At a design stage, we address the challenges faced for this nature of business. Businesses like these need fast and reliable solutions that are durable, easy to carry out, easily taught to newcomers and maintaining safety of it’s residents and customers.
We look at the operational and service design of the business, where the owner consults with us on their demands, the volume to service and at what speed, and we tie it together into a composition, aka the final design. As such, we look at the 4 main components for operational purposes.
#1 Ventilation and cooling
Our pets can feel as much as we do. In temperate climates, long furred animals can feel the heat which is amplified with the trapping of heat. Think wearing a jacket under a shelter on a hot day.
Techniques used to overcome this could include 24Hr air conditioning systems with backups (much like server rooms) with a monthly maintenance schedule. Why monthly? Fur gets trapped in filters quickly, and might reduce the effectiveness of cooling systems and cause leakages.
Couple it with fans to promote air circulation and exhaust fans to remove bad smells and you will have a healthy air which reduces the chances of virus spreading.
Saying goes, treat the sick fish by treating the water.
A pet accomodation needs to be kept clean, to prevent the spread of viruses (especially at such a time). Other than air, a fast and efficient way of cleaning needs to be developed in the design of the accomodations. Kennels should have a system in place where waste and food particles can be removed quickly, preventing festering.
You can employ the technique of a drain and sewer system where you can soap and wash down the kennel quickly and efficiently, built into the back of the kennel. Another way is to create a modular system where waste can be easily removed by removing a portion of the kennel for cleaning. This will depend on your space available.
Toys, bedding, towels and food/water dishes need to be washed daily and prevent sharing if possible. This comes as discipline and providing the equipment required, such as a dedicated washing area, correct use of cleaning chemicals and a schedule to follow. We can not compromise on hygiene, as saliva breeds bacteria quickly.
Food standards is just as important, a preparation and storage area is needed too. Regularly clean tables, cutlery, cooking equipment and fridges area important. Space must be designed as efficiently and functional as a kitchen.
Prevention of injury caused by other pets or injury that may be inflicted from inanimate objects could save you a lot in the long term. For example, providing enough space for lodgings as to prevent claustrophobia in pets as they might trigger their anxiety and have a need to break free from their enclosed space.
Play areas should be easily cleaned in case of soil, removed of sharp edges and away from sharp tools. Our pets can’t control their expression of excitement and might get accidental lacerations. This includes the materials used for the accomodations, which should omit any sharp edges.
Lighting should be adequate but not blinding for pets and should be placed in areas where wiring is not accessible, chewing on wires can cause electrocution or poisoning. You need a showering facility for pets as they might get dirty from walks and play, resulting in undesirable smells (bacteria growth), or pests and parasites.
For extra comfort, you may provide warm water for showering and proper area for drying as well. Pets can get intimidated by dryers and blowers, they must be isolated in a space where any struggling will not result in injury to staff or pets.
With the main design considerations met, we can then proceed to the aesthetic part of the design, but must still have these needs in mind. As a designer/contractor, you won’t be too far away with this as a guide.
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