Do you do overnight stays?

We do not currently offer overnight stays but can recommend some great kennels or alternative options for the care of your fur baby.

Do you offer tours?

Yes, for customers intending on bringing their dog to daycare with us, If you ring ahead, we can arrange a tour from Monday- Friday after 6pm. By this time most of the dogs have gone home and we would have downsized them into one area to clean the pens.

Can I come pat the dogs?

No. As the dogs in our care belong to our customers, we do not allow people to come in and pat the dogs. Kind of like how you can’t just go into a children’s daycare and ask to see the toddlers. It also stresses the dogs out to have new people in our facilities, which can make it difficult for us to calm them down. Please don’t be offended when we politely say “no”.

How do I apply?

Before your dog can come to The Barking Lot, you need to apply here. We will then be in touch with you to arrange a trial. Basically, you bring your dog in and we all meet and quickly see whether the dog would be happy with us. We want to ensure that our canine guests have a personality that suits the day care environment. The safety of our staff and all the dogs is very important to us and the evaluation process will help us avoid any potential problems and to keep everybody happy.

How does payment work?

We require payment to be made on the day it is due- either in the morning at drop off or when you collect your dog. We will warn you when your 10 Trip Pass is running low and we will require payment as soon as you are into negative days.​

What vaccinations does my dog need to be in daycare or grooming?

At The Barking Lot we require all dogs to be fully vaccinated. Our vaccine protocols are based on recommendations by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association and The New Zealand Veterinary Association. These vaccinations have a three day stand down period before they can attend – this includes their yearly booster Kennel Cough vaccinations.

In New Zealand it is standard for puppies to receive vaccinations for distemper, hepatitis and parvovirus (DHP) and for canine cough. From then on, adult dogs are required to be vaccinated annually for Canine Cough, and every three years for DHP after they are a year old.

  • Parvo – a highly contagious virus causing sudden bloody vomiting and diarrhoea. Disease can range from mild to fatal (particularly in young animals). Parvo is still prevalent particularly in some parts of Auckland, and can be transmitted even without direct contact with an affected dog.
  • Distemper -a virus which thanks to widespread vaccination is now uncommon. Distemper can cause a variety of signs including respiratory disease, gastrointestinal and neurological signs and death.
  • Hepatitis – A serious often fatal disease, causing fever, signs of liver disease, inflammation, gastrointestinal, ocular and neurological signs. Distemper is thankfully now also uncommon thanks to vaccination.
  • Leptospirosis – an infection with leptospira bacteria which particularly damages the liver and kidneys and is often fatal. Leptospirosis is spread by contact with an infected animal’s urine. It may be spread by rodents and less frequently also other animals. Leptospirosis is generally seen north of Taupo in New Zealand, has been diagnosed in Auckland, and can also be spread to people. For these reasons, this vaccination is particularly important!

Kennel Cough is an optional vaccination but we require it because of our environment. It is recommended for dogs that attend boarding kennels, dog shows or that interact with large groups of dogs. Kennel Cough refers to a group of diseases causing an infectious cough transmitted among dogs. A vaccine is available against the most common bacterial cause (a bacteria similar to the one that causes whooping cough in people) and one of the more common viral causes. These vaccinations are not 100% perfect- vaccinated dogs can still catch kennel cough but they are less likely to and, if they do, the disease is not likely to be as severe and the dogs are likely to recover quicker.

My dog is over six months old and hasn’t been desexed, can they still come to daycare?

No. At The Barking Lot we require all dogs over 6 months old to be desexed. The reason for this is to reduce any aggression or unwanted behaviours. A dog on heat can cause other dogs to behave out of sorts and male dogs who are over 6 months old and yet to be desexed often emit a scent to which other dogs pay a lot of attention. The prolonged sniffing can really annoy a dog and lead to undesired behaviours. Plus, no matter how cute all your pups are we don’t want any babies being made!

What happens if my dog gets sick?

If we notice a dog is sick we will separate it from the rest of the dogs and ask you to come and collect it to reduce risk of transmission. If your dog has been sick we do ask you keep them home for at least 48 hours after the last vomiting / diarrhea spell. If your dog has been coughing or wheezing it is best to take them to the vet to be checked out as there is a possibility it is Kennel Cough and they may need medication. Once they have completely stopped coughing we ask you to stay away for 7 days.

If in doubt please call us or message us– better to be safe!

My dog is not microchipped yet- they are getting this done when they get desexed, is that ok?

We require all our dogs to be micro-chipped and registered with their local city council. As long as you let us know the microchip details when they are done that will be fine.​


How do I organise a trial?

Once you have applied for daycare and we can see if the dog meets our technical requirements (vacc, desexed etc), we offer trials on Mondays and Fridays and ask for the pups to be brought in as close to our 7:30am opening time as possible. This is because those days are our quietest and it helps the pups get used to all the smells, sounds and other dogs. We can usually tell pretty quickly if our daycare environment is going to be suitable for your dog. If we are satisfied that they will be happy and safe in this environment they can stay the whole day.

If your dog displays any behaviour that would place them on an orange or red light on our Traffic Light system, we would call you and ask you to collect them as soon as possible. We have other dogs in our care and for the safety of those other dogs and our staff it is our responsibility to be frank with you if we do not think our environment is going to be suitable. We do not believe in putting dogs in situations in which we know they will not do well and there is no point in you paying for your dog to come here and be stressed / miserable.

At the end of the day, we are here for the love of dogs! We put their wellbeing at the front of everything.

How much do trial days cost?

Trial prices vary depending on how long your dog is here and based on our daycare price list. If a dog is here for any length of time under 5 hours, it is a half day rate. Anything over 5 hours is a full day.

We offer 25% off your first 10 Day concession pass (with a one-year expiration date from the date of purchase that the concession days can be used). This is only if your dog passes their trial and we are confident The Barking Lot will be a happy and safe place to be. This discounted option is only valid on the day of the trial. We take one of these days off the pass if the trial goes well so they would be left with 9 days on this discounted pass.

Are there any types of dogs you don’t take?

If your dog is fully vaccinated, is de-sexed at 6 months, is social + loves being around other dogs, they are welcome! We do not believe in discriminating against any breeds or distinguishing a dog as being “menacing” by their breed. However, we are very familiar with the role genetics can play within dogs and this is always something we take into consideration. That being said some of our biggest, most intimidating dogs that come in are our biggest softies and will flinch if you mop near them!

Do the dogs get lunch?

No. We do not provide lunch for the dogs while they are in, but we know lots of dogs are still eating three meals a day. If that’s the case, bring their food in with them and we can put them in the side pen and give them their lunch alone.

What do the dogs do in the pens?

It varies, some dogs prefer to chill on a dog bed for the day whereas others like rolling around and zooming around the pen. It depends on the temperament of the dog! We have an Instagram account @thebarkinglotnz which gives you an insight on what is happening in the pen.

Do the dogs have toys in the pens?

We have a range of dog toys we regularly swap out. If a dog is possessive of a toy, they will be put in a pen with other dogs without toys.  Often, the dogs like playing with each other and running around more than playing with the toys anyway!

Do you take the dogs for walks?

No, we don’t walk the dogs while they are with us. The wellbeing of your pup is our main priority and given that we operate in central Wellington during business hours, the roads and footpaths are always incredibly busy. Therefore looking after your pup inside of our premises, which is a secure and controlled environment, is our best bet at keeping them happy, relaxed and safe while they’re in our care.

If they go toilet inside with you, will they do the same at home?

Surprisingly, we are yet to have a customer with come back to us saying their toilet training has digressed since attending our day care service. We have people ask us this every day and we are confident that if you have toilet trained your dog at home, they will not go home and pee on your carpet.

“I promise you my dog will not pee in there, can you please take him outside for toilet breaks?”

Most dogs will go to the toilet while in our daycare centre, but if we notice they are not doing so, we will schedule them for an outside break.

Dog Interaction

How do you monitor dogs’ interaction and make sure altercations are dealt with appropriately?

We always have one of our members of staff in the pens monitoring, cleaning and engaging with the dogs. We believe in preventative management rather that trying to solve the problem after it’s happened. If a dog gets over-aroused or needs to calm down we place them in a crate for a few minutes. We DO NOT use physical correction: you won’t ever find us hitting your dogs! If the dogs are getting over-aroused, we have crates in the pens for the dogs to have a mini time out, if this is happening continuously we re-assess if they are in a pen that is suitable for the dog’s temperament and whether The Barking Lot daycare is appropriate for them.

To ensure The Barking Lot is a safe and positive environment, we have a Traffic Light System where if dogs show any undesirable or unsafe behaviour, we can monitor and communicate with the owner whether or not we think the environment is suitable. We determine these colours by recognising, documenting and monitoring the following behaviours:


  • The dog is suitable for The Barking Lot environment.
  • Environment suitable for dog
  • Dog appears happy + comfortable
  • Interacting at the optimal/ safe arousal level
  • Playful


The dog is displaying certain behaviours which could lead to the dismissal of your dog being able to attend daycare. Typically 3 orange lights will lead to a red light.

  • Snarling at most dogs
  • Snapping at most dogs
  • Consistent Bearing teeth.
  • Overly aroused
  • Excessive barking
  • Excessive Salivation or Panting
  • Shows multiple subtle + non-subtle signs of stress signals
  • Not recognising other dogs body language
  • Reactive
  • Attempts to bite member of staff or another dog
  • Possessive over space
  • Has to be put in isolation
  • Pins down other dogs in a non-playful way


Automatic dismissal. If we continually see signs of orange, this also means your dog is not suitable for the environment at The Barking Lot.

  • Dog punctures skin of another dog or staff member= instant red light.
  • Reactive
  • Hard stare + unsafe fixation with other dogs
  • If staff have to physically intervene to stop altercations
  • Tense face “hard eyes”
  • Constantly having to be put in isolation
  • Biting with no intention of letting go – requires staff to take the dog away = Instant red light


What grooming services do you offer?

  • Full grooms: bath, blow dry, full-body trim, nail clip.
  • Bath + Tidy: bath, blow dry, basic trim of paws, face, bathroom area, nails clipped but no length is taken off the body (no, not even “just a trim”).
  • Bath + Blow-dry: bath, blow dry, nails clipped.

How does grooming + daycare days work?

All our grooming clients are required to fill out a grooming registration form before the day of their groom which can be found here. Once the dog has had their groom we keep them in the grooming room which is cleaner, quieter and calmer. Think of it like a dog day spa! It’s a nice area for dogs who are not used to the daycare environment but can still have some socialisation. If your dog is staying for daycare, they need to fill out the grooming application

With baths + bath and tidies you can either pick them up within 30 minutes after the end of their scheduled appointment time (eg, the 1:30-3:00 appointment you would need to pick them up by 3:30 at the latest). Normal daycare prices apply for stays any longer than the appointment time, 5 hours or less- half-day, over 5 hours you pay the full day concession.

Do you offer hand stripping?

No, we do not offer this service at The Barking Lot. It can be very stressful for dogs to go through and is too time-consuming for our groomers (and their poor hands).

Can I pop in and get my dogs’ nails clipped?

Yep! On Wednesday through till Friday between 9 am and 3 you can get your dog’s nails clipped. It helps us if you ring ahead first so the groomers can fit them in, but appointments usually only take 10 minutes or so.

Why did you put up the wall?

We put the wall up approximately two years ago for our own management of keeping the dogs calm. While us dog people would all be guilty to popping past in hopes of seeing the dogs and getting excited, it can actually be quite scary for a lot of the dogs when you bare your teeth (we know you were smiling or trying to contain your glee, we love them too). Also, while most visitors were just wanting a peep we had a few regular visitors who would come and bark or growl at the dogs, bang on the windows and just try to wind the pups up. Follow us on Instagram (@thebarkinglotnz) if you need a dog fix, we do stories most days!

Please email us if you still have any questions.

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