Blog By Nikki Alvin-Smith
Cleaning the kennel is an unpleasant task. Any dog owner would welcome ways to make this daily job as quick, easy and ‘painless’ as possible. Whether it is a residential one or two dog kennel, or a commercial kennel that houses 20 plus canines, efficient and practical kennel design is the way to speed up dog waste cleanup time. Work smarter not harder!
Circling the Drain
Cleanup necessarily involves water, so an interior hose port is a good idea as fresh water is always on hand, whatever the weather. If you have the option to include hot as well as cold water feed to the hose port, it’s well worth the effort. Warm/hot water does a much better cleanup job.
The exit point for the water does not need to be a circular drain in the middle of the dog box. In fact, it is counterproductive to place a drain where the dog will lay.
Sweeping water from the front of the kennel box to a channel drain placed near the exterior wall makes better sense. Clean up is faster, easier to accomplish and the rectangular shape drain is much easier to properly seal. This helps avoid leaks that could damage the subfloor of the kennel plus as the drain can be effectively secured it can defeat even a determined canine’s best efforts to dig it up.
The channel system also provides a streamlined movement of water, as each dog box channel can empty into a single PVC pipe and liquid can easily be discharged at the end of the kennel to a drainage system and taken away from the building at the gable end. Drains should be corrosion resistant and made of high-grade stainless steel.
Don’t Be Flawed by Poor Floor Design
Concrete floors are cold and unforgiving surfaces for canine joints and can cause arthritis and other health issues. It is important that kennel floors are of sturdy construction and that they are insulated to prevent moisture seeping in from the ground.
Stainless steel floors are easy to clean and can be a good choice. Another alternative is the seamless coating of a Polyurea floor that provides a rubberized elastic finish that can be extended into the drain channels to ensure no leakage of liquids when cleaning. It also affords no cracks or crevices to trap dirt and contaminants.
To prevent unwanted water spillage from dog bowls, consider stainless steel bowl attachments to the kennel box door. These can be easily refilled and removed as needed for cleaning, and ensure the dogs always have fresh water available. Water nibble devices are also an option, and a drain can be added along the interior length of the kennel to catch drips.
Best Dog Run Designs for Easy Clean Up
Dog run flooring is typically made of a composite decking material which offers a hardy, all weather surface, that will give years of service. If you place your kennel on a gravel pad, liquids will pass through the boards and drain beneath. Solid waste will obviously need to be picked up and removed before hosing down.
For kennels placed on a cement pad some sort of drainage system will be needed to take the dirty water away from the area. Placement of a drainage system across the exterior of the kennel runs, similar to that used for the interior drains, is an effective solution.
Instead of utilizing the standard composite decking material consider upgrading to a Tenderfoot® wire floor. Widely used in the animal husbandry business this is a type of slat flooring system with a plastisol coating that is easy to clean, comfortable and dry for the animal. This decking can be raised above ground level and a wash down channel can be added beneath that is removable for deep cleaning as needed.
Washable Wall Advantage
Don’t overlook the importance of washable walls (and ceilings) for deep clean days. The use of modern boards such as Glasbord, can afford quick and easy washdown.
Light colored surfaces throughout the kennel will not only provide more natural reflective light and create an airy ambience, they also offer quick targeting for dirt spots.
Spent Extra Now to Save Time Later
While upgrading to a high-quality kennel may seem expensive at the outset, when you consider the time it will save and the better job you’ll be able to do hygiene wise for your dogs, it’s well worth it. A well-designed and well-built kennel that utilizes top-notch materials will also provide better longevity and require less maintenance.