A kennel cleaning checklist can make, or break, your boarding business. Far from the most thrilling part of caring for dogs, cats and other pets, kennel cleaning is the most important. Current and potential clients will judge your facility based on how it looks, feels and smells. An impeccably maintained kennel lets clients know that their animal will be safe, healthy and happy in your care.
Kennel Cleaning Checklist: Cleaning to Help Prevent Disease
Poorly maintained kennels may pose a risk to healthy animals. Canine parvovirus type 2 and kennel cough can spread quickly, especially if conditions are unsanitary. Even cats can come down with a feline version of kennel cough, known as feline respiratory disease complex. While animals should be vaccinated against these illnesses, exposure through feces or airborne droplets increases risk.
Kennel Cleaning Checklist: Choose the Right Disinfectant
There is no one perfect disinfectant to kill all pathogens. The UC Davis Koret shelter medicine website lists animal appropriate products and suggests rotating products weekly for more complete coverage. A kennel cleaning checklist will help staff keep track of which products to use.
No matter which disinfectant is chosen, instruct staff to read and follow directions closely. Proper dilution is key. Use too little and the disinfectant will not be effective. Use too much, a more likely scenario, and animals can be harmed or even killed.
Surfaces must be cleaned of all organic dirt and materials before disinfecting. Apply the product and allow to dwell for the appropriate time before rinsing. Do not mix disinfectant and detergents as they can cancel each other out. Always clean before disinfecting.
Kennel Cleaning Checklist: Daily
- Clean and dry obvious accidents and messes immediately.
- Remove pet from kennel and place in separate holding area.
- Remove food and water bowls, toys and bedding.
- Soak bowls and toys in diluted disinfectant. Wash bedding, dry on high.
- Scoop solid waste, sweep or vacuum food crumbs and hair.
- Clean area from top down using detergent. Rinse and dry.
Kennel Cleaning Checklist: Weekly or More as Needed
- Remove pet, food bowls, toys and bedding.
- Remove solid waste. Fully clean kennel with detergent.
- Choose appropriate disinfectant. Dilute according to directions.
- Apply solution to kennel surfaces. Allow to dwell.
- Rinse thoroughly with clear water. Allow solution to drain or vacuum.
- Dry all surfaces before putting supplies, and pets, back in.
Kennel Cleaning Checklist: The Right Tools
Cotton rags and mops promote cross contamination and are not recommended for kennel cleaning. Microfiber cloths and mops are a better choice. For even faster, more complete cleaning, chose a Kaivac No-Touch Cleaning system. These state-of-the-art devices clean quickly and leave surfaces dry and ready to use.
Popular with successful kennel owners, these machines are fast to learn, easy to use and deliver a quick return on investment. 'The veterinary industry should definitely consider using Kaivac,' says Chris Henderson, Chief Operating Officer of The Pet Hospitals in Memphis, TN. 'To give them two thumbs up would be an understatement.'
Amy Milshtein covers design, facility management and business topics for a variety of trade publications and consumer magazines.
Her work has won several awards, most recently a regional silver Azbee Award of Excellence.
She lives in Portland, OR with her family and Clyde, a 15-lb tabby cat. Once an avid hiker, these days she finds herself on the less-challenging -but-still-exciting 'creaky knees' trails.