Northeast Ohio’s Premier Boarding for Dogs
Barks & Recreation is far more than just a place to leave your pups when you can’t be with them. We believe boarding should be a vacation for your furry kids (regardless of breed) — a fun and beneficial experience — and an easy experience for you as well.
When boarding with us, your pup will NOT sit in a kennel — we want their experience with Barks & Recreation to be a vacation for them as well (and daycare is included).
Frequently Asked Questions
When it comes to entrusting someone with caring for your furry kids, we know you have questions — we’ve done our best to answer some of our most frequently asked.
To ensure that your pups will enjoy our boarding and daycare environment and be safe and fit in with the rest of their furry friends, all of our pups must complete a New Pup Assessment.
At Barks & Recreation, we strive to make boarding feel like a vacation for your pups — we believe it should be a safe, fun and beneficial experience. We welcome all dogs (all breeds) and all of our pups go through the Barks & Recreation Assessment to ensure they will enjoy our environment and have safe interactions with humans and other dogs. As a boarder at Barks & Recreation, your pup will NOT simply sit in a kennel. Since daycare is included as part of our boarding service, during the day your pup will be out running and playing the day away with his pooch pals and our coaches with unlimited access to the inside and outside facilities. Our philosophy towards daycare and constant movement of Barks & Recreation ensures your pups will never feel isolated or alone during their stay.
Of course, at times when dogs have been with us more than a day or two, the sleepovers can catch up with them. So we’ve got beds and cots throughout the facility for them to rest while still getting to be out with the pack. At meal times and bedtime, your pups will eat, relax and sleep in their own room. You are more than welcome to bring their favorite things (bed, blanket, toys, etc.) to help make them feel more at home. After a very busy day of 12+ hours playing, many dogs are ready to curl up and fall fast asleep — but it’s always nice for them to have something that smells like home so they feel safe and comfortable.
We recommend that you bring your pups’ food for their stay. A sudden switch in food – especially for dogs with sensitive stomachs – can cause them to struggle with digestive issues while boarding with us. But if you forget or if you have a dog that doesn’t mind a sudden change in their diet, we will offer Purina and Fromm brands of dog food for feedings at no extra cost to you.
We also know that you’ll miss your pups when you’re away — and we understand that there may be a moment where you just want to see how they’re doing. All of our parents have access to our live webcams through their computers or smartphones. We want you to be able to check in on your pup as often as you’d like.
Our goal is to make your pups’ stay with us feel like a vacation. We want them to do as much or as little as they want each day while still being around other dogs (and humans). And we want you to rest assured that when you trust Barks & Recreation for your boarding, your furry kids will not only be cared for, but that they are happy, loved, and having a blast.
"I could not imagine my life as a dog owner without this place!"
It is important to me as a dog owner to socialize my dog and my dog loves playing with other dogs – at Barks & Rec my dog gets both! My husband and I are both full-time workers with crazy schedules. The hours of operation are great with our schedules and we don’t have to feel guilty that our pup is stuck at home anymore. The bonus is our little guy is so tired from playing at Barks & Rec! I could not imagine my life as a dog owner without this place!
— Desiree Meister
What Makes Barks & Recreation Northeast Ohio’s Premier Doggie Boarding
When you board your pup with us, daycare is included in the boarding price. So your pups will be free to play wherever, whenever, with whomever they choose. Our facility features two different areas for your pups to play with friends their own size. The Little League room is for pups 12 lbs. or smaller and the Big League area is for all pups 20 lbs. or larger — dogs between 12-20 lbs. can play in whichever area mom or dad says is OK. And since we know some of your smaller pups love to run with the big dogs, we’ll let the Little Leaguers play with the Big Leaguers so as long as mom or dad are OK with it. And if the sleepovers start to catch up with them after a day or two, we’ve got beds and cots throughout the facility for them to rest while still getting to be out with the pack.
No Fixed Pick-Up or Drop-Off Times
At Barks & Recreation, we have no specific check-in or check-out times. If we’re open, you’re welcome to pick your dog up or drop them off for their stay with us. You can pick up your pup as late as 8pm and you will only be charged for the night.
Brothers and Sisters Are Welcome Too
When you board your pup with Barks & Recreation, he’ll have his own room to eat and relax in. That room is just for them and you are more than welcome to bring anything to help that room feel (and smell) like home (bed, blanket, favorite toys, etc.)
We understand that families with multiple dogs have their routines when it comes to sleeping arrangements. Some family dogs sleep together, some separate. We also understand that while some pups are perfectly fine sleeping in the same room, one might gobble up the food faster than their sibling — so they may need to eat separately. These requests are absolutely no problem for us — we are happy to accommodate and your price will not change.
Special Accommodations? No Problem!
We know not all pups have the same needs — and we won’t charge you for making sure your dog’s needs are met.
Do you have an older dog who has to have a nap? We’ll take care of it!
Young pups who don’t know when to quit playing hard? We can arrange a snack and rest for them too.
Medications? All staff are trained to give medications including subcutaneous shots such as insulin or allergy shots!
Special feeing instructions? We have a refrigerator-freezer and microwave so we can accommodate any special feeding instructions!
Our goal is to meet the needs of your four-legged family member – just let us know how we can help!
"Our dog actually jumps for joy when we tell him he’s going to 'school' to see all his friends! He loves it here..."
Our dog actually jumps for joy when we tell him he’s going to “school” to see all his friends!! He loves it here and we love the fact that he’s safe, cared for, and benefits from the socialization and exercise. We have boarded him and were able to bring his bed and blanket to make him even more comfy. When he needs grooming, they always make him look so handsome! The staff is very friendly, knowledgeable, and total dog lovers! We highly recommend Barks and Recreation!
— Lisa and Tim Heineman
Frequently Asked Questions
What makes you different than a traditional kennel?
At Barks & Recreation, dogs are not stuck in kennels or tied to dog runs. They are out in our indoor/outdoor facilities for daycare all day long. We also offer webcams for you to view your dog at any point throughout the day. And there are no extra charges for daycare, medications, food, etc. or set hours for drop off and pick up.
Is there a discount for multiple dogs?
Absolutely – all additional family dogs are ½ price for any of our daycare and boarding services.
Can you provide my dog his/her medications? Is there a charge?
We will provide your dog’s medications at no extra charge.
Can I take a tour?
Absolutely! You are welcome to visit our facilities at anytime during regular business hours. However, for the safety of you and our dogs, we require an appointment after hours to view the boarding/sleeping accommodations.
Can any dog come in for dog day care or boarding?
At Barks & Recreation, we do not have breed restriction and all dogs are welcome as long as they have or have completed the following:
- New Pup Assessment
- Up to Date Vaccinations
- Spayed/neutered (unless under the age of 9 months)
What is the New Pup Assessment?
Our New Pup Assessments are an opportunity for us to make sure that your dog will be safe and a good fit at Barks & Recreation. We ask that all dogs stay a minimum of 4 hours so that the dog has the chance to warm up and we have the ability to get to know him or her and their temperament/personality. When you arrive at Barks & Recreation, please plan on staying 15-20 minutes to complete the necessary paperwork. An appointment – for staffing reasons – is required. We make appointments Monday – Saturday in the mornings.
Do you turn away dogs based on their breed?
Barks & Recreation welcomes all dogs based on their behavior, ability to handle the daycare environment, and safe interactions with humans and other dogs. It is not our policy ever to turn away a dog based on breed.
What vaccinations are required?
All dogs must be current on Rabies, Bordetella, Distemper, and Influenza and confirmation from a veterinarian is required.
Do dogs ever get hurt?
Although we do our best to minimize any injury to your dog, during normal play a dog may get small scratches, nicks, or lose small patches of fur. Although rare, it is possible for more serious injuries to occur.
What do you do in case of illness or injury?
All of our Coaches are certified in pet first aid and CPR and we will take excellent care of your dog. In case of illness or injury, we quickly assess the situation to determine what plan of action to take. Our concern is always what is best for your dog and our team member. Depending on the situation, we will either rush the dog to the closest vet or, in non-emergency situations, we will make the effort to take them to their own vet. In ALL cases of illness or injury – no matter the severity – the owner or emergency contact (if the owner is unavailable) is always contacted.
Why is my dog tired when he/she comes home?
A tired and happy dog is one of the great benefits of a day at Barks & Recreation! You dog has just ran and played all day long – so yes, they are tired when you pick them up and take them home. Often, when you take your pup home, they will curl up and go to straight to sleep. If we notice that your dog becomes overly tired during the day or if you are concerned (due to personality, health or age reasons), our staff will take them to a room and allow them to take a short rest and we will NEVER force a dog to wake up if they are still napping. When we have boarders who stay for an extended period of time, they often choose to take longer naps. Because they are both mentally and physically exhausted, you may even notice a decrease in their activity levels in the days following a daycare day or stay (especially with older dogs or dogs who are not used to this much activity).
Why is my dog thirsty when he/she comes home?
While water is available at all times in all of our play areas and your dogs room, playing hard all day is definitely doggie exercise and can be as strenuous as a work out. Even though water is available, after a car ride home, it will probably be time for your dog to drink some more water to help re-hydrate after a hard day of play.
Does someone stay with the dogs overnight?
Barks & Recreation is monitored with an ADT security system with motion sensors, security, fire and temperature control alarms that will notify our staff immediately if there are any issues or concerns and they can get there quickly. After a busy and active day of daycare, a good night’s sleep is important and we do everything to ensure that your dog gets exactly that!
In most traditional kennels, where a human is present overnight, the person is not interacting with the dogs or letting them out to use the bathroom. In a kennel that has both indoor/outdoor runs, for security purposes, the outdoor section is closed and locked at night.
If you feel that your dog may require overnight assistance and/or monitoring, the best options may be to look into in-home pet care or medical boarding (provided by your local veterinary or animal hospital).
Should I bring anything for my dog’s stay? Do I need to bring my own dog food?
We strongly recommend bringing your dog’s food from home to keep their stomach from getting sick during their stay. Sudden changes in diet can result in gastrointestinal reactions (like vomiting and diarrhea). Maintaining a consistent diet will help your pup feel their best to romp and play all day. However, if you forget or if you so choose, we will provide Purina or Fromm dog food for your pup.
We will provide treats/snacks (unless you note any dietary restrictions) and provide a cozy blanket in your dog’s room. If you would like, you are more than welcome to bring toys, bedding or anything else that will make your dog feel more at home. Please do NOT bring any items with value – sentimental or monetary – because we cannot guarantee their return in the condition that they arrived.
Do I need to make a reservation?
At this time, we do not require a reservation for daycare, but if you know in advance, it is helpful and we appreciate it!
We do require appointments for New Pup Assessments for appropriate staffing for the assessment and to ensure enough time to get to know your dog.
How do I make a reservation?
You can call your Barks & Recreation location or request a reservation online. You will receive a confirmation email and a staff member will contact you directly if there are any questions or conflicts.
What is your cancellation policy?
Please contact your Barks & Recreation location directly if you need to cancel your reservation.
Is there a specific kind of collar my dog must wear to come to Barks & Recreation?
We do require that all dogs wear a quick release collar. If you do not have one, we’d be happy to provide one for their safety during their stay.
My dog’s paws are very sensitive after his/her stay at Barks & Recreation, did something happen to my dog’s feet?
It is very common concern that a dog’s pads are sore after playing at Barks & Recreation, especially when they first start coming. Since most dog’s paws are not used to playing all day, they can be tender temporarily, but they more they come and play, the stronger their pads will become (just like callouses in humans).
Do you offer baths and grooming services?
We offer baths and grooming services at both locations. Baths and nail trims are available daily so you can pick up a clean and fresh smelling dog after their stay at Barks & Recreation. Additional grooming services will require an appointment and can be made by calling the location or booking online.
We have a dog with white fur – will they get dirty playing with the other dogs and outside?
If you have a filthy dog from a day of romping with their friends and rolling in the mud, we will absolutely rinse your dogs and make sure they get into your car and head home clean. However, please note that mud and dirt can stain a white dog’s fur and they will look dingy – even with a quick bath.
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We're Always Here to Help
Have a question about pick up and drop off times? Need directions? Finally got that meeting on the books and have to change your schedule? Want to discuss a change in your pup's behavior? Please don't hesitate to reach out — send us a note through the website or give us a buzz — we're always here to help.