If your dog lives mostly outdoors, you need to provide it with a clean, comfortable kennel that will last for years. Your choice of flooring will be a major factor in ensuring that the dog is kept healthy. Choose a floor that will stay dry and warm in wet and cold weather and will not be hard on the dog's joints. The floor should be easy to clean and sanitise, and should not be made from material the dog will not be tempted to chew, and will not cause harm if it does.
A solid concrete slab is the easiest and the cheapest floor to install, but it does not protect the dog's skeleton and may aggravate arthritis and other joint problems. Concrete is cold in winter, and although it is easy to clean, it tends to stain. If you use concrete, raise the kennel floor at least 5 inches above the ground to prevent flooding, and provide warm, soft bedding that is elevated so that the dog does not rest on the cold, hard concrete floor.
Gravel is suitable kennel flooring for dogs that have tough pads and paws, such as sled dogs. Both urine and disinfectant can drain away through the gravel into the ground below, and a thick layer of gravel provides a resilient surface for the dog to walk on. However, some dogs eat gravel so you need to be sure your dog will be safe with this type of floor.
Wooden floors are soft on the dog's bone structure and insulate well, but are harder to sanitise. Wood is porous, and urine and other bodily fluids soak into the wood, making it damp and retaining the smell. Laminated wood is a practical option, as this is less porous and easier to clean, but is usually more expensive. A layer of wood chips provides a soft, practical floor but also retains liquid, resulting in a damp environment in which bacteria can thrive.
A variety of instant options are available for dog kennels. A moulded, UV-resistant instant plastic deck provides a resilient surface for the dog to walk on. A kennel platform can be purchased according to size in interlocking modular sections that are textured for a non-slip surface. The sections can be secured above the ground or concrete for an elevated floor that traps warm air in winter and cool in summer to provide insulation. Once assembled, the platform provides easy drainage for cleaning.
Moulded Dog Houses
Single-unit, moulded plastic dog houses come with hard plastic flooring that can usually only be cleaned by clearing out the entire sleeping area and washing it down. These kennels are used mostly for sleeping quarters and should be placed in a shaded area to avoid the kennel overheating in the sun.