Goody 4 Paws is a family-owned day care centre for dogs based in Manchester. Owned by Carol, Karl and Tom Plumridge, it has provided a fun, stimulating and safe environment for its four-legged friends since 2007.
The 4,000 sq. ft play area really stretches the legs and imaginations of dogs, and is the only day care centre in the UK to have FUNgility – a unique play system designed and imported from America. The centre also features rubber flooring and walls for safe play and to protect the joints of both puppies and senior dogs.
Their aim is to provide a second home to around 40 dogs a day, which is a welcoming place where they can feel safe and have fun away from their owners. It is local authority-licenced, with special provision to care for puppies from 12 weeks of age and also provides behavioural training sessions.
Cleaning challenges for the centre
Carol Plumridge talked to us about the unique challenges of keeping the centre hygienically clean.
She explained: “When dogs come here, they tend to behave as if they’re outside, so they’re constantly doing what dogs do all day. Even though we’re cleaning regularly, the ammonia smell was a huge problem.
“The disinfectant that we had to use needed to kill canine parvovirus disease, which is highly contagious in dogs. DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) recommends that if you have a multi-dog environment you must use something that’s proven to kill the parvovirus. And while there’s no smell to the chemical we use for this, the ammonia smell remains.
“To combat this, DEFRA advises that you use an odour neutraliser, which also smells terrible. It makes you cough, sneeze and splutter, and if you’re around it all day it’s not nice on your chest either.
“A vet would say that if you have a sick animal to ‘clean surfaces with bleach’ as it kills everything a dog can transmit. But we can’t do this for practical reasons because as we’re mopping, the dogs are walking over the solution straight away, so it would be harmful to the pads on their paws. That’s why we’ve been searching for a solution that will kill germs, but is completely safe for the dogs to.
Frequent and intensive cleaning regime
The team at Goody 4 Paws takes great pride in the cleanliness of their centre. Their reputation depends on it.
Throughout each day they have five mop buckets constantly being used, which are emptied every hour, and they’re also frequently spraying and wiping with trigger bottles. At the end of each day all surfaces, including floors, walls and dog equipment are cleaned down, and a scrubber drier is also used on the floors.
Whereas previously this would have been completed with multiple products, the centre’s entire cleaning regime is now completed with the Toucan Eco eWater® and nothing else is used. The hypochlorous acid solution is made quickly and easily each morning using Toucan Eco Active and is enough to fill all of the mop buckets that Carol and her team need each day.
Carol continued: “When a dog has an accident, we mop up with the mop bucket, spray and leave to dry. It removes any trace of the mess and completely eradicates the smell too. And we know that it’s effective in killing the canine parvovirus, so it provides peace of mind for the team.
“I’ve also noticed a huge difference personally as I have skin problems on my hands and face. Previously, working with harsh chemicals all day was aggravating my skin and causing me discomfort. With Toucan Eco, there’s none of these effects at all,” she added.
What is Toucan Eco?
Toucan Eco lets you make your own multipurpose disinfectant cleaner and sanitiser, which kills more than 99.99% of germs, from just water, salt and electricity.
The solution is electrochemically activated by applying a small electrical current using Toucan Eco. This recombines the naturally occurring elements of hydrogen, oxygen and chlorine to create a powerful disinfectant known as hypochlorous acid (HOCl), and sodium, oxygen and chlorine into sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl), at a low concentration and gentle pH that’s creates a mild cleaning fluid.
It’s non-toxic and eco-friendly, and it can go to work all around the workplace and home. It’s certified to EN 14476, EN 16777, EN 1276 and EN 13697 standards. Goody 4 Paws installed Toucan Eco Active, which is designed for small to medium-sized facilities and produces 10 litres of solution in around 15 minutes.
A cost-effective solution
Goody 4 Paws used to spend up to £230 each month on disinfectant alone, and that doesn’t include odour chemicals which were delivered in 25-litre containers.
By switching to Toucan Eco, Carol and the team will save over £2,500 a year in cleaning solutions and also around 500 plastic bottles a year too. This means the equipment will have paid for itself within a year, and the only requirement is the water, salt and low electrical current.
Cleaning made easy
Carol explained: “We’ve been using our Toucan Eco Active for just over a month and already I don’t know how we managed without it. Cleaning the centre is so much easier. We can make the solution as and when needed, and Toucan Eco has replaced the many different chemical cleaners that were necessary to ensure a safe environment for the dogs in our care.
“We use it on everything from walls, corridors, reception areas floor mats, to dog play area flooring, feeding equipment, food preparation areas, even dog collars and leads are sprayed to prevent infection.
“In the current situation, it’s also necessary to spray the dogs on arrival and departure. We decant the Toucan Eco solution into spray bottles, which makes this a quick and easy job and it’s completely safe for the dogs and their owners.
“The staff find it easy and pleasant to use. It’s kind to skin and can be used as a hand sanitiser as well. And the day care centre now smells so much fresher without the use of sprays that would only mask odours for a short time and were very unpleasant to work with.
“Toucan Eco is certainly proving to be the ideal solution for us. It works so well, it’s safe, and the smell is 100% better,” she concluded.