How to Clean and Disinfect Dog Kennels: Why? How Often? What Commercial Disinfectants? Steps and Products to Use

It takes time to clean and disinfect the kennel of your dog. But for hygiene, it is very important, not only for your dog but also for the rest of your household. Each time she pees or poops, you can clean up. But to eliminate deep-seated dirt, grime, and bacteria that accumulate over time, you also need to deep-clean and disinfect her kennel regularly.

Here are the steps on how to clean and disinfect your dog’s kennel. We’ll also look through some of the most recommended products that you can use, plus ones you can make at home.

Is There a Difference between Disinfecting and Cleaning?

Before we start on the steps, let’s discuss the difference between disinfecting and cleaning.

Cleaning is the over-all practice of removing poo, hair, urine, vomit, and other stains or odors from the kennel.

Disinfecting is a specific type of cleaning that kills bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microscopic organisms. This limits the organisms from developing further.

Disinfecting does not remove organic wastes. So it is always better to clean a kennel first before disinfecting it.

Why is it important to clean and disinfect kennels?

Cleaning and disinfecting always go hand-in-hand. Washing is important to remove dirt and smells from the floor. In her kennel, the dog poops, urinate, vomit, and do other things. An unclean kennel has a bad smell and looks awful.

But in addition to cleaning up such organic waste, you also need to disinfect the room of your dog Disinfecting gets rid of things we can’t see. Kennels can be a breeding ground for various bacteria and viruses. 

Canine parvovirus type 2, for example, better known as parvo, is very infectious and contagious. It can spread very quickly between dogs through direct contact with contaminated feces. And we all know that dogs love smelling and sometimes eat poop.

Even though your dog may be vaccinated, it could still contract diseases. The best way to keep your dog clean and disinfected is to keep your kennel clean.

How often should you clean and disinfect your dog’s kennel?

Generally speaking, the longer solid waste remains in a kennel, the faster it becomes a bacteria and virus breeding ground. Cleaning and disinfecting frequency depend on multiple factors. Some of the following are:

  • Number of pets

How many dogs do you have? Do you have more than one? Of course, the more dogs there are, the more organic wastes there will be to clean up.

If you have just one dog, it is acceptable to clean and disinfect your kennel at least twice a month. You may have to clean and disinfect at least once a week if you have more than one dog.

  • Level of activity or socialization

Is your dog always active? Does she always meet strange dogs?

If your dog does not get dirty or socialize with other dogs often, then her kennel will not get dirt or bacteria that often.

But if your dog likes running around in piles of leaves or sniffing new dogs, you’ll need to clean and disinfect her kennel frequently. You may regularly bathe and groom your dog, but she may get bacteria or viruses from her environment or other dogs.

What commercial disinfectants can you use?

Detergent and water is the basic combination to clean a kennel.

For disinfection, you might want to use commercial solutions that are specially formulated for pets. Since your dog will be staying in the kennel a lot, it is better to use environment-friendly and non-toxic products.

Instead of pure or synthetic chemicals, try to look for a disinfectant that has enzymes and bioactive ingredients. This will ensure that the disinfectant residue is safe even if it comes into contact with the body of your dog. A disinfectant that is environmentally friendly will also be good for the floor of your house.

Here are some products you can try:

This is a best-selling cleaner. It has a bio-enzymatic solution that can clean even the most stubborn stain or odor. It’s safe for kids and pets. Wood, metal, and iron will not be affected by the ingredients. It has the Seal of Approval from the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI). This implies that you can use the product even on carpets, sofas, and other furniture.

This product is not only popular in the USA, but also in the UK. Professional breeders of dogs and vets like using it. At the same time, this product disinfects and deodorizes. Even the toughest microorganisms such as parvo, streptococcus, canine distemper, and E.coli can be destroyed.  But the kennel of your dog will smell like lemon, cherry, fresh, or winter-green. The formula is highly concentrated. If your dog is very sensitive to smell, you might need to rinse thoroughly after application.

This is a very effective disinfectant that destroys 99% of the viruses, bacteria, and fungi that may live in the kennel of your pet. It can be used indoors and outdoors with its biodegradable formula. But you might not want to use it on carpets or sofas. Some users said the product changes the color of these pieces of furniture.

When diluted, a tablet gives a pint of liquid solution. It can be applied to the kennel with a mop or through the use of a spray bottle. One good thing about this product is that you don’t have a big bottle of liquid to store so it saves on space.

This is a very important product if you’re a breeder. It can both clean and disinfect your dog’s kennel. The deck is non-skid and practical. It repels odors, mildew, mold, and other bacteria. You can use it indoors or outdoors.

This is not a disinfectant. But it is fine if your dog’s kennel smells quite stinky. It will remove even the toughest and toughest smells efficiently. It’s cheap and easy to use as well. You can add this to your usual cleaning material. The products are safe for pets and people to use. Do not use this product with chlorine-based bleach. Its effectiveness diminishes with bleach.

What homemade disinfectants can you use?

If you don’t want to buy a commercial disinfectant, then you can make a solution from ingredients you probably have at home.

  • Bleach

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) states that there are two types of bleaches.

Chlorine bleach is called sodium hypochlorite. When consumed, this type of bleach can prompt dogs to cough, vomiting, and diarrhea. It can also cause burns in the mouth, esophagus, or stomach if too much of it is eaten by your dog (like if she swims in a swimming pool and drinks a lot of pool water).

Bleach without chlorine usually has percarbonates or hydrogen peroxide. A high concentration of these ingredients can cause severe damage to your dog’s internal organs if ingested.

So, make sure you measure the ratio of bleach to water correctly if you want to use bleach. The ASPCA recommends that 1⁄2 cup of 5.25% bleach solution be used per 1 gallon of water. If you’re using a different concentration of bleach, the organization’s website has a bleach dilution calculator that can help you with your mixtures.

Normally, before you rinse it off, you can let a bleach solution sit for about 10 minutes. Note that the metal may be corroded by bleach. Take this into account when disinfecting the kennel of your dog.

  • Vinegar

Vinegar has natural properties for disinfecting as it usually contains 5% acetic acid. There is a stronger scent of apple cider vinegar than white vinegar. The latter’s scent often dissipates more quickly than the latter. If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, you could apply some essential oil to the solution.

To use this ingredient, mix an equal amount of water with vinegar. Apply to the kennel and let it sit for about 10 minutes before you rinse it off.

You can also use vinegar when you want to disinfect your dog’s food and water bowls. You can even add a half-cup of vinegar to the beddings when you wash them.

Steps on Cleaning a dog Kennel

Let’s start with the general procedure of cleaning a kennel.

  1. Remove the animal from the kennel. If your pet inside, you won’t be able to clean the kennel properly. She’s just going to get in the way. Put her away from her kennel in a temporary holding area. Bringing the kennel out would be the best.
  2. Take away your dog’s food and water bowls, toys, and beddings. Wash the bowls with the usual cleaner you use for plates. Then let them soak in a disinfectant that’s safe for feeding bowls.
  3. Wash the beddings in the washing machine and let them air dry. If you have more than one dog, it’s best to wash the beddings separately.
  4. Scoop out and scrape away all solid waste from the kennel. Sweep away hair.
  5. Hose down the kennel to remove other wastes that can easily be cleaned out.
  6. Prepare your cleaning mixture. It can be detergent and water. It can be an all-purpose cleaner safe for pets and humans.
  7. Use the mixture to clean the kennel. Start from the kennel’s top or “ceiling,” go to the sides or “walls” and finally to the base or “floor.” Use a stiff bristle brush to scrub stubborn stains away like dried poo. Pay attention to corners, latches, hinges, and other surfaces that are commonly ignored.
  8. Use hot water to rinse the kennel.

Steps on Disinfecting a dog Kennel

Now that the kennel is clean, it’s time to disinfect it. Be sure to read the instructions on the label of the disinfectant.

  1. Prepare the disinfectant according to the instructions. Be sure to dilute it properly and according to the correct measurements.
  2. Use the solution on the kennel’s surfaces. Pay attention to places where your dog likes to do her business (i.e. where she likes pooing, urinating, and sleeping).
  3. According to the instructions, let the solution sit or steep in the kennel. Don’t let it stay too long or the kennel could be destroyed by the chemicals.
  4. The kennel should be rinsed. Even if you don’t need to wash the solution, do it anyway so you’re confident there will be no chemical traces.
  5. Dry the kennel completely.
  6. Return your dog’s food and water bowls, toys, and beddings.
  7. Return your dog to her kennel.

Additional tips

  • Always make sure you’re protected from the chemicals you’re going to use to clean and disinfect the kennel of your dog. The use of gloves and other protective gear should be kept in mind. Use clothes that you won’t mind being soiled when you’re cleaning.
  • Follow the label’s dilution requirements. Otherwise, the solution could dilute too much and lose its power to disinfect. Using too much of it could be dangerous to the health of your dog and could corrode metal kennels.
  • Do not mix detergents and disinfectants unless you are told by the manufacturer that you can. Such two products usually balance out each other. Then, after you have washed and rinsed the kennel, it is better to apply the disinfectant.

Conclusion

Cleaning your dog’s kennel regularly and disinfecting it can go a long way to keeping your dog healthy Although this method is tiring, just think about the money you’re saving. After all, a healthy dog means fewer visits to the vet and the pet is less likely to get an infection that will need medications and treatments.

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