Managing Germs in the Kennel Environment: Croney Research Group


Choosing Your Disinfectant

What does it mean to clean, disinfect, sanitize, or sterilize?

Cleaning: Physical removal of dirt and debris using water and a detergent such as soap

Sanitizing: Cleaning/disinfecting to lower the number of germs to a safe level

Disinfecting: Chemical cleaning that kills 99.9% of germs

Sterilizing: Removing all germs from a surface

Germ: A microorganism that can cause disease (e.g., bacteria, virus, fungus, or other small organism)

To manage coccidia:

Practice preventative treatment with medications

Remove feces from dog kennels frequently

Use steam cleaning where possible

Which disinfectant should I use?

There are many disinfectants to choose from. Consider what germs you are hoping to remove when choosing a disinfectant. The disinfectant that you choose must be safe for dogs and humans.

Some viruses, bacteria, and parasites are not killed by disinfectants. Examples of resistant parasites include roundworms and coccidia.

Can I only choose one disinfectant?

Use one disinfectant per application! Using multiple disinfectants together can be dangerous. For example, do not mix the use of bleach and ammonia. Follow instructions for time between applications of different disinfectants.

Rotating different disinfectants can be useful to manage microbes in the kennel environment.

Efficacy and Safety of Common Disinfectants

Note: Disinfectants must be used correctly (as indicated on the label) to be safe and effective in the ways described in this table

* Disinfecting products can only make limited claims about killing parasites on surfaces.

**Remove animals before cleaning, and let surfaces dry before returning them to disinfected kennels.

*** At 2% dilution, not effective for most common fungi in dogs.

Using Disinfectants

Clean all surfaces before using disinfectants. Cleaning reduces pathogens on surfaces, and increases the efficacy of disinfectants.

Move animals to a different location before disinfecting an area of your kennels.

For a disinfectant to be effective and safe, you must use it correctly. Follow all instructions on the product label.

  • Wear recommended protective equipment such as gloves and masks during use
  • Make sure there is adequate ventilation in the space you are disinfecting
  • Create the appropriate concentration of the disinfectant
  • Correctly prepare the surface before applying the disinfectant
  • Apply the appropriate amount of disinfectant by saturating the area or spraying continuously
  • Leave the disinfectant on the surface for enough time
  • Rinse the disinfectant off the surface if needed
  • Dry the surface before use
  • Store the disinfectant correctly
  • Make a new dilution as needed
  • Dispose of unused mixtures that are no longer effective due to contamination or age

Working with Concentrated Solutions

Often, disinfectants come as a concentrated solution. Using the disinfectant at this concentration could be a safety concern. If necessary, create a diluted solution for your use.

How to make a diluted disinfectant solution:

  1. Read the disinfectant label closely for instructions
  2. Measure out the correct amount of water and place in a bottle
  3. Measure out the correct amount of disinfectant and add to the water in the bottle

Be careful when handling concentrated disinfectants! This might include wearing a mask and gloves. Always read the label for instructions.

Discard contaminated disinfectants. Contamination decreases the ability of a disinfectant to work.

Safe and Effective Disinfectant Use

* Highly irritating. Wear gloves and goggles when using. Ensure adequate ventilation. A rinse is required for use on food surfaces.

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Topic(s): Bare Bones Basics, Breeder Resource, Environmental Management and Monitoring, Hygiene