Tech Tips

These tips are to help clients get the most out of their Snyder cages and kennel runs, ICUs and other products, keeping them in top operating condition and lasting for years and years with minimal effort!

Hinges and gates need to be maintained, surfaces need to be cleaned, filters need to be changed, minor repairs can be made and other periodic maintenance actions should be done. The articles below cover most of the bases to keep your Snyder Products in top operating condition!

How to Safely Adjust Cage, Gate or Kennel Handles

Over time, you may need to adjust the tension of your gate or cage door handles. This is an easy process, that you or a staff member can easily accomplish.

Materials needed: 3/16″ allen wrench, 7/16″ box end wrench & lubricant. Take the gate off and lay on a flat surface. It is best to apply a graphite type of dry lubricant to the perimeter of the handle screw hole, if not available, you can use a liquid lubricant like WD-40.

For Tight handles: Back off the cap nut on the handle screw, then loosen the allen screw in very small increments (counter clockwise) until the handle moves smoothly. When the handle or handles on a double set-up are moving smoothly, you will need to hold the handle screw in place with the allen wrench and re-tighten the cap nut until snug.

For Loose handles: Tighten the handle with the allen wrench until the handle turns smoothly and does not wobble or rock when pulled forward and back. With the allen wrench holding the allen screw in place, tighten the cap nut. If the handle set up is too snug, back off the allen screw slightly, the cap nut should tighten up a little tighter, which is O.K. If the handle is still too tight, loosen the cap nut again and start over.

If you are still having problems with the handle tension or you’re missing any parts to your handle set-up, please Contact Us at Snyder Mfg. for assistance!

Conserve Oxygen with a Retro "B" Door.

We have improved the quality of the oxygen levels in our Intensive Care Unit. If your ICU unit was manufactured prior to August of 2001, then a retrofit ‘B’ door assembly might be just what you need to help hold oxygen saturation levels for longer periods of time. This new system comes complete with a new style locking ‘B’ door, two-piece aluminum framework, installation hardware and instructions to mount. This kit is simple to install by someone with basic tools and mechanical skills. All of our new ICU units feature this product that has virtually eliminated potential leaks in the ‘B’ compartment area that an older system may be challenged with.

If you have questions about a Snyder ICU unit holding and maintaining oxygen, Contact Us.

We suggest calling us toll-free at 800-756-0631. Our ICU Tech support personnel would by happy to hear from you. Qualified personnel can address most problems right over the phone, so don’t be unsatisfied with an ICU unit that might be acting up, these issues are usually very small and easily fixed.

User-friendly products are something we are committed to producing at Snyder Mfg. Co. If you see something that you think needs our attention, we would appreciate hearing hear about it!

Conserving Oxygen in Your ICU

If you have recently purchased or have an existing Snyder Manufacturing Company ICU, here are some great tips to help conserve oxygen in your unit.

1st. The most common issue concerning oxygen usage is whether or not the ICU has a good seal of gasket material around the large acrylic doors.

The ICU was originally shipped with a Mylar gasketing material to act as a seal between the cage face and the back of the acrylic doors. This helps prevent oxygen from leaking out of the animal chamber. The gasketing will need to be inspected periodically (especially at the bottom of the doors). If the seal is breached it will affect how the unit holds oxygen. On an older ICU system (pre-2001) the gasketing material inside of the ‘B’ compartment, the narrow door next to the animal compartments, should be inspected to ensure it is not damaged.

  • If the need to replace the semi-permanent gasket in the ‘B’ compartment is imminent, please contact your Snyder Manufacturing Company sales rep to find out about a permanent aluminum retro-fit kit that is currently available!

2nd. Knowing how to calibrate the system correctly.

  • Calibrating once in every twenty-four hour period is recommended.

It is critical that the following items are checked for and corrected, if necessary, before calibrating your ICU.

  1. Check the Soda Lime tray for the proper amount of material. A thin layer is all that is needed.
  2. The temperature displayed is as close to ambient as possible (72 degrees).
  3. There is NO oxygen being delivered into the system via the main O2 port or the nebulizer.
    Snyder Manufacturing Company recommends that the flowmeter be turned off while calibrating the system.
  4. Check the High and Low set points to verify the main O2 system’s ‘on’ and ‘off’ settings. The High set point (Oxygen turns off) and Low set point (Oxygen turns on) should be within 2 points of each other.
    • Example: If the High O2 set point is at 35%, then the Low should be at 33%.
  5. Touching the ‘up’ arrow once will check the high and the touch the ‘down’ arrow to check the low settings.
  6. If the ICU unit was recently used for O2 treatment, it will have to be ‘aired out’ before starting these procedures.
    • Simply turn the system ‘on’ & the flowmeter ‘off.’ Open the large acrylic doors and ventilate for 1 minute.

If you have any questions concerning these procedures, please call for ICU technical support at Snyder Manufacturing Company 1(800)756-0631 ext. 28

Easy Maintenance on Your Run System

One of the best reasons to have a Snyder Manufacturing Run System is that it is very easy to maintain. Our runs are set apart from other systems, by the fact that all parts are replaceable. Everything, including an entire glass panel, a hinge, card holder clips and screws, can be easily replaced. There are no welded parts in our kennel run systems, so maintaining the appearance and functionality of your kennel runs is very simple. The most commonly replaced parts in a Snyder Run System are the legs of the dog bench, the guillotine door lugs, and the aluminum rods in the gate.

Dog bench leg replacement: All that is necessary is to obtain a new leg from Snyder Manufacturing Company, then unscrew the old leg, and screw in the new one.

Guillotine door lug replacement: The guillotine door lug is the barrel/eyelet part between the end of the cable and the wire hook that attaches to the guillotine door itself. If this lug comes off of the cable, you will need to replace it with a new one, using a special crimping tool. This crimping tool will be sent as a loan, and needs to be returned to Snyder when the job is complete.

Please discuss this detail with your Snyder customer service representative.

Handle lug replacement: (Same part as the guillotine lug). Remove the guillotine remote (pull handle) from the mounting bracket. Make sure the cable is through the hole in the top of the remote. Put the new lug on the raw cable (see instructions above) and crimp, then reattach the lug back onto the top of the handle by way of the handle screw.

Rod replacement: Take the gate off its hinges. Unscrew and remove the bottom of the gate. The gate perimeter screws can be difficult to remove as they have a small application of thread locker applied. Using a large, appropriate sized screwdriver is a must. Once the bottom of the gate is removed, it is easy to slide the damaged rod out and put in a new one. If the gate rod is so bent that it will not slide through the gate middles easily, you may need to use a hacksaw or bolt cutter to remove the over-bent section. Install the new rod, then replace the bottom of the gate and tighten the screws. Re-hang the gate. If your door has a dual swivel feeder, call us for assistance.

Extended Care of Run System

A good place to check your run panels for swelling/deterioration is where they slide into the back wall and into the floor channel. Make sure that the silicone seal is still intact, and that there are no gaps or separations between the panel and the aluminum that would allow fluid to penetrate the panel. If you see this occurring, remove the old silicone by using a chisel or a razor scraper. Replace it with a clear 45-year 100% silicone product. We sell the recommended 45-year silicone needed to replace any missing silicone on your run panels. In addition, it is also important to check for loose or missing fasteners throughout your entire run system.

    • This process should be completed four times a year to increase the longevity of your system.

If you have any questions on replacing parts or maintaining the integrity of your kennel run system, please contact our Run Supervisor at 800/631-4101 ext. 27.

General Cage Repair

Occasionally our tech support people field calls from our long-term customers in reference to a gate hinge or lock that has become loose from the cage body over time, typically in the wood cabinet.

For those owners of Snyder kennels that have a wobbly hinge or lock, here is the easiest way to fix it.

For applications into the wood cabinet:

  1. Remove the gate and stripped out hardware from the cage.
  2. Using a drill and a 3/16″ drill bit, drill into the stripped out hole approximately 1″ to 1- 1/2″.
  3. Pre-cut a 1 1/2″ pc. of 3/16″ dowel rod and lightly hammer into the hole. DO NOT APPLY EXCESSIVE FORCE.
  4. Trim off the excess dowel rod flush with the kennel face.
  5. Using a 9/64″ drill bit, pre-drill the dowel rod material to accept the fastener down to a length of 1″.

Now you are ready to reinstall the gate hardware. Be sure to use a #8 x 1 1/2″ Phillips flat head screw for the hinges (countersunk) and the same fastener in a ‘pan head’ for the locks. If you attempt to use an oversize fastener, the potential for further damage is possible.

For applications into the aluminum post: Whether you have a hinge or a lock stripped out on an aluminum post, we recommend using an over-sized fastener. (Standard size is a #8 thickness screw.) Increasing up to a #10 thickness screw should solve the problem.

If you have any questions concerning these specific applications, please call tech support at 1(800)422-1932.

*Snyder Manufacturing Company is not responsible for damage made to cages by client repair.

Getting the Best Performance Out of Your Cage Dryer

Snyder Manufacturing Company wants to promote safe usage of your Cage Dryer along with some helpful hints on how to get the maximum drying capabilities from your unit.

For the best performance from your Cage Dryer we recommend these simple guidelines and preventative maintenance procedures.

    1. Preheat the Cage Dryer for approximately 20 minutes to warm the interior of the cabinet. The unit will dry your 1st client faster, especially larger dogs.
    2. Most owners of the Cage Dryer find that a setting of 85 – 95 degrees gives an optimum balance of fast drying and a safe degree of warmth.

Take a little extra time to ‘velocity’ or ‘towel’ dry those longer coats of hair in between the bath and the Cage Dryer.

  1. Airflow is the key to faster dry times. CLEAN THE FILTER DAILY. A clean filter will allow the maximum delivery of air to your client*.
  2. A small amount of maintenance goes a long way. Fix any cracking or damage in the animal compartment as soon as it is noticeable to maintain a clean and usable environment.
  3. With the power disconnected, check for the accumulation of hair in the blower housing. While wearing protective gloves, reach inside and check for compacted hair around the blower fins (opening behind the blower assembly).

Follow these steps for animal safety in the Cage Dryer.

  1. Use the ‘HOLD’ feature cautiously. Never leave an animal unattended for extended periods of time in a dryer unit with the heat on. Snyder Manufacturing Company recommends that you physically check on the animal in the Cage Dryer every 10 minutes for any signs of possible problems.
  2. Smaller animals overheat more easily and need less time to dry.**
  3. Do not use extension cords as the majority of cords available are underrated for the power the dryer requires and could cause a fire hazard.
  4. Dog tags and very small paws can get caught in the floor rack openings. We recommend removing all collars and laying down an extra piece of Snyder vinyl matting across the top of the floor rack to minimize the chance of a stuck paw.


Snyder Manufacturing Company recommends replacing your filter every 18 months.

Snyder Manufacturing Company Cage Dryer (units manufactured after 1995) is the only Cage Dryer on the market with a proven overheat safety feature that shuts down the power supply in the event of excessive heat build-up.

Maintaining Snyder Cages

Like most working products you would purchase that have considerable value and life expectancy, you should anticipate some maintenance and care to keep your cages at peak performance. We want your client’s pets to enjoy our warm comfortable kennels for many, many years to come.

Here are some helpful tips to ensure your cage units a long lasting future.

Do: Repaint any scratches on the exterior portion of your cage units with a commercial grade paint.

  • Paint can be ordered directly from Snyder Manufacturing Company or a close match can be obtained at most paint stores.
  • Make sure the paint has an enamel base if you do not purchase the paint from Snyder Manufacturing Company.

Do: Maintain the integrity of the cage unit’s gate handle tension. Adjust the gate handle tension periodically for a smooth and accurate feel.

  • Snyder Manufacturing Company has a specific information sheet entitled, ‘How To Adjust Your Gate Handles’ and a gate parts list, should you require it.

Don’t: Hose, steam spray, or overuse a wet application to clean the interior/exterior of your cage units!

  • Snyder cage units are a wood based product and should be treated like a piece of furniture.

Don’t: Stack heavy objects or place containers with liquid on top of your cage banks.

  • Stacking heavy objects, like bags of dog food will eventually make your cage tops sag.
  • Liquid soaps & shampoos, disinfectants and other similar cleaning products, if spilled, will act as a paint remover and expose your cages to premature wear and tear.

Don’t: Allow a damaged or broken gate to go unattended.

  • If you have a gate that has been abused to the point of having to replace some gate rods, or some gate hardware is missing, let us help. Talk to our technical support personnel to order replacement parts or for further information about gate repair available at Snyder Manufacturing Company. Tech Support: 800/422-1932.
Snyder Scoop on Shipping

Over the years, Snyder Manufacturing Company has seen our cage product damaged by freight carriers. Freight damage can be hard to fix, unattractive to look at and a time consuming project for both the client, as well as, the support staff at Snyder Manufacturing. From our inception in 1957 to the mid 1980’s, we used common, over the road carriers. Although these particular freight carriers were relatively inexpensive to use, the incidents of minor scratching, denting and more severe damage was inconvenient to our clients. By the end of 1980 we contracted services with a different kind of freight company to increase the quality of the shipping of our cage products. A moving van* service (the same people who ship household goods across the country) was the freight carrier we chose to use.

Even though van line services are more expensive, we found that this option of shipping was efficient, friendly and virtually eliminated damage to our cage units. Today, we use two of the best van line services available for shipping the majority of our products. If your order is produced at our Iowa facility, Bekins Moving and Storage is the carrier we have selected. If your order is produced at our Colorado facility, North American Van Lines is the carrier we currently use for shipping.

REMEMBER – Most deliveries are shipped in a long, over-the-road freight truck & trailer. Please, inform your sales representative of any unusual delivery situations, any outside obstructions, such as parking lot medians, dirt transitions, narrow driveways, overhanging trees, rural deliveries, tight street corners, etc. Also, take measurements from the floor to the top of any doorways and around tight interior corners that your kennels will be transported through, to ensure safe passage. If you are not familiar with the exterior dimensions of Snyder Manufacturing cage units, please ask your salesperson!

Here is what you can expect from our Van Line services:

  1. To call you, the client, 24 hours in advance of the delivery. This allows the van lines to verify directions to your place of business and schedule a delivery time.
  2. A truck that is best suited to access your area.
  3. Depending on the size of the order, a driver and a helper to offload your order.
  4. To place your order into a general area of your building. For an additional fee, your order can be placed in a specific location, i.e. upstairs, basement, etc.
  5. To stay (within reason) for a period of time to let you unwrap and inspect the product for damage. It is recommended that you provide personnel to cut away the packaging material & inspect the product, while the cage units are being off-loaded, as this will increase efficiency and save time.
  6. The customer has the final say whether or not to accept the freight. If it is apparent when inspecting the freight that there is damage, you can deny the product delivery. If you deny one piece of freight, the driver must return all of the equipment back to Snyder Manufacturing Company. If you accept the freight any minor damage should be noted on the bill of lading BEFORE signing for the shipment.

Kennel runs are shipped by motor freight.

Here is what the Van Lines are NOT required to do without prior notification:

    1. To be expected to handle difficult deliveries without the proper manpower. This includes tight corners, staircases (up or down) inside the building, maneuvering around obstacles, etc.
    2. To haul freight over more than three outside steps, not including the curb.
    3. To take the cage unit protection material (stretch wrap, foam, or cardboard corners, etc.) back onto the truck for disposal.

To stack kennel units on top of one another for final assembly.

  1. To adjust, fix or attempt repairs of any damage which may have occurred during shipping.

To eliminate any confusion at the time of product delivery, Snyder Manufacturing Company will make contact with your facility to help you identify and understand the shipping process.

Snyder's Heated Floors

If your facility has a Snyder cage or ICU base unit with a heated floor, the following information should be adhered to with regard to their use. Snyder Manufacturing Company has been manufacturing cage units with heated floors for well over 45 years. We want to keep our customers aware of the importance of responsible usage of these floors in providing the optimum care for animals.

Question: Can I use a blanket in my cage unit with a heated floor?

Answer: Using a blanket or other solid material for your animal to lie on, directly on top of the heated floor is not recommended by Snyder Manufacturing Company. Doing so will trap the heat between the floor and the animal, creating an extremely warm surface (at higher settings) that may pose the risk of an injury to your animal. In addition, it will also void any manufacturer’s warranty should the floor burn out. A natural dissipation of heat is required for a safe, comfortable and controlled heated floor experience. Heated floors are absolutely safe. Remember this is a mechanical device with an outstanding proven track record. However, every mechanical system has the potential for error. By acquainting yourself and your staff to the risks and rewards of a heated floor system, your patient’s health and well-being will be assured.

Question: How are heated floors constructed?

Answer:The heated floors construction is based on a pattern of heated wire strands that run side to side just below the surface of the floor. This construction is very similar to a heated blanket found in the home. The area of the heated floor, right on top of these wires, is many degrees warmer than the area in between the wires. The heat difference is very subtle, yet can affect an animal (especially a sedated animal) if left unattended for long durations. Snyder Manufacturing Company recommends that sedated animals should NOT be left unattended for extended periods of time directly on a heated floor as this could cause injury to the animal. For several years now, Snyder Manufacturing Company has been including our vinyl matting* in all of our ICU base units even though these floors are thermostatically controlled. These units accommodate the highest percentage of post-op recovery and sedated animals. Vinyl mat disperses the heat from the heated floor so it is safe to leave a sedated animal in this environment.

Snyder’s vinyl matting is lightweight, durable and keeps your patients suspended approximately 1/2″ off of the cage unit floor surface. This matting is highly recommended for any cage unit with a heated floor application. Call us for more details.

Question: Why don’t you thermostatically control all of your heated floors, like you do in the ICU’s?

Answer: The basic difference between a thermostatically controlled heated floor and a regular heated floor is, the thermostatically controlled heated floor has the ability in its construction, to allow for an actual ‘read out’ to display the active temperature. Both systems are still mechanical by nature and require the operator to physically identify a heat setting that feels right for any particular animal.

Question: How accurate are the thermostatically controlled heated floors in the ICU units?

Answer: Accurate to a point. Snyder Manufacturing Company has invested a considerable amount of research/development time into producing the best thermostatically controlled heated floors in the ICU recovery cages. All of Snyder’s heated floors have a variable of approximately plus or minus 3 degrees over or under the set/desired temperature. However, since your recovery cages in the ICU have been shipped with the recommended matting in place, the temperature difference between the ICU control panel and the surface of the matting is approximately 10 degrees. The panel shows the higher of the two temperatures.

Wondering What to Use to Clean/Disinfect Your Snyder Cages

For cage interiors excluding acrylic:

There are many products that can be used on the interiors of your Snyder cages to clean or disinfect. To clean, you can use cleaning products that you would normally use in the kitchen or bath that are countertop safe. To disinfect, many veterinary practices and groom shops use virucides and disinfectants to help sterilize their kennel environment. An inexpensive alternative to name brand products is a solution of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water. Other more expensive products are available to use and should not damage the laminated surface or resin poured corners. Always check the manufacturer’s recommendation for use on laminated surfaces before use! When using any cleaning or disinfectant in a Snyder cage unit, a damp cloth or sponge is all that is needed. Excess liquids, including hoses or spray systems of any type, are NOT recommended for use on your Snyder cage surfaces (inside or out), and use of these items can void your warranty.

Cleaning/Disinfecting acrylic surfaces:

Acrylic surfaces need special attention to keep them clean and disinfected. Be especially careful NOT to use any products that contain ammonia. Ammonia will cause crazing to the acrylic part. Crazing is commonly found along the edges and through-holes in the acrylic product, and appears as small fissures or cracks. While these cracks will not necessarily compromise the integrity of the acrylic part, this crazing can be very unsightly.

To Clean:The cleaning product we recommend is from a company called ZEP™. This product was designed to clean acrylic surfaces, but is safe to use on the interiors of the cages as well.

  • ZEP™ “Old Smokey Appliance Cleaner” is the product that is recommended by our acrylic supplier.

To Disinfect: Snyder Manufacturing recommends an inexpensive solution of 1 part denatured alcohol** to 5 parts water. DO NOT use isopropyl alcohol, as this will damage the acrylic surface.

ZEP™ products can be purchased directly from us.

For more information, Contact Us. Or simply call Snyder Manufacturing Company at 1(800) 422-1932.

**Denatured alcohol is ethyl alcohol containing traces of benzene. Denatured alcohol can be purchase at your local hardware store.