Here are the best flooring for dog kennel we’ll be covering:
- Kennel Deck Kennel Flooring System (2’ x 4’ x 2”)
- Vintek VinTile Modular Floor Tiles (11 3/4″ x 11 3/4″ x 5/8”, interlocking tiles)
- Domi Outdoor Tiles (11 3/4″ x 11 3/4″ x 3/4”, interlocking tiles)
- Iowa Plastics Dog Flooring (2’ x 4’ x 1/2”)
- Dri-Dek Dog & Cat Kennel Cage Liner (1′ x 1′, interlocking tiles)
What is the best flooring for dog kennels?
When you take your pet to the vet, to a doggy daycare or to a pet grooming, training or boarding facility, chances are that he will spend at least part of his time in a kennel.
Additionally, animal shelters and breeders use these to provide housing as does the military and law enforcement.
Increasingly, dog owners are also investing in kennels and outdoor runs for their companions.
Whether housed in professional facilities or at home, both service animals and pets deserve safe and sanitary accommodations.
This raises the question – what makes a good kennel?
Ideally, it should be safe, comfortable and sanitary. It should be easy to maintain and durable. One key aspect to a good kennel design is the type of flooring used. Appropriate flooring material plays a key role in maintaining the health and comfort of the kennel’s residents as well as making the kennel easy to care for.
Our recommendation for the best flooring for dog kennel
Here are some of the factors that you should look at when determining the best flooring for dog kennel:
Fixed vs modular sizing: Modular kennel flooring has the same advantages as other types of modular floors. You can easily cut panels to fit any size, making it easier to fit custom kennel designs. Of course, when you are using modular panels, you should make sure to measure twice and cut once to avoid costly mistakes.
Material: You might wonder, particularly if you have an outdoor kennel, why you can’t simply use grass as a surface. Unfortunately, soil can provide a home to canine parasites such as hookworm and giardia, as well as being generally unsanitary in wet conditions.
Another option that was often seen in old style kennels was concrete. Unfortunately, this hard material can lead to joint and skeletal problems.
Far better options include rubber, epoxy, plastic and vinyl. Each of these has its pros and cons.
For example, epoxy floors are shock resistant, as well as fire and water resistant; however, they require a lot of prep time and expertise to properly install.
Vinyl flooring is known to be scratch resistant and easy to clean. However, it’s slippery when wet and the hard surface may be uncomfortable for your pet to sleep on.
Rubber flooring, on the other hand, can be much more comfortable for your pet to lie on. It also can provide good drainage if well designed. However, thinner rubber mats can be chewed by dogs.
Plastic flooring is cheap, soft and fairly durable. It is one of the best options for outdoor kennels as well as a good choice for indoor ones.
Non-slipping/sliding: Some types of flooring options are less desirable when wet as they can become slippery. If you use vinyl tiles, for example, then you should think about using a no-slip mat. This will make it easier to shower your dog in his kennel as well as keeping him safe in wet conditions.
Drainage holes/openings, if any: Drainage holes should be large enough to be effective. However, you don’t want them to be so large that your dog’s nails or paws get stuck in them. This can result in injury to your pet, especially if you are not around to monitor him.
Easy to clean: It’s extremely important that your dog’s kennel be sanitary. There should be no grooves where particles, dirt and bacteria can get lodged. It should be easy to scrub or spray down the kennel to eliminate food particles, feces, urine, vomit, etc. Additionally, the kennel material should be durable enough so that you can routinely disinfect it to maintain sanitary standards.
Durable materials: You want to make sure that your kennel’s flooring is water and scratch resistant.
Comfort: Finally, it’s important to provide your canine companion with a kennel that he feels comfortable in, particularly if he will be spending several hours per day there. Several of the materials discussed are naturally cushioning, while others are harder.
If you opt to use one of the less comfortable materials, you can alleviate some of the disadvantages by adding a soft mat or bedding in part of the kennel.
As you can see, there are several factors to consider when deciding the best flooring for dog kennel.
Molded from high-density plastic resins, the Kennel Deck Flooring System provides a surface that is both comfortable and sanitary. Available in sections that are 2’x4’ each, the pieces fit together snugly and allow you to customize the length of your kennel. Even if you are not particularly handy, you will not have a hard time putting these together as they are lightweight.
Some of the advantages of this flooring design are durability and comfort. The dense plastic is tough and will take a lot of wear and tear.
At the same time, if you are using in an outdoor run, the surface will not feel as cold to dogs as, say, concrete and the material provides a decent level of cushioning. It’s also super easy to hose off and provides a non-skid surface so your dog won’t slip and slide even when it’s wet.
If you set outdoors on the ground, you’ll find that leaves and other debris can get trapped beneath, which means you’ll have to periodically move to clean underneath. It’s also not rigid enough to be suitable to put over an uneven surface. The price is also a bit higher than some other options.
However, it is great for an indoor kennel or for an outdoor run over smooth ground or concrete. We’d advise adding some bedding at one end to create a comfy resting place for your pup.
These interlocking, cushiony and light weight tiles are easy to put together. While originally designed for human shower spaces, the comfortable non-slip material can work well in dog kennels as long as there is support underneath. They are probably more appropriate for indoor kennels and runs vs. outdoor ones.
At about 1’ square per side, the panels make it easy to configure custom lengths and widths. They come in packs of 6 and would be particularly economical in creating a kennel or run for small dogs.
The open mesh construction allows water to drain while the holes are small enough so as not to cause a problem for most pups. The recycled PVC material has natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties as well as being resistant to UV damage.
Clean up is super easy, and if you need to take it apart and put it back together, you’ll find the panel design makes it simple to do so.
One disadvantage is that these tiles are only 5/8” thick, so they may not provide enough drainage for large puddles or solids. Additionally, while they are a practical solution for both indoor and outdoor runs in that they are durable and easy to clean, they may not be as comfortable for your dog if he has sensitive paws.
The Domi Outdoor Tiles are a very attractive design and, with 9 pieces per pack, are a reasonable value.
Made of polymer plastic, the pieces interlock snugly together, making installation easy. The material is great for custom kennel designs as the panels are only 1’ square and can also be cut with a jigsaw if needed.
These tiles are both durable and water resistant, and are easy to keep clean by rinsing or wiping down with a soapy cloth. You can also take apart and put back together as needed.
Dogs will find the material reasonably comfortable, and there are no grooves or holes that might snag their paws. The surface, however, may be susceptible to scratch marks over time.
Drainage and air flow are not as good as with other designs, and the tiles are a bit too flimsy to use over uneven ground or grass. If you decide to use these for an outdoor run, make sure there is a concrete bed underneath.
The best use for these stylish and attractive tiles might be an indoor kennel that is not used for more than a few hours a day.
These interlocking floor grids are designed with kennels in mind. They are designed to withstand power washing and disinfectants, which makes them super easy to keep clean.
However, because the surface drains well and is non-absorbent, it provides a natural shield against bacteria.
The surface is fairly kind to a dog’s feet. Even smaller dogs don’t seem to mind the grid size. With 2 2’x4’ panels per package, it is reasonably priced.
For those wanting to use a custom kennel design – while the manufacturer states that the grids can be cut to size, in reality it may be difficult to lock with other panels if you do this. Also, because these are more sturdy than some other products, it is harder to take apart and put back together if you need to clean underneath.
However, if you need a truly sturdy surface, the Iowa Plastics Dog Flooring panels will last you a long time, making them a good value for the money.
The Dri-Dek Kennel Liners come in 1’x1’ tiles as well as in sheets and rolls. These all snap together to make it easy to put together a custom designed kennel. They also come in a wide variety of colors.
The tiles are apparently very comfortable for dogs and easily drain to keep them dry. They are also flexible, durable and have built-in antimicrobial agents that help fight mold and mildew.
Being lightweight and easy to snap together makes these tiles simple to install. You can also trim to allow a better fit.
Because the material is flexible, dogs will find the surface to be very comfortable. The disadvantage, however, is that these tiles need to be set over an even surface. If you use in an outdoor run you may need to make sure there is concrete underneath.
Also, this is one of the more expensive options available in terms of price per square footage. While the design is very appealing, due to the price point it might be more appropriate to use in a kennel or run for a smaller dog.
Care and maintenance for dog kennels
One of the main reasons to install proper flooring in your dog’s kennel or run is so that you can keep the area clean. This prevents not only unpleasant odors but helps to keep your pet healthy.
How do you keep a dog kennel clean?
Let’s say that you’ve hosed off your dog’s kennel and removed all the unpleasant substances that were there – things such as urine, feces, vomit and any uneaten food particles.
In addition, you’ve disassembled the flooring and hosed off the area underneath. Then you used hot soapy water to sponge down all the surfaces before putting the flooring back together. Is your dog’s kennel now clean?
Unfortunately, while it may look and smell clean, unless you’ve taken care of all potential pathogens you have not truly cleaned it.
To properly sanitize your dog’s kennel, you need to go through a three step process and if you’ve done the process described above you’ve only taken care of steps one and two.
The third important step is to disinfect the surfaces. Since many disinfectants can be deactivated by organic materials, it’s important to remove them first. This is why you must first thoroughly clean your kennel and then let it completely dry before applying your disinfectant.
Do you need to do this every day? Assuming you have a healthy pet, hosing your pup’s kennel every day and disinfecting once a week is fine.
Can I use bleach to clean my dog kennel? Can the smell of bleach harm a dog?
Bleach is a good and inexpensive solution for disinfecting your dog’s kennel. The one caveat is that your kennel must be completely clean before you apply bleach. Allow the bleach to sit for about 10 minutes, then rinse off.
Since the smell of bleach can harm your pup, it’s important that he not be around while you sanitize his kennel. Have someone take him for a walk or rest elsewhere until the kennel has been completely rinsed and then dried.
What do vets use to clean kennels?
Vets actually use a variety of products since not all disinfectants are created equal. Some, like bleach, only disinfect, while other products can do double duty.
Many products have a pleasant smell and are fine for normal use but are inadequate for killing tougher pathogens such as the parvo virus or ringworm. One product many vets like is accelerated hydrogen peroxide, which will kill parvo and other serious pathogens when used at a higher concentration.