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  • Writer's pictureHannah Skidmore, MBA

Top 4 Building Problems in Animal Shelters & Vet Hospitals

Building Problems are a Problem 

  • Do you need help with your current animal shelter or veterinary clinic?

  • Are there areas in the building that smell?

  • Are there areas in the building so loud that it hurts your ears?

  • Have you experienced issues with disease outbreaks?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, the building experts and engineers at DLI are ready to help. These building issues are widespread. Our team often delivers “remediation assistance” to get buildings back on track. 

A number of building conditions, design decisions, and engineering aspects can increase the number of these building problems. The top four building problems in animal shelters and vet hospitals include humidity, plumbing, layout, and finishes.

Humidity is the first problem.

Humidity is a big problem for animal care facilities.  Water is a significant piece in the operation of an animal care facility.  Water is used to clean kennels and bathe dogs. Fresh air (which often includes a lot of humidity) is used at high levels in these facilities as well. Because of the water and fresh air, dehumidification is very important. When clients come to DLI with building problems, our building experts often see no dehumidification capabilities in their animal care facilities. A lack of dehumidification capabilities can lead to odor and disease issues.

Plumbing is the second problem.

Many of our clients who come to DLI with building problems also suffer from plumbing problems. Proper plumbing systems include flush fixtures, appropriately placed trench drains, automatic rinsing systems, and adequate cleaning systems. The DLI building experts and engineers often find that these remediation projects for animal care facilities need the proper plumbing systems that are much more robust than the plumbing requirements in most other building types. Without proper plumbing systems, odors and diseases are usually a big problem for animal shelters and vet hospitals.

Layout is the third problem.

Another top problem we see in client buildings is the layout. Our team often “remediates” buildings with inefficient or ineffective layouts. Our building experts and engineers thoroughly and carefully design building layouts for client projects. Many of the DLI standard principles for layout design do not exist in the buildings, presenting problems for our clients.

A few of our standard layout principles include:

  1. Never walk through one animal area to get to another

  2. Never place different species in the same spaces

  3. Provide a central service core to the building

  4. Keep isolation and quarantine spaces away from healthy animal holding

  5. Never include more than ten dogs in one animal holding room

Finishes are the fourth problem.


A final problem we see in existing buildings involves finishes. In our remediation projects for clients, finish durability is a big problem. We often see flooring warping, walls chipping, doors rusting, countertops peeling, and many other issues during site visits. The DLI building experts know that durability is paramount when selecting finishes for this building type. Animal care facilities withstand daily abuse with water, urine, cleaning chemicals, and general wear and tear from animals.  The DLI team has decades of experience in selecting appropriate finishes. Our team holds the expertise to know what types of finishes will and will not work for client projects. 

Discuss Building Problems with Building Experts

Are you interested in discussing the issues of your existing animal care facility? Are you ready to explore how DLI can fix the problems? The building experts and engineers at DLI would love to speak with you. We work directly with clients to address their building problems and create a healthier and less stressful environment for their staff and animals. Call us at 860-889-7078 or schedule a consultation online.

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