Mindy Thompson-Banko and Kim Roach grew up with dogs and were picky about finding the right daycare for their dog. So, they created their own.
"We created a place that's about the dogs, safe, healthy and small population everyday," said Mindy Thompson-Banko.
You can tell just by walking into the new doggy daycare, The Bark Park, there's more than one top dog. Pictures of dogs line the front lobby. The dogs have the run of the place in the back of the Minnetonka facility.
"We have no cages, no dogs that are caged or kenneled, locked up, free play environment," said Mindy.
The owners have recently started offering overnight boarding on holiday weekends after their clients kept requesting it.
"So dogs feel safe and feel like they are at home and it doesn't feel like a strange environment," said Mindy.
What to look for when boarding your pet overnight:
1. Make sure pet vaccinations are up-to-date.
Mindy suggests keeping safety first and foremost in mind when looking for a place to board your pet.
"We believe from a boarding standpoint, every pet should be vaccinated and healthy," said Mindy.
2. Find the right venue.
Some facilities will only keep certain pets. The Animal Humane Society's Animal House Boarding will keep them all.
"Cats, dogs, rabbits, mice, birds...all those little guys," said Mary Pitzen, boarding specialist. "We're completely full on holiday weekends, and then we have a waiting list, so should there be any cancellations, we fill those up right away."
3. Visit in person.
"Is it clean? Is it welcoming? What kind of feel do you get when you walk in the door?" suggested Mary.
The Bark Park insists on an in-person interview with you and your pet before accepting the dog.
4. Acclimate your pet to the new space. "If people haven't boarded, bring your pet in for a few hours or a overnight to see how the animal does," said Mary.
Animal House Boarding allows you to bring along toys or a blanket from home. The Bark Park asks you to go a step further and bring the pet's bed and toys as they try to create a slumber party atmosphere for the dogs.
5. Interview staff members.
"Are they knowledgeable? How adaptable are they? Can they take care of your dog or cat with special needs?" asked Mary.
Shannon Slatton, reporting
Wednesday, June 27, 2012