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?
photo (54) (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 http://lokidayophotography.shootproof.com/event/479751/view#a_all-mason. 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!

dog with heart & kiss

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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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Posted by Pack Leader | Posted in Christmas, Dog Daycare, Dog event, Dog lovers, dogs, events, Facebook, holiday, photography, photos, portraits, Thanksgiving

Central Bark Holiday PhotosHere at Central Bark we know how much you love your furry friends! This, of course, drives everything we do every day. With the days getting shorter and the weather getting colder it’s obvious that the holiday season is upon us. The holidays are a busy time at Central Bark! Boarding become full of cute dogs enjoying a stay with us while their humans are out of town. To this end, I remind you all make your holiday boarding reservation ASAP! We know why dogs love to board at Central Bark; they sleep in  large kennels, playing in daycare all day, go to the park Monday through Friday and love our professional dog loving staff.

Grooming is another area that gets super busy during the holidays. Who doesn’t love a clean, beautifully groomed dog? Be sure to book at least a week before you need grooming services now through Christmas! Remember we do squeaky clean baths and fancy hair cuts. I bet there will be pretty bows and shiny coats.

Lastly we have scheduled for Sarah Rugh to do all our holiday photos this year. Sarah is a dog lover and a very talented photographer. We are booking photo sessions for Saturday, November 16th. It’s coming up soon! Sessions can be booked between 11am and 3pm. To book your session call (206) 325-3525.

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Central Bark is going to be at Dog-O-Ween!

Posted by Pack Leader | Posted in Dog Daycare, Dog event, Dog lovers, dog-o-ween, Facebook, Fall, holiday, photography, Seattle Animal Shelter, Uncategorized

coladogoweenCentral Bark is excited to be participating in COLA’s Dog-O-Ween yet again this year.

Come on down for a fun day of dogs in costume, pet related booths, prizes and drawings! Genesee dog park is located at 4316 S. Genesee St. http://www.seattle.gov/parks/offleash_detail.asp?id=409

Central Bark will be handing out fun items for dogs and their friends.

I will be snapping photo’s and posting them on our facebook page so be sure to look their in the days to come! https://www.facebook.com/CentralBarkWA

Hope to see you all there!

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New manager here to serve you!

Posted by Pack Leader | Posted in daycare, dog daycare, Dog Daycare, Dog Grooming, dog training, doggie daycare, dogs, Facebook, grooming, holiday, manager, new staff, tips, Training


Greeting all Central Bark blog readers and followers!
I’d like to take a moment to introduce myself, my name is Farrah Branson. I am very pleased to be the part of the Central Bark family as your newest manager.
A little about me; I bring a wealth of experience working in and managing
local dog facilities similar to Central Bark. In addition I am a
professional groomer, apprentice dog trainer and
have lots of dog handling experience. I am also an avid dog lover and I
provide foster care for local rescue dogs.
I could not be more thrilled to be joining this wonderful team of pet
professionals! I have chosen Central Bark for it’s amazing track record and
it’s high dedication to customer service. As someone who has worked in many
local dog businesses I can honestly say Central Bark is the best of the
I have a very open door, hands on management style. Please feel free to stop
in and introduce yourself! I welcome questions, ideas and any concerns.
I look forward to meeting all of you and getting to know your beloved dogs!
I will be updating our blog and our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/CentralBarkWA. I will be
writing fun dog related stories, new health advancements and training tips.
‘A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves
-Josh Billings
Have a lovely day,

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Sample a Sport – A Dog Sport

Posted by Pack Leader | Posted in boredom busters, dog behavior, Dog event, Dog lovers, dog psychology, dog sports, dog training, dogs, events, Exercise, indoor activities, obedience, Training

The first 3 Mondays in May, Central Bark is offering great opportunities to try out new activities with your dog.  Each hour long workshop lets both explore a popular dog sport, no strings attached.  Dog sports are a fantastic way to focus, train, bond with, stimulate, and exercise your canine companion and they have something to offer for every unique breed, age, and physical ability.  Here are the upcoming workshops and some darn good reasons why you should try them…

Rally Obedience on May 6th – Rally-O is the new wave of basic obedience trainining: fun reward-based pratical obedience using instructive signs.  If your dog can sit, down, follow you, or turn right (any or all of the above) you are already on your way to aceing this dog sport.  All of the exercises in Rally can easily go from competition ring to sidewalk.  Rally broke the mold in that it allows you to praise and encourage your dog during competition and that the course is never the same twice, removing the predictablility and rigidness of old-school obedience.

Canine Freestyle on May 13th – This rapidly growing sport is an absolute blast to train and perform.  You simply create a routine of chosen tricks to music.  It lets your dog’s (and your) personality bloom, having no required moves to compete.  You can do whatever your dog and you feel comfortable with.  If your dog stinks at stay, then don’t stay.  If your dog loves to jump, put that on cue and tada!  If your dog wants to improvise, great, go with it.  You will never be docked for too much personality.

Nosework on May 20th – Harnessing the power of a dog’s nose is part of our ancient and magical relationship with canines.  Nosework does just that, by asking your dog to navigate a course of objects and indicate which objects are marked by a small amount of predetermined scent.  It engages your dog’s brain, provides a ton of enrichment, does wonders for focusing and calming hyperactive dogs, and is a natural to train.  Plus it welcomes dogs of all abilities (deaf, blind, handicapped dogs welcome).


Workshops are from 7:30-8:30pm.  To enroll call at 206.325.3525 or e-mail at info@central-bark.com




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Valentine’s Day Social & Mutt-Match

Posted by Pack Leader | Posted in Uncategorized

 Join us Sunday February 10th from 1-2pm for our Valentine’s Day Social.  Mingle, snack, and socialize with fellow doggie romantics or play to win our Most Festive Attire or Most Enticing Trick contest.  Bring a donation toy for the Seattle Animal Shelter and enter our eMuttmony Mutt-Match service (all breeds and mixes welcome).  After all entries are tabulated, the Mutt-Match results will be posted on Valentine’s Day.

Day: Sunday February 10th

Time: 1 – 2pm

What to bring: Your most festive Valentine’s Day costume and a toy donation for the Seattle Animal Shelter

Activities: Trick and costume contests, eMuttmony Mutt-Match profiles, photos, games, snacks, and more.

Please RSVP to info@central-bark.com

Can’t make it to the party?  You can still enter by bringing a donated toy along when you drop off for daycare, boarding, or grooming.  We will have you complete a Mutt-Match profile and snap a picture.  Results of the Mutt-Match will be posted on Valentine’s

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