How to Clean a Dog Kennel

Medium
20 - 40 Minutes
1 Day

Introduction

A kennel can describe a variety of shelters for your dog. Some kennels are large open runs made for your dog to exercise in and relieve himself, and these need to be cleaned daily to remove urine and feces. Some kennels are much smaller, such as crates, that are usually used indoors to provide a safe place for your dog while being transported, a rest area, or may be used for potty training your dog. 

What if your new puppy has an accident in his crate/kennel while you were housetraining training him, now he and his kennel are covered in mess!  Time to bathe your puppy and clean the kennel thoroughly, it is his bed after all. 

 If you use a large kennel run for your dog to relieve himself in your yard you need to clean it up daily or your dog will be stepping in his own mess and worse: tracking it in your house for you to step in! Besides, you want to provide sanitary home for your dog. Feces can spread bacteria and parasites. Whether you are cleaning a small kennel or a big one there are some practical steps you can take to make sure it is done well.

Dog's Perspective

Most dog do not like to be housed in their own filth, some however seem to not mind so much, which can be a problem if they step, roll, or otherwise become covered in their own waste. Even if your dog doesn't have an accident or use his kennel as a bathroom area, you will want to ensure it says clean of hair and dirt so it is a nice clean home for your dog to enjoy.

The Outdoor Kennel or Dog Run Method

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Step
1
Wash accessories
Remove your dog from the kennel. Find him another kennel or outdoor area, or put him in the house while you clean his kennel. Remove food and water bowls, toys and bedding. Clean water and food dishes as appropriate for their material and air dry. Run bedding through the washing machine. Wash toys as appropriate.
Step
2
Remove solids and wet down
Use a shovel or scoop to remove all solid waste including hair and feces. Hose out kennel with water.
Step
3
Disinfect
Dilute bleach with water 1:32 or use another disinfectant according to manufacturer's instructions. Spray cleaning solution all over the kennel surfaces and allow to sit for 30 minutes, or as instructed on product label.
Step
4
Scrub to distribute
Scrub with a scrub brush. A large broom with stiff bristles can be used. Scrub walls if solid, any shelters and the floor.
Step
5
Rinse and dry
Rinse thoroughly with a hose. Use hot water if available, then allow the kennel to air dry. Replace clean bowls, bedding, and toys.
Recommend grooming method?

The Small Kennel or Crate Method

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Step
1
Remove items
Wear rubber gloves and old clothing or an apron to protect your clothes. Remove bedding and wash in a washing machine or by hand in hot water with baking soda and use vinegar in the rinse cycle. Remove, disinfect and clean any toys kept in the kennel. If the crate comes apart easily you may want to take it apart for easier cleaning. Hose out or use a handheld shower to rinse.
Step
2
Remove waste
If possible, take the kennel or crate outside. If small, kennels can be cleaned in a bathtub. Remove all solid waste with a scooper.
Step
3
Scrub clean
Scrub all surfaces with a detergent. Apply by squirting or spraying in the kennel.
Step
4
Disinfect
Spray a disinfecting solution inside the kennel. You can use a 1:32 bleach/water solution, a vinegar and water solution, or another commercially purchased disinfectant. Cover all surfaces with the solution and allow to sit for 30 minutes.
Step
5
Rinse and dry
Rinse thoroughly, allow to completely air dry and return cleaned and disinfected bedding and toys.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Do not use ammonia cleaners in kennels as the smell is similar to urine and can cause your dog to urinate in his kennel.

  • Make sure disinfecting solutions are completely rinsed off as they can damage materials on your kennel if residue is left. If residue gets on your dog's paws, it can make him sick when licked off.

  • Be sure to disinfect all items in a kennel as bacteria and fungus can grow on soiled items.

  • Disinfect walls of the kennel as well as the floor, especially if kennels are used by multiple dogs, to prevent the spread of viruses and bacteria that can cause disease.

Conclusion

Just like you enjoy a clean tidy home, so does your dog. Well, hopefully anyway. Certainly, keeping your dog’s home clean will keep your home cleaner when your dog comes in your house.  Cleaning and disinfecting your dog’s kennel also reduces the likelihood that bacteria, fungi and parasites will take hold in your dog's home and cause infections. Shared kennels need to be disinfected between occupants to prevent the spread of viral diseases that can be serious or even fatal. A thorough job of removing waste, cleaning, and disinfecting surfaces, rinsing and air drying is required to thoroughly clean a kennel. Also, contents of the kennels such as dishes, toys and bedding should be disinfected as appropriate, for whatever materials they are made of. Remember a clean home is a happy home!

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