Stella, J., Hurt, M., Bauer, A. et al. 2018. Does flooring substrate impact kennel and dog cleanliness in commercial breeding facilities? Animals 8(4), 59.
Evaluation of kennel flooring surfaces is needed to understand their impacts on dog health and well-being. This pilot study aimed to characterize aspects of physical health, kennel cleanliness, and dog body cleanliness on flooring types common in US breeding kennels. Subjects were 118 adult dogs housed on diamond-coated expanded metal (DCEM), polypropylene (POLY), or concrete (CON) flooring at five commercial breeding facilities in Indiana, U.S. Body condition, paw, elbow, and hock health scores were recorded. Each indoor kennel and dog was visually assessed for cleanliness. Kennels were swabbed immediately after cleaning with electrostatic dry cloths and cultured for Escherichia coli. Descriptive statistics were used for analysis. Mean body condition score (BCS), kennel and dog cleanliness scores were all near ideal (3, 1.15, and 1.04, respectively). Thirty-one percent or fewer kennels at each facility were culture-positive for E. coli after cleaning. No serious paw, elbow, or hock problems were identified. Overall, the findings indicate that with appropriate management and regular access to additional surfaces, dog foot health, cleanliness, and kennel cleanliness can be maintained on the flooring types investigated.