Modern Kennels Keep Canines Content
By Nikki Alvin-Smith
The days of cold concrete floor kennel boxes, messy central drains, unforgiving hard breezeblock walls and tiny hatch doorways that only offer more chilly concrete floors at the exterior of the kennel structure are long gone. Concrete floors can aggravate arthritis in dogs, and their dull color can make it hard to tell when they are properly clean.
Today’s modern kennel designs offer portable prefabricated options that can be set up quickly and are ready for immediate use. They bring dog business owners affordable options to develop their canine business in an instant. Rescues, K9 and service dog operations, vet clinics and breeding/boarding and grooming facilities can all jump in to a fully customized kennel that is easy to clean and functional for daily use.
For homeowners whose visiting family and friends bring their canine contingent along for their stay, a residential kennel can keep even the busiest of households stress-free. Pets are often overwhelmed during the busy holiday period and a quiet space where they can relax can be a boon for their health and welfare.
Modern Kennel Design Features Matter
The opportunity to build a sturdy and portable kennel unit anywhere from a structure big enough for one or two dogs, to one that can house 10 dogs or more, means when the owner moves the unit can be moved with them.
A wooden structure offers better natural insulation from both hot and cold temperatures, and when built with good craftsmanship and a seamless floor on a strong pressure treated frame the animals will not be subjected to dampness, molds or vermin. Walls and floors that are insulated further enhance the comfort of the canine occupants.
Floors that are coated with a tough polyurea coating can resist the abuse that paws and claws dish out. This makes an easy clean surface for both spot cleaning and also deep cleaning and polyurea is nontoxic and slip resistant.
But where is the water to come from and where is it to go? Provision of a hose port within the kennel structure makes water accessible and as the floor is raised off the ground radiant floor can be added if the building is to be heated. Water heaters can be installed in a lobby area with a sink to facilitate bathing chores.
The old-fashioned central drain is an antique design and it does not service the kennel boxes very well. The circular drain is hard to seal edgewise and the drainage underneath is then unnecessarily complicated to hook up to an exit sewer pipe. In today’s best-designed commercial and residential kennels, a channel drain is implemented at the back wall of the dog box just inside the exterior walls. This makes cleaning much more efficient, as the box can be cleaned from front to back. Opt for a channel system that is completely self-contained. This way moisture and cold drafts will not enter the structure from the ground below.
Interior walls fabricated with modern materials such as Glasbord (utilized mainly in smaller, residential kennels) or Trusscore (utilized mainly on larger commercial units) are also easy to clean down, and a light color will reflect light and provide an efficient visual for areas of dirt that need to be cleaned. It is also commonly appreciated that lighter and drier environments discourage pathogens and enhance the overall feeling of well-being of the occupants.
One of the worst workplace issues that canine caregivers have to face in older structures is the lack of height in the building. It is no fun trying to function in a cramped space especially when handling brooms and other tools and working around the canine occupants.
The other advantage of an airy interior space is that the gable ends of the building can be vented and windows as well as full sized ‘people’ doors can be added. Adequate ventilation is very important for animal health.
The addition of a small lobby in the interior can provide valuable storage space for feed and equipment, and even cater as an office for business use.
Movement Equals Better Health
Freedom for dogs to roam inside and outside of the kennel box as they choose discourages boredom and vices. The use of a guillotine style hatch door that is designed to be large enough for the size of the dog can left open in hot weather to encourage air movement, as well as movement of the dog.
The added advantage of a guillotine hatch door, is that the dog can be shut outside when the kennel box needs cleaning. This minimizes the likelihood of disease transmission between animals that can be caused by moving a dog back and forth into other kennel boxes that have yet to be cleaned or are only temporarily unoccupied.
The outside pen area can be constructed of modern materials too, that are kinder than concrete on the animal’s joints and will withstand the elements while allowing the dog to lay down without direct ground contact. Look for kennels designed with solid composite decking. This provides an easy to clean surface and you won’t have unsightly cracks appearing across the pen as you might see with concrete pads. Opt for a covered pen area so the dogs can enjoy time outside during inclement weather.
The aesthetic appeal of a dog kennel can be an important contributing factor in how prospective customers view your canine business.
Ideally, your kennel will complement existing stuctures sited on the property in its design. As kennels can be customized you can select roof style, siding and roofing materials used and color. Modern kennels also offer low maintenance options with LP Smartside choices or recently released 15 years stains for protecting traditional board and batten siding.
Where Do You Find Your Perfect Kennel?
For the best choice of options, including choice in style and design, financing and professional advice on how best to customize a kennel for your particular needs it’s wise to work directly with a manufacturer. Not only will their experience enable you to make wise decisions, their ability to provide the best price (no middlemen involved), and direct delivery from the factory to your property with a crew that knows the product can be invaluable.
In today’s market one of the leading producers of commercial kennels (that also offer GSA for government needs both large and small, from the TSA to local County animal shelters), is Horizon Structures, based in Atglen, PA. With shipment available nationwide the company currently provides top quality kennels to a myriad of business owners. Want some inspiration from other canine care professionals for your kennel compound. Here are some one on one case studies that detail different canine programs across the country.
The company also offers a residential line of kennels that give the added advantage of inclusion of many of the features that their commercial line enjoys, which makes their residential line top of the pile when it comes to quality of craftsmanship. Much better than the flimsy fenced dog enclosures or plastic igloo set-ups you’ll see at box stores.
If you are on a tight budget visit their lot liquidation for optimal discount pricing.
You’re sure to have questions, and their friendly staff are ready to help you. Give them a call at 1-888-447-4337
There’s no need for you or your dogs to live in the dark ages anymore. When you make your dogs’ lives more comfortable, your quality of life improves too!