Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question you don’t see here, please do not hesitate to ask!

General Questions

Can I get in the water and swim with my dog?

Unfortunately due to liability issues, owners cannot get in the pool with their dogs. Kate will be in the water with your dog to ensure he/she has a safe swim with appropriate rest breaks. You are welcome to sit along the side and encourage your dog while he/she swims.

Can I just show up with my dog to swim?

Water Bark Wellness is by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, you can call WBW and set up a time. Before the first appt, you’ll need to fill out the “client questionnaire” form that you will find on the website. The “client questionnaire” form is about you and your dog. Please bring in that form all filled out with you to your first appt. You may also email it to WBW ahead of time. Kate will fax the “veterinary assessment” form to your veterinarian (clearing your dog to start a swim program) and your veterinarian will fax that form back to WBW. WBW requires all dogs to be current on their rabies vaccination.

Do you offer “frequent swimmer packages”?

Every 10th session is $15 off!   

Does my dog have to use a lifejacket?

WBW provides lifejackets (as well as other flotation aids).   Starting out, Kate requires all dogs to wear life jackets until she has spent enough time with your dog and gauges what kind of a swimmer he/she is.   Kate will be in the pool with your dog assisting him/her as needed.  

How big is the pool and how is it sanitized?

The pool is 8’ x 16’ and is 3’ deep. The year-round water temperature will be kept at 90 degrees. It is equipped with a salt-water chlorinator, and UV sanitation system to clean and soften the pool water. Salt water is safe for dogs. It is gentle on their skin and eyes and much less harmful than common bleach chlorination. In addition, the UV sanitation destroys over 99.5% of pool pathogens with a powerful, precision engineered ultraviolet ray. UV is a continuous, reliable, proactive method of disinfecting pool water.

How long are the appointments?

Appointments are about 40 minutes long. The 40 minute appointment allows for 25 minutes of swimming and 10-15 minutes to rinse, towel/blow dry and schedule another session. The price for a 40 minute appointment is $50. 25 minutes of swimming is equivalent to a brisk 3-4 mile walk.

The first appointment may take a little longer, allowing time to go over paperwork, and making sure your dog is comfortable with Kate before getting into the pool. That appointment is also $50.

I have 2 dogs. Can they both come in to swim at the same time?

No.   The pool is not big enough to handle 2 dogs and the swim coach at the same time.  If you have 2 dogs, we can schedule back-to-back appointments for both of your dogs at a discounted price.

Is there anything special I need to do before my dog’s appointment?

Please do not feed your dog 2-4 hours before swimming.  Arrive early so you have *plenty* of time to walk your dog around on its leash so he/she has time to go to the bathroom. This is really important. WBW has a designated area with a receptacle and disposal aids provided.

Also, *please* do not put on any kind of flea topical product on your dog within 7 days of your appointment. If your dog comes in to swim and there’s an obvious area where he/she has been recently treated, your appointment will be rescheduled.

My dog just had surgery. Can I bring him/her to WBW for physical therapy?

No.  Water Bark Wellness is not a physical therapy rehabilitation center.  After surgery, there are 2 places about an hour away that have Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioners:  

1)    http://www.veazievet.com/animal-wellness-rehabilitation-center/    (Veazie Veterinary Clinic in Veazie, Maine)  

       (207) 941-8840

2)    http://www.thebrunswickvetclinic.com/id-3745     (The Veterinary Clinic in Brunswick, Maine)

       (207) 729-3412

What can I expect from the first appointment?

The first appointment is a really important one. WBW wants your dog to feel at home when in the building. This is the time to sniff and check out the place. The ultimate goal of this first appointment is a “meet and greet” and to go over your paperwork and to get to know both you and your dog. Your dog will be encouraged to check out the pool and get in with Kate. It’s really important for your dog to feel safe here. The pool time might not be as long as you hope for…..it’s all about your dog’s needs and comfort level.

Your dog will be required to stay in the pool with Kate during the session (and all future sessions) instead of going in and out, which will seem quite foreign to your dog at first. He/She may or may not swim this first time while in the pool. There will landing areas where your dog can comfortably stand and rest without needing to swim.  Kate needs to build a relationship with your dog so your dog feels he/she can trust Kate. This first appointment is 45 minutes.

Please wear comfortable clothes (pants you can roll up) and expect to get wet.  

What if I need to cancel my appointment?

WBW kindly requests you to call at least 24 hours prior to your scheduled appointment so we can try to fill that spot.

What if I’m late for my appointment? Do I still get the allotted time?

Depending on whether or not there is someone scheduled to come in directly after you, your appointment may need to be rescheduled.

What if my dog can’t go up stairs to the pool?

No worries! WBW has a textured anti-slip ramp built just for dogs leading up to the pool. There are both stairs and a ramp going into the pool as well. Kate will help your dog get in and out as safely as possible. For certain dogs, she might ask you to help her getting the dog into the pool.

What if my dog has been vomiting or has had diarrhea within 24-48 hours of an appointment? Should we still come if he/she seems to be feeling better?

WBW asks that you call and reschedule your appointment.

What if my dog poops in the pool?

If your dog happens to poop in the pool, WBW will have to cancel your appointment, drain the pool, clean & disinfect the pool, re-fill and re-heat the pool. During this time, all appointments for the next 24-48 hours will have to be rescheduled. Therefore, WBW needs to charge a “poop fee” of $200.

When I show up for my dog’s appointment, can we just come into the building?

Appointments are private from start to finish.   When you arrive with your dog, please walk him/her around on leash to go to the bathroom.  Once your dog has done its business, please put him/her back in your car.   To ensure the comfort and safety of all dogs, we ask that you first come into the building alone.   At that time, I will let you know how when to bring in your dog.   

General Information

Swim Sessions

All swim sessions are by appointment only. Before your first swim, you will need to download and complete one (1) form that you will find on the website: a Client Questionnaire about you and your dog (you will bring this form all filled out to the first appointment). Once I know who you use as your veterinarian, I will fax the Veterinarian Assessment form to that office office to be filled out by your veterinarian (clearing your dog to start a swim program). WBW requires that your dog is current on his/her rabies vaccination.

Water Bark Wellness provides life jackets and other flotation aids if your dog needs to use them. Your dog will be supervised and/or assisted throughout his/her swim and there will be appropriate rest times during each swim. Water toys are allowed for fetching and encouraging, however we do not allow dogs to jump in the pool. To prevent injury, the swim coach controls your dog’s entering and exiting the pool.

Water Bark Wellness is not a canine rehabilitation center.  If your dog has recently had surgery, WBW suggests you call a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner (listed in the “Questions” part of this website) and schedule an appointment with them.

Unfortunately due to liability issues, owners cannot get in the pool with their dogs. Kate will be in the water with your dog to ensure he/she has a safe swim with appropriate rest breaks. You are welcome to sit along the side and encourage your dog while he/she swims.

After each swim session, you have the option to rinse your dog with warm water in the rinse station. There will be towels and chamois provided as well as a doggy blow dryer to ensure your dog is as dry as possible, especially during the cold winter months.

Wear comfortable clothes and pants that you can roll up in case you want to put your feet in the water.  Be prepared to possibly get wet from the splashing, rinsing post-swim and drying.

Also, do NOT feed your dog 2-4 hours before his/her swim session.   Make sure your dog goes to the bathroom (poop) before coming to swim. 

Our Pool

The pool is 8′ × 16′ and is 3′ deep. The water temperature will be kept at 87 degrees in the winter (and around 83 degrees in the summer). It is equipped with a salt-water chlorinator, and UV sanitation system to clean and soften the pool water. Salt water is safe for dogs. It is gentle on their skin and eyes and much less harmful than common bleach chlorination. In addition, the UV sanitation destroys over 99.5% of pool pathogens with a powerful, precision engineered ultraviolet ray. UV is a continuous, reliable, proactive method of disinfecting pool water.

Our pool is maintained weekly by Farley & Son Landscaping.

Have a Different Question?

Email us anytime

Or call — 207-230-8455