An energetic dog is a happy and content dog. Unfortunately, one downside to having a rambunctious pup is how messy these furballs can be. It’s a known fact that dogs like to leave a mess behind in their wake, especially in places that they frequent. So if you have a kennel in your home, it’s no surprise that this area will often become dirty and grimy. While learning to properly clean their kennel can be challenging to do so at first, it’s essential to keeping your pup healthy. If you’re not sure where to begin, here are a few tips to help you out:
Prioritize Your Furbaby’s Safety
As a pet owner, it’s normal to make your furry friend’s health and safety a priority. So when it’s time to clean their kennel, keep your canine companion out of harm’s way by placing them in a confined area at a safe distance. Alternatively, you can ask a friend or family member to take the dog for a walk. You can even give them collapsible travel cups for your dogs to keep your pup hydrated while they’re out and about. If the cleaning time will eat into your dog’s usual mealtime, make sure to feed them away from the area.
Timing and Frequency Matters
Depending on how dirty your kennel gets, it’s important to regularly clean it and be mindful of when you do so. As a rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to deep clean the kennel weekly. It’s also best not to rush the process, as it may put you and your pet at risk.
If you’re using a specialized kennel cleaner, take note of the contact time (also known as dwell time or kill time) indicated on the label and stick to it. Give the cleaner enough time to kill any bacteria in the kennel before washing it off. Then, allow the kennel to air dry completely before letting your dog use it again.
Alternate Between Spot and Deep Cleaning
While nothing beats a thorough deep cleaning, you can still keep your dog’s kennel tidy with some daily spot cleaning. Once every day, make it a point to wipe down the kennel, sweep up any stray dirt, and clean up any urine or dog feces. Not only does this little bit of regular upkeep make deep cleaning a lot easier, but it gives you less of a mess to take care of when it’s time to clean it up.
Avoid Bleach at All Costs
No matter what happens, never use any cleaning products that contain bleach. While it may be fine to use on your house and clothes, it is highly toxic to dogs and does not properly disinfect kennels, either. This is why it’s essential to use pet-friendly cleaning products instead, as they won’t leave behind any harmful residue.
Wash the Kennel Before Disinfecting
Deep cleaning a dog kennel can seem like a daunting task for new dog owners. To make it a little less intimidating, always begin by thoroughly washing it. Get it wet and scrub away any form of solid waste before rinsing everything clean. Ensuring that you get rid of any visible sign of dirt and grime beforehand means that the disinfectant can fully work its magic. Make sure to properly dilute your sanitizing solution as well. Using it undiluted may make it harder to completely clean off and can end up poisoning your dog.
Take Care of the Beddings
If your dog sleeps in their kennel, it’s also important to clean the beddings at least once every week. It prevents hair buildup and flea infestations and keeps your pup comfortable. Old straw bedding needs to be thrown out and replaced with fresh straw, while dirty blankets need to be washed and swapped with something clean. While you’re at it, make sure to clean and sanitize any dog accessories for traveling that you keep inside of the kennel.
Clean from the Top to the Bottom
There is a proper way to clean a kennel to prevent the spread of illness-causing bacteria. Even if you should pay attention to the floor, don’t forget that the walls and ceiling can be just as dirty. So start with cleaning the ceiling, as any dirt and debris from it will fall onto the walls and floor. Once you’re done, you can move on to the walls, and leave the floor for last.
Sanitize Your Tools Regularly
Aside from disinfecting the kennel, you also need to regularly disinfect your cleaning supplies and tools. Plastic tools like pooper scoopers or scrub brushes need to be sanitized in between uses. However, absorbent cleaning tools like squeegees, mops, and brooms can still drag bacteria from one place to another. It might be a good idea to throw out old tools and replace them with new ones every once in a while.
Keeping a kennel clean is no easy job. But by following these tips, you can make the job a lot easier for yourself and your family. Indeed, a clean kennel can help give you peace of mind and can keep your dog healthy and happy for years to come.