Dog shelters are some of the most important animal care facilities out there, performing the needed service of keeping dogs safe and healthy off the streets. However, with shelters constantly taking in animals with uncertain backgrounds, the risk of disease outbreaks inside dog shelters can be much higher than in other facilities.
Any animal care facility needs to manage infection risk. Yet even kennels or boarding facilities, all of which run a higher than normal risk of spreading canine diseases like parvo and kennel cough, can pale in comparison to how quickly an infection can tear through even the cleanest and well-maintained dog shelter. Here are some strategies and animal shelter cleaning systems for preventing the worst of these dog shelter disease outbreaks in your own facility.
Infection and disease is often a numbers game. The higher the population of any shelter, the more likely it is that an infection brought in by a single dog can spread through the entire facility. Lower-population shelters minimize the spread on a sheer numerical level while also providing fewer opportunities for dogs to come in direct contact with one another – crowded shelters put dogs in closer proximity, making it easier to pass contagious diseases back and forth.
Limiting Length of Stay
The longer a dog is in your facility, the more opportunity it has to spread any infections that it has. Likewise, the longer you have a dog in your shelter, the more likely it is that it might pick up a disease from another dog that is already infected. Keeping lengths of stay as limited as possible minimizes the possibility that healthy dogs will either be exposed to contagious ones and vice-versa.
If there’s one strategy that can go the farthest when it comes to protecting the healthy dogs in your facility from being infected, it’s ensuring that the dogs that are brought to your shelter are current on all of their vaccinations. This won’t prevent the spread of diseases that you can’t vaccinate against, but it does significantly cut down on the overall number of contagions that you’ll have to worry about on a day-to-day level.
Cleaning and Sanitation
While you might not have much control over whether the dogs in your shelter come in while sick or not, you do have control over how clean you keep your shelter. There are dozens of animal shelter cleaning products that are safe and effective in not just keeping kennels and common spaces clean but also in disinfecting and sanitizing hard surfaces, which helps contain and control the spread of infectious disease. It’s a challenge to keep your shelter as clean as possible to be sure, but with the alternative being the spread of illness through your dog shelter, it’s more than worth it to keep kennels, toys, and food and water bowls clean and sanitized.