Stuff you need
I've been thinking about writing this piece for a couple of months now, because I KNOW there are things we use at The Waystation that make life easier that a lot of people with a lot of dogs could probably use. About half of these suggestions came from friends. The others I sort of stumbled onto.
First, get yourself a really sturdy dustpan. This puppy is metal, 17 inches wide, and totally rocks. You can use it to scrape crates out, too. Get two and you have a kennel equivalent of oven mitts.
Then add a tile scraper. This bad boy is used to wedge under tile and adhesive to get it off a floor, and it works great for getting up most of any stubborn stuck on poop.
Next on the list -- a good floor absorbent. I like the ZEP brand. This stuff is very light and absorbs multiple times its weight in liquids. Hands down the easiest way to reduce nasty blow out diarrhea into something you can deal with. Sprinkle it on, stir it around a bit with your boss dustpan or long floor scraper, and wait. Pretty soon you have something you can sweep out. Nasty but about 100 times better than what you started with.
For those deep clean days -- knee pads. Seriously. Even a cheap set will make your knees feel SO much better. Added bonus -- you strap them on over your pants and reduce the odds of kneeling down into some unsavory mess.
Now, you'll need something to hang up all these need new tools, so pick up about 20 carabiners or spring clips. Get twenty. Trust me. You'll use them when zip ties and bungie cords won't work. Everything from clipping water buckets to kennel to holding tarps down. They are perfect for clipping onto your boss dustpan and clipping it to the side of a kennel bank.
Other things in the "Really Nice to Have" category:
Stall mats. They're heavy carbonized rubber, around 3/4" thick. We use them in our platform kennels to cut down on drafts, protect the wood, and make a more comfortable surface for the dogs. Around $40 for a 4x6 heavy stall mat. They also come in 2x4 size. Do not get the ones with a pattern on one side. Flat smooth surfaces are easier to clean. Dogs CAN gnaw off a corner, but it takes a very long time and a lot of determination. These won't tear up quickly. I like the larger ones because there are fewer seams when you put them down, but the smaller ones are easier to handle.
If you're going to have stall mats, then you're going to want some vise grips to move them around, because they are heavy and there is nothing to grab. Don't skimp and get the cheapest ones, they won't handle the weight and the gripper caps will pop of. Get the metal ones like these.
Do I have to mention zip ties (variety of sizes), bungie cords, and tarps? Didn't think so.