cleaning a dog kennel

From Mess to Marvel: Cleaning a Dog Kennel

While cleaning a dog kennel isn’t the most glamorous part about being a pet owner, ensuring your fur baby thrives is necessary. But how to clean a dog house and why is regular maintenance required? 

Dirty dog houses are breeding grounds for harmful diseases, infections, and bacteria. Like you, your pets deserve a clean home to stay healthy and happy. 

That said, cleaning a dog house is easier than it sounds if you know the right tactics and have the tools required. 

Start by removing and laundering everything inside your dog crate (even your puppy). Then, sweep and scrub down all surfaces with a pet-safe cleaning solution. Rinse everything thoroughly and let them air dry completely before letting your dog back in. 

Regular cleaning is essential for your dog’s well-being and comfort. Keep reading this guide to learn more about how to clean your pup’s nook. 

How to Clean a Dog House

A survey concluded that pet owners spend roughly 832 hours of the year cleaning up after their furry friend. That’s a relatively small number since pets are like children: extremely adorable but messy. 

Before cleaning a dog kennel, relocate your pet from the space. Bathe them and brush their fur according to their shedding needs, or take them to a professional groomer for a trim. 

Cleaning Checklist  

Cleaning a dog house

You’ll need some pet-friendly supplies to make your cleaning mission a breeze. These include: 

  • Non-toxic disinfectant or bleach 
  • Fur remover or lint roller
  • Stain and odor eliminator
  • Broom or handheld vacuum
  • Cleaning solution 
  • Wet mop 
  • Shovel or scoop
  • Scrub brush
  • Water hose 
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Odor-neutralizing detergent 
  • Sanitizing wipes 
  • Waste bags
  • Trash can 

Step-by-Step Guide: Cleaning a Dog Crate

Get your gloves on, and let’s get started. Here’s how to clean a dog crate and leave it spotless: 

1. Clear out Everything

cleaning a dog kennel

Remove bedding, toys, food bowls, and all other accessories from their space. Wash their toys and beds in the washing machine with a pet-friendly detergent. Use a lint roller to remove fur from soft surfaces. Thoroughly wash and air dry the food dishes. 

2. Sweep and Scoop

cleaning a dog crate

Use a scoop or shovel to clear out solid waste like dust and feces. Give the entire kennel a thorough sweep. If you are cleaning a crate, remove its trays and dispose of training pads and liners. Pay close attention to corners and crevices that are easy to miss. 

3. Rinse and Repeat 

how to clean a dog house

Rinse the interior of your dog kennel with a water hose. This will help remove leftover dirt and dust. You can repeat this step as many times as it takes to clean it out completely. Use boiling hot water to exterminate mites inside your dog crate or house. 

4. Kill Those Germs

Dilute disinfectant or bleach with water following instructions on the packaging. Use a mop to spread the liquid and spray all surfaces with a cleaning solution. Then, let the products sit for at least 30 minutes to work their magic before moving on to the next step. 

5. Scrub Like a Pro

Scrub the floors, walls, and ceiling using a scrub brush or a stiff bristle broom. If your kennel has a walkway, remember to scrub it down, too. 

6. Finishing Touches 

Rinse your kennel from top to bottom with water. Wash the exterior and walkways to ensure everything is squeaky clean! Use a mop to remove excess water and spray a generous amount of odor eliminator.

Allow your dog’s house to dry completely before returning feeding bowls, toys, and bedding.  No matter the type of dog house, you can tweak the steps above as required. 


  • Never use ammonia cleaners because they smell really bad and might cause accidents.
  • Rinse off all cleaning solutions and residue. Anything left can make your puppy sick if licked. 
  • Disinfect everything in your dog’s kennel to prevent bacteria and fungus growth. 

Why Cleaning a Dog Kennel is Important? 

So, what makes cleaning a dog kennel so important? 

Try to think from your dog’s perspective. Would you want to sleep in a dirty bed? Don’t even get us started on lingering odors. We’re betting against the odds here that you wouldn’t be comfortable, and neither would your dog. 

Health and Wellbeing

As mentioned above, cleaning a dog kennel is more than just about keeping up appearances. 

When dogs live in unsanitary conditions, they are more susceptible to fatal diseases like Parvovirus and staph infections. Harmful germs from unhygienic kennels can also spread to owners, resulting in illnesses like tapeworm, MRSA, and salmonella. 

The most effective way to prevent a breakout and minimize risks is always to keep your pet’s space clean.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should you clean your dog’s house?

You should generally follow a daily, weekly, and monthly routine for cleaning a dog house. Every day, check the bedding and scoop out all waste and debris. Wash any dishes that need cleaning and give your dog fresh food and water.

Every week, sanitize the interior, toys, and bedding. Every month, deep clean your dog kennel following the steps above. However, this also depends entirely on your dog and how messy they are.  

Can I clean my dog’s kennel with vinegar?

Vinegar is an excellent substitute for commercial disinfectants. It’s safe for pets and 100% natural, which makes it a better option than bleach or ammonia. Create a solution with equal parts water and vinegar. Spray it all over your kennel and leave it on for at least 10 minutes before washing away.

It might smell strange, but add some essential oils for that aroma kick. 

What is the best way to clean a dog kennel?

Cleaning a dog kennel can be summed up into three simple steps: Take everything out. Then, sweep, wash and disinfect. Once everything is clean, let the dog house dry before returning your dog and its accessories. 

Wrapping Up 

Remember, a clean and tidy home is a happy home – the same applies to your dog’s kennel. This is why learning how to clean a dog house is essential for your pet to have a safe haven to enjoy. 

But don’t worry. You don’t have to spend hours scrubbing crevices inside your dog kennel every day. Be smart about your approach and set up a system for regular disinfection, mopping, and drying.

Thorough deep cleaning with daily waste removal and spot-cleaning will help you keep the smell and bacteria away so your pup can relax. 

Don’t forget to check out our other posts for more valuable DIY tips and tricks. We have a lot of helpful articles to help you on this wholesome journey of keeping your four-legged friend.

Happy cleaning!  

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