Winter Kennel Maintenance Guide


Its that time of year when generally its much colder and quieter in kennels all over the country. This reduction of activity in commercial kennels makes it a great opportunity to to do some kennel maintenance.

A kennel that has been well maintained will give you a few months of trouble free time  hopefully whilst you’re busy throughout the main season. The last thing you need when you have a booking is to have to cancel whilst you deal with an issue.

At this time of year all the leaves will have no dropped off the trees so check and clean all your cutters and remove any leaves that can cause water to overflow and run down walls. Whilst the ladders are out, carefully get up to check the roof to see if there are any fixings that need tightening or potential loose sheets or tiles that may come off in the wind.

If you have trees in close proximity, then now is the best time to lop them and reduce them so that branches can’t fall and cause damage to your kennel block.

Check all round the outside of your kennel walls to see if there is anything that might need dealing with and then check the pathways to see if these are slippy, and remove any mould or moss with the right treatments. This is a great time for floor kennel maintenance as you can assess the floor when its wet and possibly frozen.

Now is the time to check the drains clear any traps or filters of debris and make sure that water is free flowing to your drains. If you have manhole covers then left and deal with any build ups.

Once you have addressed all the external issues you then need to start to consider the inside areas which is where the dogs will sleep and exercise. If you start towards the back and work you’re way forward, its important to be methodical with this as you need to carefully assess each sleeping area for any signs of a problem.

We suggest you run your hands all over the roof first to check for leaks or problems with condensation. A properly heated sleeping area shouldn’t have an issue with condensation so if you do find this it will mean that either the heater isn’t rated correctly or maybe there isnt the required ventilation.

To provide the right environment for dogs means getting the right balance between heating and ventilation and ideally you do need to be able to adjust these. Ask yourself if the kennel is insulated correctly or do you need to address this issue.

Normally a quick look at your winter fuel consumption compared to the summer period will give you an idea whether you need to invest in this area in the future.

Check your heaters for their performance and running costs, by having the correct heaters installed can save you a fortune each year and its really surprising just how few people do run an efficient system. As a business we understand heaters so if you need any FREE advice on this then get in touch.

When were your kennel heaters checked electrically? Its good to periodically check them over especially if you use a lot of water to clean your kennels.

The next kennel maintenance area to check is where your kennel walls meet the floor, this is an area that can hide germs so you need to check this thoroughly and make sure there can be no cross contamination between bays. Each dividing wall needs to be checked and possibly tested with water to see if they are sealed.

Your kennel door is critical here and as it’s a high use area you need to check the hinges, do these need lubricating? Is there any damage or sharp areas around the doors at all?

Kennel security is a very important issue with the rising spate of dog thefts nationally, now is a good time to ask yourself just how secure are your kennels? Do your locks need oiling or replacing? To look at this area properly you need to think like a burglar as you are a target for pet theft. If you are concerned about security then  check out one of our previous articles on kennel security.

Then start to check all the run areas, generally these will be from galvanized panels in mesh or bars. All the welds need to be checked for signs of wear or breakages so that they can be repaired if necessary. Check for corrosion too as a weak panel can be broken through by a determined dog.

Importantly pay attention to the locking mechanism on the fronts and again see if the locks need to be lubricated or even replaced. Now is a good time to see if there are any areas that dogs can chew or may harm them.

The floor in the runs might need a really good clean to remove any slippy areas and these possibly might need to be sealed if required. If you have raised floors then these need to be checked for signs of wear.

We hope you find this short winter kennel maintenance guide useful and hope that you can give us a like and possibly share it with your kennel friends. Should you have any queries please call us on 01785 559555.

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