A considerable part of a dog breeder’s typical day is spent cleaning, disinfecting, and making sure all dog areas are sanitized to prevent the spread of bacteria, viruses, and germs.
Depending on the size of your kennel, its layout, and the materials used, you will need to find your most efficient cleaning routine. Some do it every day, some have used specific materials and kennel decks so they can clean twice a week: you know your kennel better than anyone else, so just do what’s right.
We’ve written a great article on the best kennel disinfectants and odor-neutralizers, go check it out.
Kennel Cleaning Starts Early!
I get up at 5:30 every day, 365 days a year. I immediately go outside to my dog area and let out the adults into the clean kennel and play area. They are locked out so they can potty outside on a 40 x 40 cement area.
I then go to the puppy, pregnant mom, training area, and let those guys out of their crates. Puppy doors are opened and Pregnant mom’s doggie doors are opened and show dog doors are opened. All are locked outside to potty. Rain or shine, snow, sleet, hail…doesn’t matter, they go out. They have a partial cover over their run area to get in out of the weather but the funny thing about dogs is… they like to stay clean if possible so they usually “go” in the same area of the kennel.
Finally the Humans’ Breakfast Time…
I then go inside and prepare some coffee, drink my coffee get dressed, and prepare for a few hours of work to ensure my dogs are kept clean and are well taken care of.
I begin with puppies. The puppy room shares my grooming area and when the puppies hear me come into the grooming room, they begin to scream. They know food is coming and they are letting me know they want some NOW.
Depending on the age of the puppies, I keep cooked puppy food laced with freshly baked chicken breasts in my small refrigerator in the grooming room. Right now I have five-week-olds and also two teenagers at 5 months old., also sharing the puppy area is Abbie with a two-day-old litter of five. She has her own area and her own doggie door that outs to a private area for her to relieve herself at will.
The bowls are taken out from the drawer, flat pie shaped bowl for the five-week olds, one flat quiche bowl for the two teenagers, and a regular doggie bowl for Mom. All are heated in the microwave and dispensed. I then open a container of cooked chicken breasts and heat that to pour into the adult dog’s food for added protein and great taste. It has small pieces of chicken that have been run through a grinder. I sometimes use turkey ground up and also beef occasionally. This concoction is taken to the other side where dogs are served their particular portion in their crates. Vitamins are put into their food also.
And Some More Kennel Cleaning!
Now I begin to clean the 40 x 40 playground. All toys are piled up, all pieces of furniture are cleaned up on the side of the house. The area is hosed. Bleach is put into the already full water buckets to ensure they stay sterile. Once the area is scooped, it is hosed and the bleach water is poured all over the playground. I then leave to let it sit.
This is about a 5% mix of bleach and is done once a day to ensure no bacteria can grow. When scooping, the fecal material is observed to ensure nothing unusual is happening. This is one reason why the dogs going potty on the cement is ideal. Fecal material tells a story and should be observed daily.
I then go to the puppy area where I clean and disinfect their runs. Back to the big dog side for a good rinsing and buckets filled with water… ditto puppy side.
Dogs Love Being Groomed, So Be It!
Now dogs are taken one by one out of the crate where they are given a brushing and checked for ticks or fleas. This is the time of year for both. Breeding dogs are kept off chemicals and this means they have to be checked by hand.
Once checked they are put on a leash and walked a distance to a half-acre fenced area where they can run and bark and play. Dogs needing further training either in obedience or breed ring are kept in their crates and worked one at a time, and then taken to the play yard.
Back to the other side to pick up all dishes and do the dishes in hot soapy water, also do laundry in my dog washing machine. I do at least one load of wash a day. All floors inside are mopped and then swiffered so it smells nice and I begin to take each puppy and teen onto the grooming table to be inspected, nails trimmed, buzzed or hair in ears removed.
This is Carole Davis’ schedule, it might be totally different from other breeders. Carole found her very own routine that is adapted to her lifestyle, her dogs and her kennel. It is your turn to find the right balance!