How do I prepare my space for dog kennels?
This is part of a series of blog posts about starting your own dog daycare or boarding business.
Overwhelming.... A great word to describe the process of starting your own dog facility. Whether it be a doggie daycare, a vet clinic, a rescue facility, a grooming or breeding establishment, the to-do list feels longer than Santa's good and naughty lists combined! Not to add one more thing to your list but we have one more thing to add, we are so sorry, really! Okay, here it is, the steps needed to properly prepare your facility for the Gator Kennels. We want to give you just a couple questions to think about.
1. Are the walls in your facility "dog proof," if utilizing existing walls?
Our blog post last week addressed this issue, you can read that piece in full here. But just to recap, dog are smart little buggers who can find anything to chew, including dry wall! As mentioned above, when using existing walls as part of the kennel, they must be doggie proofed by using tile, paneling, wallboard, protective film, or wall shields. Common materials used to protect the walls are: FRP (Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic), HDPE (High Density PolyEthelyne) - this is the same material our kennels are made from, block or concrete, and metal.
2. What can kind flooring is in your facility?
While the majority of flooring will work (some states have laws against using certain types of materials around animals so be sure to double check your state's requirements), the most important thing is preparing them. We do feel concrete is the best flooring if possible. We get asked about flooring all the time from our customers, our recommendation is to seal your flooring, concrete, tile with grout, laminate, linoleum or wood . There are two common types of concrete sealant: water based and epoxy based. Water based sealant is recommended to be redone every year, where epoxy based does not, something worth thinking about for the future. It's much easier to seal the flooring before all the kennels are assembled and secured. Our kennels can work on any flooring material.
3. What is the proper way to seal concrete flooring?
If your facility is newly built with freshly laid concrete, it is of the utmost importance to allow the concrete to cure for at least 28 days. This allows the concrete to "out gas" which will lessen the chance of the sealant to bubble and peel. Any existing flooring must be cleaned properly for the best sealant outcomes. Two specific types of concrete cleaners are explained by Chris Sullivan (2019) in an article that can be found at www.concretenetwork.com, Alkaline cleaners and Enzymatic/Bacterial cleaners. Alkaline cleaners are recommended for cleaning concrete that was not previously used for any sort of animal related purposes. This cleaner targets oil, grease, and organic stains. Enzymatic/Bacterial cleaners are recommended for concrete that was used for any animal related purposes. Not only do these types of cleaners also target oil, grease, and organic stains but it eradicates the proteins found in urine, the odor and the stain. Both types are easily accessible and affordable. The last step before sealing your concrete is to etch it; this will help the sealant to adhere to the clean concrete. Please note that epoxy sealant can become slippery when wet so you might want to consider adding "paint chips" or sand to add texture to the floor but use sparingly because an overly rough surface makes cleaning difficult. The preparation process can easily be DIY but there are companies who specialize in this process.
While all this preparation can add to that overwhelming to-do list, it is a vital step for the future of your business. Having a solid floor that is constructed and properly sealed BEFORE you get dogs trampling all over it will save you a lot of headaches in the future.
No matter what materials your building is made of, we at Gator Kennels have the answers and knowledge to help make your establishment professional looking and safe with our custom Signature Series kennels.