As veterinary hospitals get more creative in design and look less like hospitals, it’s still important to use easy-to-clean finishes. Follow these tips from veterinary architect Heather Lewis, of Animal Arts, our favorite neat freak.
> Do: Put cat shelves and boxes in your exam that are easy to clean and disinfect.
> Don't: Install carpeted cat trees that are difficult to keep sanitized.
> Do: Use the variety of new flooring products that are available to make your hospital feel welcoming and warm.
> Don't: Use difficult-to-clean flooring in surgery rooms.
> Do: Create opportunities for dogs to play with water and other enrichment items in boarding areas.
> Don't: Create built-in infrastructure that can't be cleaned and sanitized, like doggy water fountains. Plastic baby pools work well as an alternative.
> Do: Use artificial turf in areas where healthy pets play.
> Don't: Use artificial turf as the only option for play and walking. Concrete or rubber flooring is better for areas where ill dogs are—it’s easier to disinfect. Use turf outside unless it’s well drained—it will get stinky.
> Do: Use natural wood accents for trim, ceilings and cabinets.
> Don't: Use rough wood low on walls or on seating, where it will be hard to clean.
> Do: Create a fancy reception desk with modern, cleanable materials.
> Don't: Use hard-to-clean materials for the desk, such as natural wood. Avoid rough stone as well unless you’re uber-careful with the sealing—it has to be done meticulously.