Even the most pristine shelters, boarding facilities and veterinary kennels have a distinct doggy odor that can be tough to eliminate. Removing odors is not always just about aesthetics, it's about keeping the kennel areas clean and sanitized. It's not easy when dogs all around are ill, anxious enough to spill or not quite housebroken to begin with.
Many shelters have their own unique formula for removing doggy odors from their premises, but most of them begin with a basic set of supplies. Humane Society International recommends a best practices routine and necessary supplies including a water hose to flush away the solid and dried products of canine elimination, vomit and bacteria. Following HSI protocol, apply a cleaner and disinfectant to the kennel floor and use a stiff-bristled brush to spread the chemical about. Apply it to the floor, walls, chain link, doors, hinges and elsewhere in the kennel. Time recommendations vary so read the label, but you should allow the disinfectant to sit for about five to 10 minutes before thoroughly washing with hot water. Dry the floor with a squeegee, and allow the kennel to air dry before the dog re-enters.
You have a variety of chemicals and products from which to choose when deciding which one will work best for your kennels. Since odor is caused by proteins and pathogens, it's imperative to sanitize the kennel and kill the bacteria, viruses, fungi and other germs in order to address the odor issue. Accelerated hydrogen peroxide surface disinfectant, sold under the brand-name Virox, is used effectively in some kennels and veterinary hospitals to kill bacteria and viruses and clean kennels and supplies.
The old stand-by of bleach and water is still used in kennels today despite the advent of safer products less hazardous to the environment. In terms of economics, it's the least expensive method of sanitizing dog kennels and removing doggy odor. A detergent must be used first to clean the kennel, as bleach is used for sanitizing, not cleaning. A ratio solution of 1 part bleach to 32 parts water kills germs effectively while being safe enough to use around animal housing. Mix a half-cup of regular household 5 percent bleach for each gallon of water. Bleach fumes can be irritating to mucous membranes and the bleach itself is corrosive to metals, so it's very important that the bleach solution gets completely flushed away and that the kennel is thoroughly dry prior to the dog's return.
Trifectant is the brand name for potassium peroxymonosulfate which is effective in killing many pathogens but is especially helpful for kennel use, as it has been shown to kill parvovirus. It is available in a variety of strengths, so it's important to read the label when diluting the concentrated formula. It must stay on the surface for a full 10 minutes to be effective. It has a biodegradable enzyme and chemical formula. Potassium peroxymonosulfate is available in a variety of cleaning products sold under several brand names.
Choice of Products
in 2010, The Association of Shelter Veterinarians published "Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters" and recommended that whichever product you choose be effective against all known zoological pathogen. The statement noted that not all sanitation products contain a cleanser; the use of some products may require a separate detergent be used prior to applying the sanitation product.