In general, you should always clean up after messes immediately and sanitize daily if you are a business that works with multiple dogs. However, how often you do the deep cleaning can depend on a variety of factors—how the kennel is used, the materials it is made of, and whether it is located inside or outdoors.
While it is recommended that individual dog owners clean out their pet’s crate every 2-4 weeks, professional pet boarding facilities, animal shelters, doggie daycares, and other businesses that use kennels must maintain a more frequent cleaning schedule. Remember that it’s not only the cage that must be cleaned, but often the dog too! Regular trips to the grooming tub will keep your pooches and their owners happy.
How the cage is used
Cleaning up after your family pet is much different than washing out professional dog kennels used by breeders, veterinarians, boarding facilities, groomers, etc. A general rule for professional kennels is to clean each cage daily, preferably at a set time to establish a routine for your furry clients that will reduce their stress levels.
Animal care businesses should clean and sanitize cages anytime they change their occupants to avoid spreading bacteria, germs, and viruses. Equally, if several dogs are in one cage or if it’s an active breed, they may tend to make more of a mess, and their kennels may require more frequent cleaning.
Responding to accidents
While dogs generally like to keep a clean cage, accidents do happen. This can be especially true with puppies, or if the kennel is too large for the dog it’s housing.
If an accident occurs, you should immediately clean it up. Make sure to wash the bedding, toys, food bowls, or other objects that may have been soiled. Don’t wait to clean the kennel, as that raises the risk of the dogs falling ill.
Where your kennel is located
If your commercial dog kennels are located outdoors, you’ll probably need to do more regular cleanings due to the effects of weather and the accumulation of outdoor debris. A quick sweep for feces, urine, and other messes should be done after each use. And again, depending on how many dogs you have and what the kennels are used for, you may want to disinfect the cage daily or weekly and add in a regular deep cleaning.
The construction of your kennel
What your kennel is made of can make a big difference in how often you clean it. If your enclosure is constructed using a mixture of plastic or wood, you might have to break out the cleaning supplies more frequently. Wood should be treated to resist stains, but over time, exposure to active dogs and the strong acidity of urine can break down this protective layer and turn the wood into a sponge for smells, bacteria, stains, and more.
Plastic, while a bit more durable, is still known to breakdown and trap in stains. Be particularly mindful of scratches and cracks, as these are often most vulnerable to bacteria buildup.
Stainless steel, on the other hand, is resistant to messes and can help to keep things more sanitary. It is also much easier to clean and disinfect.
At Direct Animal, we use stainless steel panels on all our equipment because it is a strong and durable material that doesn’t soak up and hold messes. It is resistant to odors, stains, and bacteria. We also equip our cages with removable trays and drain traps to prevent unnoticed accidents from becoming an even bigger mess.