brown on top. Let them cool then treat that good dog!

Cool apple sauce, yogurt treats
2 cups of unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup of low fat PLAIN yogurt
1 chopped apple (whatever you have)
Put into a 1/2 cup single serve dish/bowl/cup and chill in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. Let your dog enjoy this yummy fun to lick treat.

Happy snacking!

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Another Sucessful Valentine’s day party!

Posted by Pack Leader | Posted in Uncategorized

This years Valentine’s day social was a wonderful success again this year! Of course only because of all the wonderful dogs who brought their fantastic owners! There were treats for all, everyone seemed to especially enjoy the applesauce cups. The raffle made a good amount of money that was then donated to the Seattle Animal Shelter and the shelter was very grateful for all the great food donations! We can’t thank you all enough for coming and making it so fun!
Here is a link to the photo booth photo’s They are available for purchase at a small fee on the website. There are also some pictures that I took for viewing on our facebook page go check it out!


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Central Bark Valentine’s day Social

Posted by Pack Leader | Posted in Uncategorized

Central bark will host, again this year, our ever popular Valentine’s Day Social! This is one of our most popular events! This year it will be bigger and better, of course! We will have costume contests with fun prizes, raffles, games and a photo booth for you to have your photo taken with the love of your life. Everyone is welcome as are their well behaved cupid loving dogs. This is a free event but this year to ‘share the love’ we are taking food donations for the Seattle Animal Shelter. Here is a copy of their current wish list:
Our Valentine’s Day Social will be held here at Central Bark in our Rainer playroom. This event is scheduled for Saturday, February 15 and the fun starts at 1:00pm and will end around 3:00pm. We do ask that you RSVP before February 10th so that we can be sure to have enough treats and goodies. You can RSVP by stopping in and chatting with one of our helpful receptionist or by calling (206)325-3525.
We look forward to seeing all our cute dog friends all dressed up in their Valentine’s day best!

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Posted by Pack Leader | Posted in Christmas, christmas trees, Dog Daycare, holiday, Thanksgiving, Uncategorized

Happy Holiday!
With the holidays upon us soon we will be busy with visitors and festive events. Often overlooked in all the hustle and bustle is the health and safety of our best friends. The holidays are packed full of dog (and cat) hazards from things as obvious as an open flame to things that are less obvious like tinsel ingestion. With a little thought put into decoration placement and food safety we can all have a fun and safe holiday devoid of expensive preventable vet bills.

My dear sweet mini Australian Shepard Toby is often my example of a good dog that likes to eat! Toby arrived at my house as a foster over 5 years ago. He was 11 months old and very timid and fearful of humans. Since then Toby has completed a ton of training and is now a totally different dog. But one lasting bad behavior has persists, he is a terrible food thief and unfortunately a very cleaver one! Last year while enjoying a lovely Christmas holiday at the beach Toby managed to steal a whole 70% pure cacao gourmet chocolate bar! Oh boy did he look pleased with himself. After a call to the vet it was decided to induce vomiting, which I had never done before. I think we were both a little traumatized but he did expel enough chocolate to avoid a night at the vet. Despite a little poor coordination Toby did make a full recovery as usual.

Chocolate is a tricky toxin in dogs, most of the chocolate we have around our houses is of a lower risk in causing a significant medical emergency. Milk chocolate has a lower cacao content and therefor is less dangerous for pets than dark chocolate. The tricky part though is often establishing just how much chocolate they ate. I always recommend calling your vet if they eat anything poisonous, chocolate is no exception.

Here is a list of the most common holiday pet ingestion dangers;

Alcohol; Pets will often try to sneak a drink of our ‘adult beverages’. Alcohol is more dangerous the more they the ingest (as is true in most poison ingestion). Alcohol effects the central nervous causing staggering, depressed breathing and cardiac arrest. If you suspect that you dog has helped him or her self to your drink OR if your dog is acting differently, call your vet as soon as possible.

Holiday plants; Holly, mistletoe, Poinsettia and yew are all of concern if your pet ingests them! Yew and holly often find their way into our holiday wreaths. While holly is more of a throat/intestine puncture issue Yew is often used in holiday wreaths, the Japanese yew (Taxus cuspidate) has been dubbed “the tree of death.” Yews contain potent cardiotoxins — taxine A and B — which antagonize (block) the calcium and sodium ion channels in the myocardium. Vets see some severe issues after large yew ingestions including heart rhythm issues and gastroenteritis and even death. So keep wreaths and other plan containing decorations out of pets reach!

Holiday foods; including cooked bones, fatty rich food and turkey skin can be hazardous to your best friends too. Cooked bones can splinter and puncture when swallowed. Fatty rich foods can cause stomach upset and issues like pancreatitis. If you feel like you want to offer your pets special treats during the holidays it’s always best to stick to store bought treats or make your own dog treats!

We wish you a warm, happy, safe holiday,
From all of us at Central Bark!

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