How to Properly Clean a Crate

by Perfect Puppy Care on February 22, 2010

Puppy Crate

Dog crates occasionally need to have a thorough cleaning, just like everything else in the house.

You will find that you will most likely have to clean up after your puppy more so than and adult dog, especially during the housebreaking stage when the puppy may have an accident inside the crate.

Most new crates are built in a manner that allows you to remove the side panels and the floor for easy cleaning. The chore will be a little more difficult if you are using an older crate that doesn’t have this feature.

Here are a few tips to help make the job easier.

Do not use any cleaners that contain ammonia. Dog urine contains ammonia, so adding the smell of ammonia to the crate can confuse the dog. Try using a diluted bleach mixture that can be made by adding one part of chlorine bleach to 20 parts water. Mix outdoors or in a well-ventilated area.

Next, don some rubber gloves to make sure you do not get chemical burns from the bleach solution. If your dog’s crate does come apart, now is a good time to disassemble it.

Spray the solution onto the crate parts and allow the disinfectant to remain on the crate parts for a few minuets to help with sanitization. Use a stiff brush to clean stubborn areas. Finish the job by thoroughly wiping down the crate parts with another clean rag or sponge to remove any residual cleaners and urine odors.

Hard molded plastic crates are best cleaned by removing the top and hosing the crate out with a garden hose, especially if the crate has any build up of debris. Once the crate is free of debris, use the above mixture to disinfect it. Be sure to pay close attention to corner areas that are harder to clean.

Some people use wooden crates to house their dogs. These are more commonly used for dogs that are kept outdoors. It is best to avoid using wooden crates if the dog is not housebroken or crate-trained because the wood will soak up urine and the smell is extremely difficult to get rid of. If you choose to use water and/or cleaners, do the clean up as quickly as possible and rinse frequently throughout the process because the wood grain will soak up the water and cleaners that are absorbed into the grain.

Soft-sided portable dog crates that one might use for flying a pet or taking one to the vet’s office are best cleaned by using water to which dish detergent has been added. Dip a rag into the cleaning solution and thoroughly wring it out to avoid saturating the soft material. Use the rag to wipe out the soft-sided crate. Rinse with clear water to complete the job.

Clean the dog’s crate as needed. Keep in mind that it is much easier to clean dog waste, especially feces, out of the crate when it is fresh. Waiting until the waste dries means more scrubbing.

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