Thursday, September 17, 2009


I think like most of you my least favorite thing when taking care of my dogs is the “yucky” chore of cleaning and disinfecting the dog runs. I love it when it’s done and everything is nice and clean once again, but it doesn’t stay that way too long. So what’s some of the best disinfectants on the market for this unavoidable task?

I started out writing this article about some of the best products on the market to use when cleaning and disinfecting your kennels and equipment. I was writing about some of the products that I’ve used and liked. For years I’ve used and still use bleach for disinfecting my dog’s run. It’s cheap and it works. It claims to be 99.9% effective against bacteria. The only thing is it doesn’t leave a nice smell like some of the other products do. Then I went on to say one of my favorite scented disinfectants is Nolvasan S which is a bactericide and virucide. I loved it because it’s highly concentrated so you don’t need to use a lot of it. Plus I loved the smell of it. Like all of my articles, what I don’t already know, the rest I will do research on before reporting about it. So it is with this article as well. Imagine my surprise then to read an article about the dangers of disinfecting the kennels too much. So that is what I am choosing to write about today – the dangers of using these products rather than recommending any of them.

Most of us routinely clean and disinfect our kennels, and dog equipment. It’s what we do if we want a clean environment for our animals. According to this article that I read written by a holistic veterinarian, it is unnecessary and potentially harmful to our dogs. The author is not advocating that we keep the premises dirty, but that we shouldn’t be disinfecting them too much.

He further states that non-porous surfaces cannot be disinfected like for instance, your animals toys. He says that scientific studies prove that cleaning with soap and water will remove 95% of bacteria, viruses and fungi. When adding a disinfectant, it only removes an additional 2 – 3 %. He continues by saying that it is impossible to sterilize your dog’s environment unless you were to clean it several times a day. Second, (and I quote) “the bacteria in your dog’s environment have mostly been seen by your dog already. They came from your dog's feet and mouth, the food he is eating, and from your hands. Your dog is already resistant to infection from these bacteria and viruses. The few new germs that he is exposed to will, in almost all cases, be a healthy stimulant to his immune system, providing immunity for future germs.” (End quote).

If you read the label of a product that is a disinfectant, you will see that it has a precaution on it saying that these products are poisons if taken internally. If you are cleaning the runs, the bowls, his crates, etc. with these products, the dog is walking on the surface with his feet, licking the bowl, and lying in his crate, he is ingesting small amounts of the disinfectant or breathing it all the time. Over time this can lead to serious health risks and diseases. At the same time, it is not good for us to breathe in the toxins or have contact with our skin.

According to this report, recent studies are showing that if we continue to use these disinfectants that we will be creating a “super bacteria” that will be more deadly just like the overuse of antibiotics which has created bacteria that is resistant to all other antibiotics. Disinfectants are known carcinogens and are toxic to various organs in the body.

Again according to this author, the American Medical Association recently came out with a recommendation against the routine use of disinfectant soaps. I know that I’ve read several articles over the last year saying that antibacterial soaps are not as effective as they once thought.

So what is one to do? Is plain old soap and water good enough? Do we introduce more problems when we try to do the right thing by using disinfectants? What do you think is the right thing to do? What are you using to clean your dog’s kennels and equipment?

Disinfectants can run you $5 right up to $125 depending upon the size of the product.

My rating: (before reading this article): bleach & Nolvasan S got a (4). Now I’m not too sure anymore!

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