by SOPHIE BIRD & CANINE CORRESPONDENT YOGURT ABRAMS
Bloomington is a dog’s town, and our love for our four-legged family members is reflected in the myriad of local organizations, businesses, and services that help them lead their happiest lives. From puppy play dates to a transport service that picks your dog up for day care, we’ve sniffed out a list of offerings for your favorite canine.
Mad 4 My Dog
4235 W. Ind. 46
Mad 4 My Dog, which expanded in 2020 to include a larger selection of dog food and toys, offers full-service grooming, an array of training classes, and regular play dates where dogs can socialize with other pups, make friends, and expend extra energy.
All play dates and classes are supervised by experienced trainers who seek to help owners communicate with their dogs lovingly and effectively.
3409 S. Walnut
BloomingPaws, located across the street from the Bloomington Animal Shelter on the city’s south side, bills itself as a provider of one-stop pet care. The organization offers a full-service veterinary clinic, a day care with indoor and outdoor play areas and a doggie splash pool, boarding services that include your choice of pet apartment or suite, and grooming that features optional spa treatments for dogs (and other furry friends).
Switchyard Dog Park
1601 S. Rogers St.
Bloomington’s newest dog park, Switchyard Dog Park, provides seven acres of puppy fun right in the heart of Bloomington. Dogs can enjoy some time off leash in either the small dog or large dog areas, so long as they are spayed or neutered, at least four months old, and up to date on their shots.
The park offers a small agility course and seating for humans. Switchyard Dog Park is open daily from 5 a.m.–11 p.m.
Whitehall Animal Country Club
8251 W. State Rd. 48
Whitehall Animal Country Club has been providing dog grooming and boarding services in Bloomington since 2000. Boarded canine guests receive ample affection throughout the day, have access to a constant supply of fresh water, are provided with their usual brand of dog food, and listen to Canine Lullabies at night.
And for pups that are prone to trouble, humans can rest assured: Whitehall guests are monitored 24/7 using a closed-circuit television system.
The Dog House
1999 S. Yost Ave.
The Dog House offers boarding and doggie day care services for pups of all sizes—and will even pick up and drop off your dog at home through their pet transport service. While at The Dog House, pups enjoy a cage-free environment and have the option of exploring the doggie swimming pool in warmer months. The company’s pet supply store offers same-day delivery for orders placed before 2 p.m.
211 S. Van Buren St., Nashville
Bone Appetit dog bakery in Nashville, Indiana, specializes in all-natural dog treats and offers more than 20 different flavors that meet various dietary restrictions. Specialty treats celebrate birthdays and adoption days, holidays, and the seasons. Treats can be purchased online or in-store—but pups who attend Bone Appetit “in person” get a free snack.
Applied Canine Behaviors
1491 E. Sample Road
Applied Canine Behaviors offers boarding services and training classes, including both private and group training sessions. In-kennel training sessions are also offered, during which the dog trains on a more structured training schedule while being boarded. Training includes puppy packages, behavior modification packages, and a limited time “Back on Track” package to help ease dogs and their humans back into a sense of normalcy following the pandemic.
Boarded pups enjoy a country setting on four fenced-in acres and are exercised off leash four times daily.
Ferguson Dog Park
4300 N. Stone Mill Road
With a total of 18.7 fenced-in acres on Bloomington’s north side, Ferguson Dog Park provides plenty of room for pups to run, play, and socialize. With an area for large dogs and one for small dogs, canine friends can pick on someone their own size while humans look on from one of the shaded seating areas. Drinking fountains and wash stations are open in the warmer months.
Be sure to check out the Ferguson Dog Park location on Facebook to learn about upcoming play groups and other special events. The park is available from 5 a.m.–11 p.m. Wednesday–Monday and Tuesday from noon–11 p.m., free of charge.
Bloomington Pet Pals
Bloomington Pet Pals provides in-home pet sitting services with personalized care for your pets while you’re away. The sitters will take care of the basics until you return, and will also see to special needs like medications.
Each visit from Bloomington Pet Pals includes fresh food and water, exercise, clean-up of any messes, cuddling and lap time, and any other home maintenance tasks like watering plants, gathering up mail, or adjusting blinds and lights.
Emerald Isle Canine
3332 N. Windcrest Dr.
Emerald Isle Canine offers Day School training classes where your four-legged family members can be trained 2–3 times per day while you’re at work. Pups work on commands like “heel,” “sit,” and “down,” and are then given the opportunity to go on a walk and play with other dogs before resting until the next training session.
For dogs—or humans—that are a little nervous about being away from home, the Home School option allows a trainer to come to your home and train your dog for about an hour each workday.
Emerald Isle Canine trainers also offer pet-sitting services that range from drop-in visits to overnight stays, and can take your dog on walks, hikes, or park visits while you’re unable to do so.