There is more to your dog’s kennel than just the walls: the floor is just as important to your dog’s overall health and safety. Kennel floors can be made from a wide range of products, although concrete, grass, gravel and dirt are the most common flooring materials.
Concrete flooring is one of the most durable, stable flooring choices for your kennel. Concrete provides an even surface for your dogs, keeping them off the ground. Concrete floors are easy to sanitize, and can be scrubbed with cleaner and water to reduce the spread of communicable illnesses. Concrete is extremely slippery in wet winter weather and must be shoveled frequently to prevent falls. Provide each dog with a thick, soft bed to ward off discomfort from unforgiving concrete floors.
Grass is a no-brainer for many dog owners. It’s soft, easy to grow and comfortable enough for puppies and older dogs alike. Grass is a natural product and can be grown in a wide range of soil types. Most dogs are familiar with going potty in the yard, and won’t hesitate to go in their kennel. However, grass is not as durable as other types of flooring. Frequent urination will kill off even hearty grass, and pee spots should be rinsed frequently to extend the life of your grass.
Gravel is another useful flooring choice. Comprised of small, smooth pieces of rock, gravel allows for excellent drainage and is more comfortable than solid concrete. Gravel flooring should be at least 2 inches deep for proper drainage, and solid waste should be cleaned at least once a day. Gravel gives fleas and other insects plenty of hiding places, so check your dog frequently and treat gravel with pet-safe pest spray to minimize infestations.
One of the cheapest of all flooring types, dirt is also one of the most problematic. A pack of playing dogs will kick up a huge cloud of dirt in dry weather, coating every pooch in a thick layer of grime. In wet weather, your pooches will look more like mud pies than dogs. If you absolutely must use dirt, provide your dog with a sturdy doghouse to keep him clean and dry.
Louise Lawson has been a published author and editor for more than 10 years. Lawson specializes in pet and food-related articles, utilizing her 15 years as a sous chef and as a dog breeder, handler and trainer to produce pieces for online and print publications.