If you use a portable dog kennel to keep your pet safe, you’ll want to make sure it also stays clean. When you aim to clean the portable dog kennel on a regular basis, you’ll ensure that your pet has a clean, safe and enjoyable home. However, if you don’t disinfect the kennel correctly or frequently enough, it’ll become home to bacteria and germs that are unhealthy for both your dog and you. Follow these tips for keeping your dog’s portable kennel as clean as possible.
Relocate the Dogs Temporarily
It’s going to be much easier to clean the dog’s kennel if the dog has been removed from it. Move the dog to a safe, clean area so that you access the entire kennel without distractions. Also remove bedding, toys, bowls and food. Disinfect the bowls (see the labels for specific instructions from the manufacturer) and wash the dog blankets in a washing machine. Depending on how long the dog has had his toys for, you can either disinfect them or throw them out and replace them. If you disinfect them, remember to follow manufacturer instructions in order to keep your dog safe.
Get Rid of Debris
Before you can wash down the crate, you need to get rid of as much debris as possible. Remove solid waste, like hair and feces. Once you’ve removed as much solid waste as possible, rinse out the rest with hot water. You want the kennel to be as rinsed out and clean as possible before you begin disinfecting.
Use the Right Solution
Make sure to use a disinfectant that’s specifically made for dog enclosures. Read the label thoroughly to make sure you’re diluting it correctly. If you’re using bleach, you’ll want to dilute it at 1:32, which means one part bleach to 32 parts water. Once you’ve finished disinfecting the cage, rinse everything thoroughly. This is especially important if you use bleach, because bleach can ruin metal and also irritate your dog’s airways.
Scrub, Scrub, Scrub
Once you’ve diluted the disinfecting solution, it’s time to get the kennel clean. Scrub everything, including the ceiling, floor and walls, with a stiff-bristle brush. Also make sure to clean both sides of the door, plus the latches and hinges. Before rinsing everything clean, let the disinfectant stand for a period of time. The solution should say how long to let it set for. When it’s time to give everything a rinse, use hot water. Make sure the kennel dries out, too – use a squeegee where possible, then let the rest air dry. Make sure the kennel gets enough ventilation so it’s able to dry completely.
Clean the Wire
Some dog kennels are made from thick wire. You don’t have to clean this wire daily. Instead, only wipe it down if you notice it’s soiled or if there’s buildup on it. Use a dry cloth to wipe it down; if it’s heavily soiled, wash the wire using a solution made for cleaning crates. Never leave the wire wet, though – it can rust. Always wipe the wire dry after cleaning it.
Clean Kennels in the Right Order
If you have multiple portable kennels because you’re caring for several dogs, it’s important to know the right order in which to clean them. If all of the dogs are healthy, then you can clean them in whatever order you want. However, if some of the dogs are older than the other dogs or sick, you’ll want to make sure you clean the kennels in the right sequence. According to the U.S. Humane Society, puppy kennels should be cleaned first, followed by kennels of adult dogs, and then, lastly, kennels of any dog that’s sick or injured.
Once you’ve completely cleaned and dried the kennel, it’s time to get it ready for your dog once again. Put everything back in, including the food and water bowls, toys and bedding. Once it’s all set up, you can reintroduce your dog to his home.