By Teresa from Thief River Falls, MN
Depending on the type of soil you have, try mixing in some perlite into the dirt. I did this in my kennel where I have heavy clay soil. Believe me, this does not absorb liquids well. Pick up the solid waste daily but the perlite will absorb the smell and help the soil stay somewhat dry and fresh.
If you are going to keep them on that surface then I would sprinkle baking soda in the most prevelant "potty spots", it deodorizes wonderfully. You can also sprinkle crushed limestone (to be had at feed and landscaping stores) it deodorizes amazingly, especially ammonia smell from urine. I use it in my barn after stripping bedding from my horses stalls, it is amazing how fresh and clean the stalls smell after. crushed limestone in itself is not harmful, there are lime products that contain other chemicals and could cause chemical burns on a sensitive skinned animal if laid down thickly so just be sure to check that there are no other additives. Lime will affect ph in soil, so don't use it around high-maintenance plants
The best thing you could do is lay a concrete slab that can be washed with mild soap and water with a broom and then hose down. The constant seeping of urine and feces in the same dirt/grass area is really not healthy for any being and any chemicals continually poured and seeping into the same area isn't healthy either :-( It's really not that hard or expensive to pour a concrete pad and once dry place their dog house and bedding back in there.
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