Do you have a single dog kennel at your home? A beautiful addition to any property, these structures are designed to keep your four-legged best friend safe, sheltered, and comfortable.
Just as you regularly clean your own home, it’s important to keep your pet’s kennel clean and sanitary. This is where your pups spend the majority of their time, and you want to make sure the environment is healthy.
Today, we’re sharing a few cleaning and hygiene tips to help you keep things neat and tidy.
The Importance of Dog Kennel Cleaning
As a responsible pet owner, you have many responsibilities to attend to. This includes creating a daily schedule that keeps your pup healthy, active, and well-fed. You have to think about socialization, physical activity, mental stimulation, and more.
You spend the majority of your time in your own house. As such, it’s easy to overlook the condition of your outdoor single-dog kennels. However, this is one task that you cannot afford to skip.
The chief reason why dog kennel cleaning should be a priority is that an unsanitary living environment isn’t just uncomfortable for your pet to live in. It can also be detrimental to their health.
When conditions are left uncleaned and unkept, there’s a greater risk of contamination. Your pup could be exposed to bacteria that could lead to infections, viruses, and other concerns. By taking the time to clean the floors, sanitize their feeding equipment, and disinfect the surfaces, you can help reduce those threats and keep your beloved pet safe.
Remember: This is your dog’s special space. Single dog kennels are meant to be an oasis by giving pups room to relax, unwind, and find protection from the elements. Within this large covered area, they’re free to get some fresh air, removed from the everyday chaos of the family home.
The cleaner and more comfortable it is, the more enjoyable it will become. Let’s take a look at a few ways to get there.
Choose a High-Quality Kennel
The first step in dog kennel cleaning is a simple one. Begin by choosing a premium-quality structure that’s easy to maintain and keep clean. At Benchmark Kennels, we have a wide variety of options for you to consider, including wooden and eco-thermal plastic models.
Our kennels are designed with materials that naturally resist rot and decay, as well as insect infestations. They also include special features such as heavy-duty roof coversto protect the interior from weather damage.
Our kennels will complement the exterior of your home and give your pup a reliable place to rest and relax. One example is our 10×6.5-ft Dog Kennel. Features of this kennel include:
- Tansalised and pressure-treated framework
- Tongue-and-groove shiplap cladding
- Structurally sound OSB 3 sheets on the roof
- IKO felt roof cover
- Sturdy galvanized dog run panels
The prices of our kennels also include professional fitting and installation. You can rest assured that your kennel will be properly constructed and completely safe for your pet to use. When shopping for one, remember to prioritize expert construction and solid materials.
These kennels are easier to maintain and keep clean than ones that are made from inferior products. Those structures are more susceptible to problems, such as mould and mildew, which can turn into major health concerns for your pup.
Set Up Your Kennel Properly
While it’s important to regularly dedicate time to cleaning a dog kennel, there are steps you can take at the beginning to make this process easier and more efficient down the road.
For instance, one of our top hygiene tips is to position your dog’s food bowl, water bowl, and bed toward the front of the kennel. Why does this matter? Put simply, it encourages your pet to use the bathroom toward the back of the space, as they prefer not to eliminate their waste near the same area where they eat and sleep.
This way, you can use your hose to spray the kennel down from the front to the back during cleaning sessions. You don’t have to worry about the dirty water touching your dog’s feeding or sleeping space. In addition, keeping all of their necessities toward the front allows them to walk in without stepping through the waste spot.
There’s a much lower chance that they’re going to accidentally walk through the mess and spread it throughout the kennel when it’s isolated to the back.
Invest in Premium Materials and Accessories
Another quick and easy step to take at the beginning is to think carefully about the materials you bring into your dog’s kennel. All accessories from their beds and bowls to their toys and games should be weather-resistant and easy to clean. You should be able to use a hose and disinfecting solution on the surface without worrying that you’ll damage it.
You can find everything you need on our Accessories page. We offer a range of products that can help tailor any kennel and run to your pup’s exact needs. We have designed these accessories after years of manufacturing kennels, and we know exactly what pet parents need.
From draught excluders designed to keep the wind out to anti-chew strips to fortify the entrance, we have it all. You can also outfit your single kennel with our ultra-sturdy, rust-resistant, stainless steel double dog bowl holder and bowls.
Choose the Right Products
There are lots of different products designed to remove dirt and debris from your dog’s space. However, knowing how to clean kennels in the correct way means being very selective in the ones you choose.
While you might choose super-strong solutions to clean your own home, this isn’t always the best approach when it comes to your furry pal’s home. The most important consideration to keep in mind is whether the product is safe for your pet.
Want one of our top kennel cleaning tips? If possible, stick to natural, ammonia-free cleaners. When ammonia is used, this chemical can have a smell that’s surprisingly similar to urine, which could trigger anxiety in your pup or trigger his need to urinate.
You’ll need a cleaner that you can use to wipe down surfaces, and a floor cleaner that can completely disinfect the play spaces and dog run.
Once you have your surface cleaner and mopping solution in hand, pay close attention to the gear you’re using to apply them. This includes everything from your scrubbing brushes to your squeegee and mop heads. Before each cleaning spree, carefully wash and sanitize these items to make sure they’re clean and ready to use.
You should also clean them again if you’re moving from one area of the kennel to another. This helps avoid cross-contamination and keeps each space safe.
Put Safety First
Any time you’re cleaning a dog kennel, it’s critical to keep your dog’s safety at the forefront. To clean thoroughly and deeply, you’ll need to use chemicals, and it’s essential to keep your dog safe from those solutions.
Before you get started, be sure to remove your pup from the enclosure. Never try to clean their kennel while they’re still inside. While you may think this could be easier and save time, it could also expose them to chemicals that are dangerous for them to inhale or come into contact with.
Once you’ve made sure they’re safely relocated, remember to protect yourself, too. Always wear safe and protective clothing when cleaning single dog kennels, which includes the following pieces:
- Long pants
- Long-sleeved shirt
- Closed-toe shoes
- Eye protection
Before you begin using, mixing, or applying chemical products, remember to read each label carefully. There are certain solutions you cannot safely mix, such as bleach and vinegar. Doing so could catalyze a dangerous chemical reaction, which can be unsafe for both you and your pet.
Instead of reintroducing your pup to the kennel immediately after cleaning, remember to everything dry first. This way, you can be sure that they won’t come into contact with anything harmful.
Follow a Strategy
The sequence in which you clean your dog’s kennel matters. One of our next kennel cleaning tips is to make a plan before you start. Here are the basic steps to follow when you’re ready to get started.
- Safely remove your pup from the kennel
- Remove every loose object from the kennel (e.g. feeding/water bowls, bed, toys)
- Scoop out waste
- Sweep up dirt, dust, and fur
- Hose the kennel down from front to back
- Apply disinfecting cleaner (using a mop and bucket, multi-purpose sprayer, or power washer)
- Scrub the kennel with a stiff-bristled brush (ceiling, floors, walls, doors)
- Allow the disinfectant to stand for the appropriate time
- Rinse interior surfaces with water (top of walls to the floor)
- Remove excess water with a squeegee
- Allow floors and all surfaces to air-dry
- Place accessories back into the kennel
Remember to allocate plenty of time for the floors and surfaces to dry and never rush the process. Once everything is completed, your dog can safely return to their newly cleaned home.
How Often Should You Clean a Single Kennel?
Knowing how to clean kennels is the first step. Once you have all of your tools in hand and your strategy in place, you’ll need to think about how often to tackle this task.
Cleaning once a week is best for most pet owners, especially if your pup isn’t sharing a kennel with any other dogs. However, it’s always best to over-clean rather than under-clean. The longer you allow their kennel to sit unsanitized, the more time potential viruses and bacteria have to spread and reproduce.
It can be weeks before the first signs of an illness such as distemper or parvo start to appear. You might not know that your outdoor kennel is hosting such diseases before it’s too late. This is why it’s best to err on the side of caution and make cleaning a part of your regular kennel upkeep routine.
If you have more than one dog or if your pup visits the dog park and other public places to socialize, then you may need to clean their kennel more frequently.
Daily Spot Cleaning
You should set aside time each week to deep-clean your dog’s kennel. However, that doesn’t mean that you can leave it completely untouched for the other six days of the week.
In between those cleaning sessions, pay close attention to the way the kennel looks. If you spot a mess, clean it up. Remember to completely remove loose debris before you begin applying a cleaner or disinfectant to make sure the solution sinks in completely.
If you’re simply sweeping up dust in the back, you may be able to leave your pup in the kennel while you spot-clean. However, if you’re using chemicals of any kind, it’s always best to remove them from the space before you begin.
Follow These Kennel Cleaning and Hygiene Tips
Now that you know how to clean kennels effectively with these hygiene tips, the task should be less intimidating. The key is to invest in a strategic design from the beginning, use the right products, and be consistent with your efforts. You should also follow a repeatable process that makes each step easy to remember and complete.
Of course, it all starts with choosing a great-quality kennel that’s reliable and easy to clean. When you’re ready to upgrade yours, start with us. Our wooden and eco-thermal plastic kennels are low-maintenance and designed to resist extreme weather, UV rays, moisture, insects, and more.
Check them out today and let us know if you have any questions!