You wouldn’t believe it based solely on a dog’s propensity for splashing around in the mud and rain, but they actually do like to keep a pretty tidy home.
Natural instincts and training even more so make a dog extremely hesitant to perform bodily functions inside the crate they sleep in.
Still, even the best-behaved dogs leave messes of different kinds, and there’s no guarantee that you won’t find one of the nasty surprises in the crate one day.
All of these are reason enough to learn how to take care of your dog’s crate properly.
As you’ll see from the tips outlined below, maintaining the crate is actually straightforward and made easy by its very design.
It’s never a bad idea to read up on the specifics though, and that’s where this handy dog crate cleaning guide comes in! Read on to find out how to disinfect a dog crate.
Oxyfresh Crate & Cage Cleaner
Although initially designed to clean small animals and birdcages, this product is a fantastic choice for large dog kennels. Applying a few Oxyfresh toxic-free cleaner sprays will help you remove any build-up (urine/poop) and harsh odors. Most importantly, it is 100% natural and hypoallergenic, which means that your dog won’t react negatively to it.
We also found that it is perfect for newbie use as you don’t need to rub and scrape off the remains once you are done spraying. All that needs to be done is to spot clean by applying the spray and then wiping it off with a dry cloth. Lastly, it comes at a budget-friendly price and in a 16 fl. oz. bottle that should last you for months.
Buddy’s Best Pet Urine Odor Eliminator
The second product on our list is just perfect, no matter whether you have a young or a dog in senior years. Highlighted by a formula comprised of natural enzymes/probiotics, a single application should wipe out any enzymatic odor coming from feces, urine, or vomit.
It can be sprayed on a hardwood floor, carpet, and any other surface, making it a multi-functional agent for removing pet odor and stains. Once again, cleaning with this product is rub-free. You need to spray a couple of times at the designated spot and wipe it clean. On top of all that, you will get to enjoy a pleasant Bamboo Mint scent.
Only Natural Pet Advanced Dog Stain + Odor Remover
Highlighted by an all-natural formula, including filtered water, surfactants, peroxide, and lemon/thyme essential oils, we found this cleaner to be potent. According to our experience, this product easily removes feces, urine, and vomit stains even after a couple of weeks have passed.
While it is not suitable for silk and leather, the Only Natural Stain/Odor Remover can be sprayed on upholstery, carpets, and any hardwood surface. After just a few applications, you will find that your pet’s kennel smells of lemon/thyme and is free of any stains and enzymatic odor.
Unique Pet Odor and Stain Eliminator
Made according to the latest eco-friendly standards, this budget-friendly eliminator is perfect for both old and new stains. Given the fact that it is highly concentrated, the instructions are a bit more complicated. You will want to mix a single cup of the eliminator with at least 5 cups of warm water for regular use.
Cover a designated area with a damp cloth and let it sit overnight. You should remove the fabric and allow the furniture/hardwood surface/upholstery to air dry in the morning. For cleaning pet beds/covers, it all comes down to adding a few fluid ounces of this concentrated formula to a machine washing agent.
Getting the Crate Ready
While there are nuances between cleaning each distinct type of crate, there are a few starter steps which are common to all of them. First, get some rubber gloves – you never know what you might reach for and accidentally touch.
Next, inspect the crate. If you see bits of food or other undesirable waste, get a brush and dustpan, and dispose of everything you find.
Don’t forget those hard-to-reach corners.Cloth and plastic crates also often come with removable bedding.
Sometimes this can be machine-washed, saving time, and making for a more hygienic result. Other times the manufacturer doesn’t recommend it, in which case you’ll have to deal with stains individually.
Place a paper towel on any fresh stains to draw out any remaining urine first, and then treat the stain with either a store-bought disinfectant or create a home-made one with the cleaning supplies you have lying around.
Now’s a good time to mention that dog crates should never be cleaned using cleaning solutions that contain ammonia.
This unpleasant-smelling substance might be effective at cleaning, but its smell is actually reminiscent of the dog’s own urine.
Since their noses are so sensitive, your dog might end up smelling the ammonia a lot longer than you will, and as it will have a hard time distinguishing it from the real thing, it may get more prone to urinating in its crate.
How to Clean Soft Crates
Arguably the easiest to clean are soft crates. As their sides can effortlessly be folded, they take up little room and can fit inside your sink provided your dog is small.
You can make a simple solution involving water and some dish soap and scrub the whole crate with it using a sponge.
Bigger crates will need to be dealt with in your bathtub or backyard and rinsed off using a showerhead or garden hose.
Even better are machine-washable crates – you just chuck one into the washing machine, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and then thoroughly air dry it for best results.
How to Clean Metal Cages
Most of the time, a metal cage’s bars won’t require much attention, saving you considerable time. The bottom tray is a different matter altogether though. This tends to have all manner of stains and encrusted mishaps all over it, so an aggressive approach is called for.
Remove the tray from the crate for easier access and thoroughly rub it down with a cleaning solution.
Said cleaner can even contain bleach in small amounts, just be sure that the tray is completely dry before your dog uses it again.
When the tray is done, you can hose the rest of the cage down with water and apply the same water/dish soap solution used for soft crates to the bars provided they’re still dirty or you detect a smell coming from them.
How to Clean Plastic Crates
Plastic crates are the most challenging to clean as their rigid shape can prevent you from reaching every square inch of their insides. With tricky crates like this, your best bet is to use a spray bottle to distribute the cleaning solution across the entire surface area.
Apply a more generous amount of solution to stained areas and wipe those clean with disposable towels or a washcloth you won’t be using for anything else.
Rinsing the crate out is self-explanatory. Since it’s made from plastic, a strong smell may be left over even after you’ve meticulously cleaned the crate.
In that case, the best thing to do is create a paste with ordinary baking soda and vinegar. This will contribute to making the dog crate even more bacteria-free while dissolving any but the most hardcore of smells.
You keep your own home in good order, so there’s no excuse not to do the same for your pets.
Since it’s not rocket science and doesn’t take too long, especially if you maintain the crate’s cleanliness, you can do it once a month in a few minutes’ time and ensure that your pet has a healthy and clean place to live in while keeping your own home safer from harm.