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Winter - Cleaning Dog Runs

Winter - Cleaning Dog Runs

Postby Montana » Mon Jan 23, 2017 4:57 pm

I've had gundogs most of my life and have always dreaded winter as far as keeping dog runs clean. I chip away the dropping and urine that is frozen to the packed down snow and ice, but never feel like I have them clean enough. Hosing the runs is out....just makes things worse (if the hose isn't frozen). Anyone have any tips on cleaning runs this time of year? I'm talking when it's below zero with a foot of snow on the ground......
Montana
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Re: Winter - Cleaning Dog Runs

Postby shags » Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:59 pm

My experience comes from working at a few vet clinics and helping out at a couple of training kennels in the midwest. At home we have a little stone dog yard about 10X30. We can get that kind of cold, and lots of snow, but it doesn't last for months or even weeks on end, so YMMV.
First, don't let the dogs have free choice in and out overnight or when it's snowing. Shovel and broom the runs before the dogs have access.
Then, use an ice scraper to loosen piles and frozen puddles of urine, and scoop them up. We always pretty much cleaned as it dropped, which worked with the dogs not being able to go in and out at will. No smearing or smooshing the mess around.
If the dogs have to have constant access because you're at work, try to scrape a couple times a day.
The minute there's a warm up, hose/disinfect then squeegee the water out of the run.

One place I worked had heated runs, recirculated hot water under the concrete. Fabulous in winter! So if that's ever an option I would go for it.

Hang in there, spring's coming :D
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Re: Winter - Cleaning Dog Runs

Postby Montana » Tue Jan 24, 2017 1:19 pm

Thanks... Your system wouldn't work for me. My dog houses are in the dog runs, so the dogs can come and go from their dog house as they please. We went 6 weeks recently without the temperature getting above freezing. It went as low as -33 and we had several nights when it was -20 or lower. I always chip away the ice and clean/sanitize the runs when we get a warm spell, but sometimes it's weeks before that happens. Exercising the dogs twice a day certainly helps as they "do their job" when they are being worked so there is less in the runs, but when it's bitter cold the exercise time is pretty short.

By the way, I have heaters for my dog houses. I really don't know if they are needed as most the time the dogs are laying on top of their dog houses, but it makes me feel better knowing they have some heat if they want it.

I like winter.....except for tending to my dogs! :D
Montana
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