Flooring is a super important but often overlooked feature of kennels. The flooring must be non-toxic and very durable. Moreover, it must also protect your dog’s claws & remain hygienic.
Clearly, there are loads of features that kennel floors must have. Similarly, there are also so many kinds of floors for indoor & outdoor kennels.
They all have different characteristics & you can choose the one that is most suitable for your needs. We also have a few money-saving do-it-yourself options if you’re the crafty type!
What Is A Kennel?
A kennel is a temporary shelter for an animal, usually a dog. They can be made of plastic, wood, or metal; the possibilities are endless!
Kennels can be indoors, which is common for younger puppies or home breeders.
They can also be outdoors. Outdoor kennels are usually metal & used for larger, fully-grown dogs. There are also indoor-outdoor kennels that use a house wall as one of the kennel walls.
The type of kennel you choose depends on your lifestyle, your weather, and the space you have available.
The kennel is usually fully enclosed with four walls and a door. There may or may not be a roof as well. Roofs are usually found in outdoor kennels to protect against predators.
However, all good kennels usually have some sort of flooring.
Why Do You Need Flooring?
If you’re about to install a kennel, you may be wondering if there is even a need to install separate flooring. After all, the grass is already there- and it’s free!
However, flooring is extremely important for a good kennel design.
Flooring will keep the comfort of dogs in mind; a good flooring material will be temperature resistant so as not to burn their little paws and also provide comfort while standing.
The flooring also makes cleaning up so much easier! Think about it, it’s a lot harder to clean up wet grass than it is to clean up rubber.
A good flooring aids puppies in potty training.
Naturally, dogs are more inclined to go on grass; therefore, if their entire kennel is made of grass, they will end up super confused about where to relieve themselves.
A good floor also won’t sustain any damage over time, so you won’t need to replace it like hardwood floors.
Furthermore, kennel flooring is usually an anti-slip surface, so your pups won’t take any tumbles when they are still young.
Features of a good flooring material
- Even the best flooring options are relatively cheap. Try not to go above $5-6 per square foot.
- Cheap dog kennel flooring ideas are a dime a dozen, and they are still very long-lasting & comfortable.
Easy to clean
- Good kennel flooring options are water-proof & safe to use with household cleaners.
- Your floor should not corrode with common cleaning agents, as this can make it extremely hard to clean them regularly.
- To clean most kennel floors, you should just use a dilute solution of soap and hot water. Scrub all the surfaces with a stiff-bristled brush and rinse them. If necessary, add another chemical disinfectant, but this step isn’t necessary for most home kennels.
- Kennels should be cleaned at least once every two days for single-dog kennels if the dog is potty-trained.
- If the dog isn’t housebroken, then their kennel must be spot-cleaned a few times a day & deep-cleaned once every two weeks. This keeps the kennel hygienic at all times and ensures that your puppy is also very comfortable.
- You don’t want to have to keep repurchasing the flooring for kennels. Trust me, invest in a reliable flooring material from the start. It’s very difficult to have to keep installing new ones when the old ones start to fall apart.
- Puppies may find digging into the floor or chewing on the edges amusing. Therefore, the material you chose must be able to withstand a couple of bite marks and scratches.
- To increase the longevity of their floors, most kennels cut the material they buy to custom-fit most dog kennels. This means that there are no loose ends for the dogs to chew on, which makes it last much longer.
- If you have an outdoor kennel, your dogs are often left to the elements.
- To combat extreme temperatures, their kennels must have very insulating flooring.
- This means that the material should not trap heat, as this could burn your dog’s paws. Furthermore, it should not be extremely cold as this can burn or dry out your dog’s paws.
- Avoid extremely dark-colored flooring, as they will typically trap heat. Also, try not to use metal floors as they can quickly become very hot.
- Good-quality dog kennels have a non-skid surface. This could be possible due to a thin layer of rubber or metal bumps to produce a bit of friction.
- A non-slip surface is very beneficial as it allows the puppies to learn how to walk quickly.
- Furthermore, long-term walking on a slippery surface like tile damages a dog’s joint health.
- This is because there is no traction; therefore, the dog’s legs constantly slip apart, which could lead to hip dysplasia and arthritis.
If you have an indoor kennel, try out these floor materials. Not only will they look very good in your home, but they work best for kennels that aren’t exposed to the elements.
Vinyl sheet flooring is a very good, cost-effective option for indoor dog kennels. It looks very industrial & is also extremely durable.
They typically come in sheets or rolls, which are cheaper than rubber.
While the diamond plate surface is the most common, they also come in different designs such as tile, wood, and cement. This is great if you have a “doggie room” and you want to design very aesthetically.
Vinyl is also very easy to clean. It is a safe surface for most cleaners.
This material is also extremely hard to destroy, especially if you frequently cut your dog’s nails and take them on walks to file them down.
However, one drawback of vinyl is that it can become extremely slippery when wet, which isn’t great for puppies.
Therefore, we recommend placing the bowl of water in a corner so it won’t create a huge mess if it spills.
Rubber is definitely a favorite for kennel owners. A solid rubber roll is extremely cheap & can be found in most hardware stores. It can also easily be cut to perfectly fit in your indoor dog kennel.
Rubber provides great traction, which stops puppy tumbles & also reduces mess from upturned water bowls.
Rubber is also extremely durable; dogs can gnaw on it, but it still won’t make a dent!
Rubber also absorbs impact, which means that if your puppies do fall down, they can just pick themselves back up again!
Cleaning rubber is fairly easy. All you need to do is pick up any solid waste, sweep up any hair, and wash with detergent and water.
However, rubber takes a while to dry since it is porous. Therefore, this could be a hassle if you clean regularly. Also, certain mats have a very strong rubber smell which takes a while to wash out.
Interlocking Foam mats
We’ve all seen these in play areas & kindergartens. These interlocking foam mats are probably the most budget-friendly option on the market; they can come up to $1 per square foot!
To install, simply lock together the individual pieces and cut off any excess! These are really easy to clean as they can be vacuumed & are water-proof.
If there is a big mess, you can also wash it with detergent & water.
However, this material is very flimsy & can easily be chewed up by bored pups.
These are the best flooring options for outdoor kennels. These materials must also be more durable & weather-resistant.
If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant, you’ve definitely seen this style of rubber flooring. It is basically kennel flooring tiles made of rubber with extremely large drainage holes.
This is very commonly used in areas where there is a lot of movement & spilling, making it the perfect surface for a kennel.
Therefore, this material is unbelievably easy to clean. Since most liquid waste drains down, all you need to do is pick up any solid waste, remove the mat, and mop up the liquid. This is also great for wet weather.
Also, the rubber that it’s made of provides your pets with tons of traction, making it very hard to slip.
However, the drainage holes might be too big for extra-small dogs like Chihuahuas or Toy breeds. Their feet might get stuck in them, especially when they are puppies.
Furthermore, customer reviews stated that the black rubber can heat up a lot under the sun and may burn your dog’s paws.
The kennel deck is the most common option for outdoor weather conditions. Just like a porch deck, it is made of individual slabs; therefore, waste can drain through them.
Kennel decks are made of polypropylene for weather resistance & durability.
A kennel deck is very easy to clean, as it doesn’t react with household pet cleaners. This material also doesn’t get very hot or cold, which makes it the perfect option for an outdoor dog kennel.
Polypropylene provides maximum durability & a great look at a low cost. Kennel decks come in a variety of designs & can be chosen to fit your decor.
However, since the deck pieces aren’t modular & very hard to cut, you must ensure that the size is perfect and fits your kennel flawlessly.
Furthermore, some pet owners complain that the kennel deck leads to a lot of slipping.
Synthetic grass is a very pretty option for outdoor dog kennel flooring. The fake grass can be cut to size & easily installed in your backyard.
Look for a material that is UV resistant so that it doesn’t fade or melt in the sun. Also, look for a pet-safe variety as your dogs may chew on it.
Artificial grass is an anti-skid surface that dogs find extremely comfortable.
However, this natural comfort also means potty training your puppy may be hard.
They aren’t able to identify the difference between real & fake grass and may end up relieving themselves in the kennel.
Grass usually has drainage holes, but I have noticed that no matter how much you clean it, synthetic grass still clings to a very strong urine smell.
Also, synthetic turf gets hot very easily and can burn your dog’s paws. Moreover, good-quality synthetic grass is usually pretty expensive.
We have compiled a few do-it-yourself flooring ideas if you’d like to save money. These are easy to do, extremely cheap alternatives to pre-made flooring materials.
However, these aren’t optimal for long-term use. We only suggest these options if you are planning on using the kennel infrequently.
First, start with making a metal or wood frame around 6 inches tall. Place a rubber mat or plastic tarp underneath. Then, pour in your pea gravel & smooth it out.
If you have larger dogs, I recommend using stones as pea gravel can be a choking hazard.
This is a great, low-cost option that looks fantastic. One of the benefits is that the stones give the kennel good drainage, and you can just wash the stones with water to clean them.
They are also comfortable for your dogs to stand on. Plus, there’s nothing more durable than a rock!
However, gravel is notorious for heating up under the sun, so it’s not great for the blistering summer months.
Similar to the gravel flooring, all you need is a wooden or metal frame. Then, take a bag of sand & pour it into the frame. Sand is also extremely cheap, and installation is a breeze.
Cleaning up wet & dry messes on sand is super convenient; simply scoop it up & throw it away like cat litter.
However, sand encourages a dog’s digging tendencies. This could lead to a lot of mess.
Moreover, if sand gets in the food bowls & your dog is consistently consuming lots of it, this could lead to constipation & stomach pain.
Also, sand is very temperature sensitive and will get very cold and very hot quickly.
Also, as dogs play around, they are very likely to get sand on their coat.
While this is okay for breeds like rottweilers as it can easily be brushed out, it is so frustrating if you have a poodle. You know the feeling if you have long hair and you’ve tried to get the sand out after the beach!
PP or HDPE plastic pallets are very commonly used in factories or warehouses. They can easily be bought in bulk, and are extremely cheap. Simply place them in the kennel & cut them to size if required.
Plastic pallets have numerous benefits. They drain easily, so they are very easy to clean. They are easy to chemically sanitize, but be wary when using hot water on them.
Since they are raised up, they also improve the kennel’s airflow & keep your dog sanitary. Also, this material bodes well in the cold but may become sticky in direct sunlight.
Some plastic pellets can be toxic, especially if your dog keeps chewing on them. Also, they are not too comfortable for your pup to stand on for long periods of time.
As you can see, there are loads of flooring options for pet owners nowadays. No matter what you choose, make sure that it is safe, comfortable, and easy to clean.
We hope you found this article informative; if you did, please share it with other pet parents! If you have any other ideas for materials, please leave a comment down below.
Thanks for reading!