Our first phase of construction began on Shady Meadows Kennels, in preparation for moving to our new location, in the Summer of 2004.
The first task was to pour an 85' x 20' concrete pad. This pad has drainage troughs on the front and down slope sides to accommodate easy waste water transfer to the 1000 gallon septic system making twice daily cleaning a breeze.
The concrete was then sealed to clog the pores as to not give harmful bacteria a place to grow. We chose to seal the concrete (although more costly) rather than paint it because the exposed concrete keeps the dogs pads tough and their nails don't get overgrown. The kennel is also open air on the south side to allow direct sunlight to hit the kennel floors for most of the day. Sunlight is the best killer of bacteria that there is.
The dogs lounge in the shady part of the kennels or in insulated dog houses while the sun is doing it's job. For those looking for ideas for their dog kennels another helpful trick is to use fiber mesh in your concrete instead of rebar. Due to the porous nature of concrete and frequent washings the rebar will rust and cause cracking of your pad.
The second phase was completed in the Summer of 2006 with the addition of a 40' x 15' whelping and puppy facility.
Six elevated 4' x 8' nursing kennels were added, a 10' x 12' weaning kennel and three 4' x 4' whelping boxes. This pad was also sloped and tied into the existing septic system.
After much experimentation we have settled on 4' x 4' "puppy play yards" for the moms to whelp their puppies in. They have a raised floor, about 6 inches above, and easily removeable trays so the mess just falls right through and it is much easier on the moms.
At a couple of days old the puppies are dewclawed and then transferred to the nursing kennels. We have changed the elevated nursing kennels several times and have now settled on a metal mesh platform that easily facilitates the feces falling through yet is small enough that the puppies do not get their paws stuck in it.
After many more elaborate types of houses were experimented with, we finally settled on just a plain old standard x-large size Dogloo for the moms to raise their pups in. The top vents can be popped out and a heat lamp installed, the rounded sides have a built in "trough", so to speak, so that if a mom inadvertently gets a pup stuck between her and the wall, it can crawl out safely through the "trough" thus we have less puppies that are laid on by their moms. The moms seem to like to lay against the sides which keep the puppies nursing in the middle part of the Dogloo where there is plenty of space and is directly under the heat lamp. Puppys stay warm even in the worst of temperatures and since the Dogloos are plastic they can be easily cleaned and bleached as needed.
We have visited a lot of kennels to learn from their set ups and we are always looking for better ways so if you have any helpful hints, please share them with us!
SHADY MEADOWS GUNDOGS
RR 1 BOX 51
HUME, MISSOURI 64752