Being a dog parent is an excellent experience, especially if you’ve never had a human child. Although the responsibility might not be quite as overwhelming, caring for a dog can still teach you many valuable lessons and skills. Owning a dog can be so much fun, but it can also create extra housework on your part. Even if you think your furry friend is the cutest creature in the world, that doesn’t mean they’re not super gross from time to time. Dig into this complete guide for cleaning your dog’s crate to maintain their area.
Why Do You Need To Clean the Crate?
You might think you don’t need to clean the crate because you wash your dog, but that’s certainly not the case. It’s no secret that dogs spend a lot of time in their kennels; therefore, they can get very dirty quickly. Regardless of how much you love your pup, you should know that they’re relatively gross beings. Whether they shed, drool, or have accidents in their kennels, they can become filthy.
Because they spend a lot of time in their crates, you want them to have a clean, comfortable, and safe spot to relax. After all, you wouldn’t want to sit in your own filth for hours—they shouldn’t have to, either.
Different Crate Types
There are different breeds and sizes of dogs; it makes sense that there would be multiple types of crates to contain them. Even though all of them are great options, they might require different cleaning methods.
Metal wire crates are common choices for larger breeds, as they fold up and have removable trays. As a result, these options are very easy to clean. Because some larger dogs can chew through other materials, this is an excellent and sturdy option for most. Metal wire crates provide good visibility and ventilation, as they’re practically open. If your dog needs to feel more secure, consider putting a dark-colored blanket over the top of the kennel.
Plastic kennels are another common choice for many dog owners, as they’re easy to clean and cost-effective. These are sturdier than soft-sided options but not quite as strong as metal wire crates; however, they’re usually effective for small breeds. Furthermore, plastic kennels provide ample privacy and shade for your pup, making them a popular choice. However, they don’t offer great ventilation, so your dog shouldn’t be in one all day.
Soft-sided kennels are excellent choices for travel, as they fold into a smaller version. Additionally, they consist of a mesh-like material to keep your pup safe and comfortable. Even though these are very comfortable for most dogs, they’re not easy to clean. Furthermore, soft-sided options might not be suitable for pups who like to scratch, chew, and aren’t potty trained.
Step-by-Step Crate Cleaning Process
Now that you know more about the popular kennel types, you should also know how to clean them. Follow along for a helpful step-by-step guide to properly cleaning your dog’s crate.
It’s common to have towels, blankets, toys, or a water bowl inside the kennel. However, you must remove everything from it before moving on with the cleaning process. Because dog crates tend to get extremely smelly, you should consider machine-washing any bedding or blankets to reduce unwanted and unpleasant odors. Additionally, you can sanitize their toys before putting them back in the kennel.
Even though you’re doing a good thing by cleaning the crate, it might not be enough unless you also clean and sanitize all the other items inside.
No matter what type of crate you have, you can start by vacuuming it out to make the rest of the cleaning process easier. It’s no secret that many dogs shed a ton of hair in their kennels; even if your pup doesn’t shed, they might still drag in other dirt and debris that can make their living space incredibly filthy.
Clean It Accordingly
The next step is to clean the kennel accordingly. This is the step that may look different depending on the material of the crate.
- Metal wire: Remove the tray and use the hose and dog-safe soap to clean the entire thing. Be sure to scrub the individual wires to remove any stuck-on gunk.
- Plastic: Some plastic crates have the capability to separate the top from the bottom. If yours does this, take it apart. Next, use the hose and dog-safe soap to clean and scrub the entire thing.
- Soft-sided: These are much more difficult to wash. If possible, remove the hard pieces and put the soft part in the washing machine (don’t dry it). If not, you can also try using a carpet shampooer to remove the stains and gunk.
Rinse With Water
Regardless of your kennel, rinse it with water to remove any soap. Unfortunately, dogs can get sick from consuming soap—don’t miss any spots.
Even though you just cleaned it with soap and water, you should also consider disinfecting the crate with another product. This is especially important if your pup has had an accident, is sick, or had worms. Because dogs can easily reinfect themselves with various stomach parasites, disinfecting is incredibly important. That said, you should avoid using bleach or other harmful chemicals. Be sure to use a dog-safe disinfectant for the best possible results.
Dog crates smell! However, you can use a dog-safe deodorizer to remove any gross scents from your pup’s kennel.
Air It Out
After all of this cleaning, the crate will most likely be wet. Before putting your pup’s stuff back in their crate, let it dry and air out for several hours. After it’s nice and dry, you can put their bedding back in it and let your dog relax inside it.
Hopefully, having a complete guide for cleaning your dog’s crate will help you better care for your furry friend, both at home and wherever you go. When you’re looking for a portable crate, soft-sided foldable dog kennels are an excellent option for traveling with your dog. Crates are essential for any dog owner; be sure to choose the right material and size for your four-legged friend—don’t forget to clean it properly at least every few weeks.