Simple Fixes for a Cleaner and Safer Dog Kennel

If you have a hunting dog that resides in a kennel outside, keeping it clean can sometimes prove difficult. Concrete flooring combined with a septic system can make waste disposal and kennel hygiene easier but not foolproof. While a spray of the hose can clean your pet's living quarters, it's where and how you place their bed and food and water bowls that makes all the difference.

In visiting professional trainers' kennels, including Tom Dokken, Dan Hosford and Sharon Potter, I've noticed a few similarities in how the containment systems are laid out.

The biggest tip is to keep the dog's bowls and bed at the front of the kennel, next to the door. Why? Because dogs don't like to eliminate bodily waste too close to where they sleep and eat. Putting the bed and bowls at the back of the kennel is asking for an extra helping of hassles in most cases.

If you spray from the front of the kennel to the back to clean it, then watery waste is going to pass along the bed (hopefully it's raised off the floor!) and bowls. Even if you have a kennel just resting on the grass in the backyard, you'll want the bed or dog house and bowls near the entrance because every time the dog enters or exits the through the kennel door he has the possibility of stepping in waste and tracking it around.

By keeping feed and water bowls and the bed close to the gate, your dog can exit his sleeping area, eat and drink and greet you at the gate without having to dodge land mines or step around puddles of urine (which he's probably not going to do too well in an excited state). It also keeps the waste in an area that allows you to enter the kennel without having to do the same!

With that said, kennels should be cleaned daily, if not more often, for health reasons, not to mention your dog's comfort and happiness.