Glass Block is Ideal for Kennels, Veterinarian Offices, and Shelters

As the use of glass block and brick expands throughout the world, primarily due to the beauty and functionality, one segment is employing glass block for additional reasons besides aesthetics and easy maintenance. Veterinarians, kennel managers, and shelter supervisors have found that glass block construction is the solution for many problems caused by standard kennels and cages.

Calming Effect of Glass Block

The confining spaces of concrete block or otherwise opaque-walled cages and kennels tend to make many animals fearful and defensive. Because these structures eliminate any view of their surroundings, dogs hear and sense nearby activity without being able to see what is there. Some animals, even ones who are typically very calm, react to uncertainty by remaining on guard and becoming anxious, aggressive, and unwilling to relax and sleep.

Defensive behavior in a shelter for homeless animals can deter potential new owners from selecting an otherwise ideal animal.


In veterinarian offices also, glass block partitions and walls are becoming the norm. While admitting light that spreads throughout the office and examination rooms, translucent glass blocks allow animals and people to sense the presence of others but still provide sufficient privacy during the examination.

Advantages of Glass Block for Boarding Kennels

Better Sense of Surroundings

Whether the facility is for boarding or sheltering homeless animals, glass walls create a brighter, more uplifting ambiance for the animals and their caretakers. Dark and dingy cages that were separated from any stimulation are now being replaced by bright and healthful glass block enclosures which permit plenty of natural and artificial light and the ability to sense the presence of those around them.

Dog owners who visit facilities before boarding the family’s best friend sense the positive and negative elements of the business immediately and will invariably select brighter, more well-lighted environments to leave their animals for a short or long stay.

Many of the most successful dog boarding operations encourage social interaction among their canine boarders, usually providing playgrounds in which the dogs can interact with each other and a human supervisor. This community activity is designed to make the animal feel comfortable in the presence of others so that returning to their individual glass block kennels is not stressful. Sensing another animal’s movement on the other side of the transparent wall is no longer a concern as the happy, relaxed, and tired-from-play dog drifts into a deep sleep.

Highly Sanitary, Easier to Clean and Maintain

Glass block is simple to clean. Merely spraying, disinfecting, and wiping the glass will keep the walls of the individual kennels clean and sanitary. In high-volume facilities, the time saved for cleaning can be substantial. Glass surfaces do not allow bacteria and grime to penetrate as wood and concrete do, so the presence of harmful, disease spreading factors is eliminated.


Light Distribution, Energy Reduction, and Sustainability

Keeping a boarding kennel or shelter lit sufficiently throughout the day and night is a challenge. Kennels consist of dozens of small “rooms” and areas that require light. When each kennel or area is enclosed in wooden, metal, or concrete block construction, some can tend to be almost entirely dark at all times with irregular lighting patterns.

As with people, the absence of light can be troubling for dogs or cats, while sufficient light during the day matches their regular cycle patterns.

The absence of natural light has also been proven to reduce productivity in human employees as well. In a well-lighted environment with high-quality glass block barriers, employees can interact and coordinate better by being more aware of each other’s presence.

Even at night when artificial light is needed to illuminate specific areas, glass block allows for reducing the number of light sources while still maintaining the desired visibility.

Natural Light Enhancement: For the kennel or shelter management, glass block throughout the facility reduces the amount of artificial light required to keep the building functioning correctly. The reduction of utility costs because the light is spread more universally can be substantial.

Insulating Properties: Glass block has better insulating properties than wood or metal. Most glass block is made by fusing two “halves” together to create an insulating barrier vacuum space within the individual blocks. As a result, maintaining a constant temperature in each kennel is easier and less expensive.

Sustainability: For sustainability-minded owners, employees, and customers, glass block reduces energy consumption and provides a construction material that causes less harm to the planet’s surface and atmosphere than concrete or metal.

Safety and Durability

Glass block and brick have positive safety and durability features. Unlike wood, glass is inflammable and will not add fuel to a fire situation. Glass block is durable, stable, and very difficult to break. Quality glass block surfaces will actually last longer than other materials that become stained and unsightly sooner.

Contact GBA Architectural Products + Services

GBA Architectural Products + Services is a leading provider of top-quality glass block and brick products throughout North America. Suppliers and installers for the world’s leading glass block producers for over 30 years, GBA collaborates with their clients to create the beautiful home and business designs built with the best quality glass block products. GBA has provided and installed a wide variety of structural glass, glass block, and LightWise systems to homeowners and clients in a broad range of industries.

Visit the GBA Architectural Products + Services website to discover new ideas and applications for glass block designs for commercial and private use.

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