Dogs can be messy things even if you only have one of them, so imagine how hard it is to keep things clean with fifty of them! As I like to say to our clients as they see their fully housebroken pet lift their legs on any vertical surface that is handy… “they love indoor plumbing!”. Dogs not only have that keen sense of smell that lets them pick up any small trace of scent left by the dog before them, but many feel the need to pee on everyone elses pee. Both male and female dogs can not stand for any spot marked by some other dog to stand. They must let everyone else know that THEY WERE THERE TOO!
One pooper sets off a storm of poopers. Just as you clean up one mess, you turn around and there are 10 more…this all happens in a matter of seconds! They get it all out until the next round starts… or until the next pet comes in the door!
To keep things clean and smelling good as well as keeping things sanitary, takes a lot of work. Especially when we have such a strong commitment to the environment and not wanting to use anything that may be toxic to pets (as well as people). The way we do it is to use earth and pet friendly products. For cleaning up solid waste we use poop bags made from corn starch. They decompose fairly quickly when exposed to water or other elements. We then use a cleaner that I make myself to spray on the area and wipe it clean with washable towels. The cleaner is composed of teatree oil for killing fungus and then mixed with Listerine. Yes…good old fashioned Listerine. The active ingredients are Thymol (make from the herb thyme) this kills most germs and the 24% alcohol made from corn gets the rest. The mixture not only kills fungus and other germs but smells great! The best part is that this mixture can be sprayed right near the dogs without any worry of them getting ill from side effects of exposure to chemicals. You can literally spray the stuff in your mouth. It may taste terrible but it won’t hurt you!
We use recycled plastic bags for most of our trash-cans. All cleaners that we use on a daily basis from our toilet bowl cleaner to our window cleaner, are eco-friendly as we can get. We recycle all of our plastic and any paper that we use.
Many dog daycares and groom shops use paper towels and bleach. Both are so bad for our planet and very hazardous to use around the pet. We do use bleach at night to soak all water bowls and toys to fully sanitize them. We also use a viruside in our mop water and wall/kennel spray at night to make sure we get as many nasty germs as possible. This is only done once all pets are out of the building. You have no idea how these chemicals can affect a dog. They have delicate sinus tissue that can be damaged by things like chlorine, which when mixed with just plain old water makes makes it even more dangerous, not to mention the fact that bleach mixed with ammonia (urine) can be deadly to pets and people.
Understand though, that no matter what you do or a kennel does to kill all germs. Many are airborne. Some dogs may have an illness and can be asymptomatic so you have no idea that they are a carrier. Some vaccines only cover a small percentile of the variations of a certain virus. I’ll discuss illnesses that can occur in pets no matter what one does in a later post.