Outsourcing your janitorial services to a certified green custodial provider will cost-effectively eliminate many of the dangers facing workers and animals in pet hotels.
The Benefits of Outsourcing Janitorial Services for Pet Hotels
Accepting the responsibility for the care, health, and well-being of another person's pet is a solemn responsibility, especially where many pet owners consider their animals on par with, or closer than, family members--a fact outlined in a recent article published by Psychology Today.
In a well-known study by Sandra Barker and Randolph Barker from the 1980s, dog owners were asked to complete what is called the Family Life Space Diagram (FLSD), in which symbols representing family members and dogs are placed within a drawn circle representing one’s “life space.”
In 38 percent of the diagrams, the dog was placed closer to the self than were other family members.
With that in mind, it is crucial for the owners and managers of pet hotels and spas to understand the health and safety challenges that are directly related to their cleaning and disinfection practices, and how those affect germ and bacteria levels, as well as the safety of pets, owners, and staff.
Health Challenges Faced by Pet Hotels
The three most common cleaning for health first challenges faced by many pet hotels are:
- Kennel Cough.
- Indoor Air Quality, and;
- Cleaning Product Safety.
As a general rule, pet hotels require their animal guests to be free of all physical signs of ailment and parasites, as well as current on all vaccinations, including kennel cough, one of the most prevalent diseases found in pet boarding facilities.
The prevalence of kennel cough is due to several factors.
Kennel cough is difficult to keep under control because it is caused by more than one culprit.
Although 80% of cases of this respiratory illness are caused by the Bordatella bacterium, it can also develop from exposure to the Parainfluenza virus or Adenovirus, all of which are airborne germs.
Further, kennel cough can also spread to vaccinated animals.
[...] many boarding facilities, kennels, doggy daycares, groomers, and even some veterinarians require dogs be vaccinated for kennel cough.
Please understand the only reason these institutions demand your pet be vaccinated is to remove liability from themselves.
They're just bouncing liability away from their businesses by requiring your pet be vaccinated for kennel cough.
The fact is the Bordetella vaccines are, for the most part, totally useless.
They won't prevent your dog or any dog from acquiring kennel cough.
Disturbingly, there is some evidence suggesting that kennel cough can be transmitted to humans.
Bordetella bronchiseptica can cause respiratory infections in people, but this is probalby quite rare and largely confined to high-risk individuals, like those with a weakened immune system, who have had their spleen removed, who already have underlying respiratory disease of another kind, and pregnant women.
Indoor Air Quality
Many of the germs associated with pet illness are transmitted through the air.
Additionally, airborne toxins, such as bleach fumes, can present mild to severe side-effects, including;
- Difficulting breathing, and;
- A coma or unconsciousness.
A variety of inhaled substances can have adverse affects on cats.
In general, these substances are the same things that would cause problems for people.
Carbon monoxide, smoke, fumes from bleach and other cleaning products, sprayed insecticides, etc. are some of the toxic substances that can be inhaled.
Most of these substances irritate the airways.
It's important to keep in mind that animals are not the only occupants of pet boarding facilities.
Humans have also shown adverse reactions to even short-term exposure to the fumes of commercial cleaning products, often leading to illness, absenteeism, and poor work performance.
The Dangers of Commercial Cleaning Product Use
Bleach fumes are not the only hazard the product presents in a pet boarding facility--ingestion can also cause mild to severe reactions.
The majority of cases are regular household bleach, which is an irritant but not a corrosive agent.
This means the symptoms can sometimes be treated by you at home relatively quickly and painlessly.
Other cases involving ultra-concentrated bleach can more serious.
Household bleach has a pH level around 11, while ultra-concentrated is generally closer to 12 or 12.5.
This is mostly used by professional cleaners and on farms [...] but the handful the Pet Poison Helpline does receive every year are serious—severe lesions on the skin, down the esophagus, and into the stomach that can take weeks or months to heal.
Other commonly used household cleaning products, often employed by untrained in-house cleaning staff, which could potentially lead to negative side-effects, including:
- Carpet shampoo and fresheners.
- Essential oils.
- Swiffer Wet Jet, and;
- A mixture of vinegar and water.
The Benefits of Outsourced Green Janitorial Services
A clean for health first plan in a pet hotel should consist of a two-pronged approach that addresses both air quality and surface cleanliness.
According to Pet Boarding & Daycare;
The most ideal way of dealing with the indoor transmission of airborne disease is through the implementation of a two-pronged approach that combines air cleaning and surface cleaning.
Interior surfaces of an animal care facility should be cleaned, disinfected, and washed, because larger airborne microbes tend to settle out of the air to mostly horizontal surfaces such as furniture or the floor.
Green surface cleaning, disinfection, and floor care can significantly reduce the instances of illness-causing germs, and improve indoor air quality while eliminating the potential for toxic cleaning product inhalation or ingestion.
Combining certified green cleaning practices and products with UV light and HEPA air filtration will ensure your pet hotel is as safe an environment as can be provided for your animal guests and staff.
For many owners, pets are considered family.
This fact places a significant burden on pet hotels and boarding facilities when cleaning and disinfecting, especially when it comes to diseases like kennel cough, which can potentially spread to humans.
Additionally, many conventional cleaning products are toxic to animals, decrease already problematic indoor air quality, and negatively affect humans and pets.
Upgrading your products and services to a certified green approach will eliminate dangerous germs, improve indoor air quality, and eliminate the presence of toxic cleaning chemicals.
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