Kennels get a bad rap, sometimes, as the best place to take your pet if you want it to come home sick. Whether it’s because pets come home with fleas and kennel cough or more serious issues like parvo, plenty of kennels earn a reputation for being dirty, so here are 10 of the best kennel cleaning tips to keep your kennel clean so it can stand out as one of the best.
Empty the Kennel Completely
Don’t just sweep out the kennel to keep it clean. You need to empty it out completely for cleaning and disinfection. This includes food and water bowls, toys and anything else. You also need to ensure you have a clean and safe place to house its occupant during this process unless they’ve already gone home.
Pick Safe Products
Animals can be much more sensitive to cleaning products than humans. That’s why it’s important to pick kennel cleaning supplies that are designed to be safe to use around animals. It’s no good if your kennels are clean and disinfected but leave behind possible toxic residues!
Wash Before Disinfecting
There’s clean and then there’s disinfected – they’re not the same thing. Washing out a kennel will certainly clean it of dirt, debris, or animal waste, but this doesn’t mean it’s killed all the pathogens left behind. Disinfect after you clean to make sure you can safely put an occupant in your kennel.
Have the Right Tools
You need the right kennel cleaning equipment to get the job done. This covers not just cleaning agents but also things like mops, buckets, scrub brushes, and cleaning cloths. You might want multiple sets of equipment to avoid cross-contamination if one of your occupants is sick.
Don’t Use Bleach
Bleach might be great for getting stains out of clothes, but it’s a big no-no when it comes to cleaning kennels. Not only is it toxic, but it’s really not that great when it comes to disinfecting when compared to other cleaning products out there that have been specifically designed to be safe for animal use.
Disinfect All Items
Everything needs to be disinfected separately. Bowls, bedding, toys – anything that isn’t nailed down needs to be disinfected to prevent the spread of the types of pathogens that are notorious for causing trouble in kennels.
Clean the Animal
Keep your occupants clean! If there’s an accident in a kennel, make sure to clean it up immediately so your occupant isn’t living with it. If you have grooming capabilities, giving your occupants a good bath is a good idea as long as they’ll tolerate it.
Make sure every surface and object in an individual kennel has been left to dry sufficiently before returning an occupant to the space. Remember: it’s not truly clean until it’s dry!
Bedding needs to be replaced regularly. If you’re using straw, make sure it’s cleaned out on a regular schedule and replaced with fresh, clean straw. If you’re using blankets or similar bedding, removing them and washing them regularly is a must.
Do It Frequently
The more often you clean your kennels, the better. At a bare minimum, you should do a deep clean and disinfect weekly while spot-cleaning during the meantime. However, you really can’t over-clean a kennel; when it comes to keeping pets safe and sound while their owners are away, there’s no such thing as too much disinfectant!