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Discussion Starter #1
What is the best material to sue for kennel flooring on which to keep puppies once they are weaned.I have cement floor and wood on top.I find layering newspaper down after I disinfect their area 2-3 times /day just is not working the best.Any suggestions for other materials or how to keep the puppies cleaner and fresher smelling?We have generally 2 litters per year and the winter litters are the ones that I find harder due to this problem.Outside in the grass is not a problem.
 

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I have 3 whelping rooms in our basement that have vinyl over the cement so it is a bit warmer and easier to clean. Yes we have the same problem with winter litters too. But after 7 weeks old we start to crate train these guy's so that after they leave our place the new owner if chooses to crate their pup doesn't have to much troble doing so. I'm sure that there are other members here that have better ideas than myself.
 

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I use vinyl flooring over cement. And they start taking themselves outside at which time, I seriously limit the indoor area. But this was with summer litters, so outside was easy, especially with plenty of wood chips to keep them smelling fresh.

I see in the dog magazines these puppy pens that are wire raised and have pans under them. My litters just couldn't stay in a 4'x4' area though.

So I use tons of newspapers inside and wood chips outside and hope that they house train themselves quickly.
 

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We have vinyl flooring over cement. We do use newspapers once the pups are older and the dam is no longer in charge of clean up duty. We have an indoor/outdoor set up with an indoor kennel/whelping box and a dog door to an outdoor kennel on patio brick. I really, really love this set up. By the time the pups are 4-5 weeks old, they are pretty good about going outside to potty. They get better as time goes on and while there's still the occasional peeing and pooping inside, it's greatly reduced and that helps keep things clean.

Our indoor area is divided between a 5x5 whelping box with an attached exercise pen. We put cedar chips in the whelping box, and newspapers over the vinyl flooring in the surrounding pen. With two separate indoor areas, they pick one for sleeping/playing and one for a bathroom. So when the pups do decide to pee and poop indoors instead of going outside (which is usually at night) they consistently do it in their designated bathroom area.

Oddly, we've had some litters that preferred to sleep and play in the cedar chip filled whelping box and use the open exercise pen for the bathroom, and others that preferred to sleep and play in the exercise pen and used the cedar chips in the whelping area as a litterbox. Either way it works as the pups are sleeping and playing away from where they pee and poop, and the cedar chips help keep the area and the puppies cleaner and smelling fresh.

Here's a picture of our indoor set up.
 

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I used to have vinyl flooring. Got tired of whelping dams ripping it to shreds. We've since put down ceramic tile and I use heat lamps as needed. When they're first getting mobile, I use bath maps with the backings. Pups learn to get a good footing. About 5 wks I open up the doggie door to the fenced in outdoor area and they are taught to go up and down the ramp. They usually start going outside to do their business without formal teaching.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Chris-your indoor set-up looks like it would be the ideal thing-I thought about the wood chips idea but was thinking it may cause eye irritation.I have used straw before in our old kennel building and that is what I found.Nothing major but the vet would always point that out when I got them vet-checked.What kind of wood chips should we use-cedar?And thank you for the help-much appreciate it.Great picture too.
 

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The wire pens with the pans underneath (I am told) causes them to get their feet caught thru the grates and then they start screaming.I have friends that breed cockers and that is what they use but the shepherds become a bit too heavy and is not feasible.
The problem for us is we live in NW Ontario Canada and right now it is -25 so no such thing as a "doggie door" so they can let themselves outside to go.Then of course you have to bath them evey few days because they get so smelly which you don't want to be doing either at this time of year.
 

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Originally Posted By: LindasilChris-your indoor set-up looks like it would be the ideal thing-I thought about the wood chips idea but was thinking it may cause eye irritation.I have used straw before in our old kennel building and that is what I found.Nothing major but the vet would always point that out when I got them vet-checked.What kind of wood chips should we use-cedar?And thank you for the help-much appreciate it.Great picture too.
We've never had any eye irritation problems with the wood chips. Straw is very dusty and has lots of fine particles in it, and with a lot of traffic on it the straw stalks will break down into more fine pieces that can get into the air which is why it can lead to eye irritation. Wood chips don't have those issues, so long as you buy the larger chips, not the really finely ground ones often used in hamster cages. We use cedar. Of course, there's always a potential of pups eating the wood chips, so we always make sure to watch the pups to make sure that doesn't happen. We haven't had a wood chip eater yet, but if we did we'd pull out the chips.
 

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I've tried cypress, eucalyptus, cedar. All irritate the eyes down here to where I've had to get drops, ugh! Glad others aren't having problems with it. It would be so much cheaper if I could use it! Needless to say we're pouring a slap for the puppy area before the next litter arrives.
 

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Really? Nope, never had a single eye irritation problem here. Straw irritates *my* eyes for the reasons I mentioned above so I figured that was why we'd had no problems with the cedar chips. But maybe it's something else. Just further proof that nothing works for everyone. I'm just glad they're working for us thus far.
 

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I wonder too if maybe shredded paper in the one pen where you have cedar chips would even work-good for recycling and there is always lots of places to get it.I kind of like the cedar chips idea tho because it will reduce the smell issue.Chris -how often do you find you re changing the cedar chips?And is it costly?
 

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Originally Posted By: LindasilChris -how often do you find you re changing the cedar chips?And is it costly?

How often we change them depends on if it's a litter that uses them for playing/sleeping or a litter that uses them for a litterbox.

If used for playing/sleeping, we take out all the chips, clean and disenfect everything once a week, and replace with new chips.

If used as a litterbox, we clean the litterbox several times a day. Scooping out the stools and urine soaked chips and refilling the box as needed with fresh chips to replace the fouled chips we take out. Then all the chips get removed, the box cleaned and disinfected, and all fresh chips put in every couple of days.

We buy the chips in 20lb bags for about $7 a bag. The chips are very compacted in the bags, so what looks like a rather small amount in the bag is actually a lot of chips once they're spread out and fluffed up. One 20lb bag will do 2 complete box changes.
 

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I use cedar chips outside, but never did inside. I am considering it though. I have never had any eye problems with the chips. For the adult dogs, I used to have a four foot by fourteen foot potty area on one end of the concrete kennel. This had to be changed at least once a month even when you remove poo daily. It would require four bricks of chips to fill it. and these cost about six - seven dollars each.

These are a PITA when it comes to hosing down though. And in the winter if you put straw in the houses for them, they pull it out and mix it with the wood chips, add in melting ice and snow and then it becomes an awful mess. The chips can prevent the ice/snow from draining out properly.
 
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