Following an incredible run of mostly beautiful weather here in Milwaukee, we’re starting to enter “the dog days of summer.” Temps are expected to be in the 80s for the next few days, and while there’s still a lot of summer left, colder and drearier days aren’t too far away. Whether you’re trying to help your pet beat the heat while staying active or you’re seeking a fun place to play during the city’s nine-month winters, there’s a new business in Bay View that has you covered.

On May 30, Keri Torgerson—who opened Mac’s Pet Depot Barkery in Bay View back in December 2014—officially opened Mac’s Bark Park directly next door to her pet supply shop. The new business is located at 350 E. Ward Street in the former site of Bigfoot Bike And Skate. When Bigfoot left the neighborhood, Torgerson felt the time was finally right to expand Mac’s and offer a much-needed service to the area.

“I just couldn’t let this space go. I’ve had it in the back of my mind because people have asked for it,” Torgerson says. “You know, it’s 20 below and sometimes we get that six days in a row and people don’t know what to do with their dogs.”

Mac’s Bark Park is an indoor dog park, which offers ample space for pooches to run around, socialize with other dogs, and wear themselves out with activities and mental stimulation.

“Just walking your dog doesn’t tire them out, contrary to what everybody has thought for a million years,” Torgerson says. “It helps tire them out more if they’re engaging their brain somehow—jumping over something, going through a tunnel, playing with a ball—and they have to think while they do stuff.”

The Bar Park actually consists of two separate play areas, both of which can be rented out in 30-minute increments. “You wouldn’t believe how tired a dog can get in half an hour,”Torgerson says. “It’s a lot.”

The “Open Play” area is about 2,400 square feet and allows up to six dogs at a time an opportunity to play with tunnels, ramps, hurdles, and a ball pit that are all strategically scattered on a padded floor. Open Play reservations cost $13 per half-hour.

“They really love the tunnel and the hurdles, and they really just want to run and wrestle,” Torgerson says. “It’s really a lot of fun.”

The room is supervised by trained staff, but owners are required to stay with their dog during their time slot.

Owners of dogs who are less social or more timid can rent out the 1,300-square-foot “Private Play” area for $15 per half hour.

“If you have a reactive dog or you have a dog that just has one buddy, you can use that space and they’re all by themselves, but they still get to run around and play,” Torgerson says. “Not all dogs are social, but they still deserve to run, and have fun, and jump.”

Torgerson tells us that room will also be a space utilized for sniffing exercises, loose leash walking classes, classes related to teaching tricks, “drop it” classes and other skill-based classes. Additionally, the Private Play room offers birthday party packages, where up to six dogs can play together as guests enjoy individual cakes and frozen yogurt, party hats, goody bags, and the ability to play their own music for an hourly rental fee.

“The way I see it, I take care of the dogs over at the retail store. I have them happy, healthy, and with good nutrition and treats,” Torgerson says. “In the Bark Park, I’m taking care of the parent who might only have 10 minutes a day to get their dog tired out, engage with them in a short amount of time, and have fun with them.”

Whether you’re looking for the dog park feel in a space that’s impervious to Milwaukee’s unpredictable and oftentimes harsh weather conditions or you’re seeking a private indoor place for your canine companion to play in comfort, Mac’s Bark Park is now there for you all year long.

Mac’s Bark Park is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays. To make a reservation or for more information (such as policies and pricing details), go to the Mac’s Bark Park website.

About The Author

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Co-Founder and Editor

Before co-founding Milwaukee Record, Tyler Maas wrote for virtually every Milwaukee publication (except Wassup! Magazine). He lives in Bay View and enjoys both stuff and things.