Category Archives: Kennel Enclosures

A New Folding Kennel Option

A Folding Kennel Option

Crates Don’t Work Well.

Folding crates are a pain. You never seem to have the right size for the animal. When you fold them up, where do you store them? Most often, I see crates with a broken plastic floor that causes the animal to lie on the wire bottom-certainly not a good thing.

So, what do you do when you need more kennel space?

This folding, Space Saver kennel came across my desk today. It is full size, and folds flat to the wall in no time. I think this new kennel has great potential for use in a daycare rooms for downtime or to provide additional boarding for that busy holiday weekend when you’re out of space. For an SPCA, these would be great for those times when you need a lot of intake space, but when not needed, they fold-up in short order to free up the room for other activities. Have a look at this link, and be sure to watch the video.

If you are interested, let me know if you need help in laying the space out, and then we can get you some pricing.

Choosing Kennel Enclosures

Kennel Stall ChoicesWhen Choosing Kennel Enclosures; Spend Your Money Wisely!

I’ve been designing animal shelters, boarding kennels and animal hospitals since 2003. In that time, I’ve talked to hundreds of kennel owners and staff. I’ve also seen a lot of broken-down and warn-out kennels too. This post is about understanding what is available for kennel enclosures today.  It is so important to buy the best you can afford, so you won’t have to replace them any time soon.

Along with the kennels themselves, there are a lot of choices for finishes and for accessories as well. The costs will add up quickly. This is likely to be one of the most costly investments a shelter or boarding kennel will make after the cost of the building itself.

Most kennels enclosures would fit into one of these categories:

  • the Great
  • the Not So Bad &
  • the Ugly

There are several reasons why I might put any particular enclosure into any one of these categories, mostly because of finishes, and we will look at each of them shortly. There are, however, a few features that you should have regardless of what enclosure type you choose.

Any kennel stall you choose must:

  • contain animals–no big gaps at the gate.
  • have a rigid frame that can be repaired as needed
  • resist constant lateral impact from dogs pushing on stall walls
  • be water resistant
  • be easily cleaned
  • have finishes that minimize mold growth
  • prevent cross contamination of fluids between kennel stalls
  • be adjustable for the slope of the floor
  • have a field (the panel, or the solid area inside the frame) that is also rigid
  • prevent fence fighting between stalls
  • have a grill above 48-52 inches to allow for better air movement
  • prevent injury
  • have no sharp corners, and have no corners with more than a one half inch radius
  • have sufficient space for both the animal, but also for a human to access and clean the kennel. I recommend that no stall should be narrower than 4′ wide.
  • must have proper hardware and a proper finish for the task intended

What makes a Great, a Not-So-Bad and an Ugly kennel enclosure?

The Great

A great enclosure would have a frame made from aluminum or stainless steel. I prefer mechanical fasteners for the frame, as opposed to a welded connection, so that the frame can be unscrewed and parts replaced as needed, quickly. Welding would be my second choice of connection as a professional welder could cut-out the damage and rebuild the frame. Parts should be available when they become bent or broken. The frame should have square corners, and no sharp edges anywhere. A radius corner is an avenue leading a foot or leg to becoming caught and perhaps broken. I like a bar grill stall front, as opposed to a solid panel, because a handler walking down the isle, can quickly look in and see what’s going on. A solid panel prevents this ‘communication’ between the dog and handler. Some manufactures, like Mason, build-to-order custom enclosure sizes. This ensures a good fit. The enclosure field should be a stainless steel, a FRP (Fiber Reinforced Plastic) or similar finish to prevent water damage and mold growth.

The not so Bad

When using a galvanized, powder coated or painted finish on a steel frame, the finish will likely get scratched off in short order. I know of one case where the lower half of the gates were ‘paint-free’ in thirty days. The same goes for a painted masonry wall. In most of the kennels that I visit for renovation, I see worn-out and rusted kennel stalls or broken and/or moldy masonry partitions. This is a cheaper option than a ‘Great’ enclosure, as outlined above, but with a strong frame, and thick wall tubing, it should last for years, if, the finish is constantly maintained. I would include a glass stall front enclosure here too, as they are a never-ending nose-print cleaning nightmare–but look pretty in pictures. Again, I prefer a mechanical fastener for the frame, but this classification will likely have a welded connection. Other than that, all the other items listed above pertain to this category as well.

The Ugly

Wood materials for a kennel enclosure should not be a consideration. Enough said for wood. A galvanized, powder coated or painted finish may also be included in this category too, as they will likely look ugly in a few months without maintenance. But also, I would add chain-link fencing material to this category. A chain-link gate often warps (see the photo above) or gets bent, and needs constant repair or adjustment. If choosing chain-link, choose a small size fence fabric, designed for swimming pool fences, so that animals cannot reach through with their nose and cause injury to themselves when barking. It is not that this category will not work to contain animals.  They will. It’s just that they will likely not stay as nice-looking for as long as others. In all of the kennels I renovate, I see badly rusted enclosures. Replacing them is extremely costly. The sides should, again, be solid to prevent fence fighting, but, for chain-link,  don’t use thin plastic slats that could break apart. Some manufactures offer options for stacking kennels too, something for which I’m not a fan for a number of reasons. I would include them here as well because they may be more difficult to clean, and perhaps require animals to be lifted into a kennel.

A Closing Word

Most importantly, let your pocketbook be your guide, and spend your money wisely. Once the enclosures have been chosen, then decide on the needed accessories. If I can help you in planning your new kennel, shelter or animal hospital, or in the renovation of your existing facility, or in just choosing materials, well, that’s what I do!  Please call on me, anytime. I’m likely right here in the studio, designing a kennel.