Pet Care Pro Show, Pet Health Tips

How to Disinfect a Kennel

How do you disinfect a dog kennel? How clean is your kennel? Do you use a disinfectant or rely on bleach alone? With guidance from Gina and Shelley, they’ll show you the best ways how to keep dog kennel clean!
How to Clean a Kennel

Best Kennel Disinfectant

When disinfecting a kennel, you have to keep two things in mind. First, what are the ages of the animals living in the kennel? And secondly, what diseases are you targeting.

Toxins in certain disinfectants are a major cause of fading puppy syndrome, which is a term used to describe puppies that appear normal at birth but gradually fade and die within the first two weeks of life. The skin on newborns is very thin and that means chemicals easily absorb through the skin leading to fading puppy syndrome. The fumes on some of these disinfectants can also cause problems for these little ones such as upper respiratory congestion in these young animals.

In your nursery where newborn puppies and kittens are living, avoid cleaning with pine oils, phenols which are a class of chemicals found in many cleaning materials, as well as bleach and quaternary ammonium. These are all very dangerous and can lead to fading puppy syndrome.

Instead, you’ll want to use a gentle cleaner such as Chlorhexidine. It has little odor and is a safe disinfectant to use around puppies and kittens. Chlorhexidine is also a good choice to disinfect any instruments or tools. It’s gentle yet it’s still very effective against bacteria, fungi, ringworm, yeast, and most viruses. However, Chlorhexidine is NOT effective against parvovirus, so if that is what you are targeting, you’ll want to use something else.

Best Disinfectant for Dog Kennels

When it comes to a puppy safe disinfectant that also kills parvo, you’ll want to look for a penetrating disinfectant to kill parvo. Something like Virkon or Oxine with citric acid or Animal Facility Disinfectant by Pro-Vet Logic. These are all penetrating disinfectants that kill parvovirus, bacteria, fungi, viruses and other organisms that make animals sick. But note that you’ll want to always remove the animals during cleaning and not return them to the area until it is dried.

It’s important to keep in mind that for disinfectants to work well, you should have as much of the feces and dirt removed
before you start disinfecting the area. All of the organic material such as feces and dirt should be removed and cleaned using soap to degrease the area so the disinfectant can do its job.

Bleach is a great disinfectant however keep in mind bleach is not safe to use around newborn puppies and kittens and can lead to fading puppy. When using bleach, remember, it does need to be in contact with the surface for a certain amount of time to disinfect properly. And keep in mind, colder temperatures require a longer contact time for bleach. You’ll also want to look at the label of your bleach bottle to make sure you use the correct dilution ratio so it can do its job.

The Wysiwash Sanitizer system is very easy to use and helps you ensure you are using the proper ratio of disinfectant. However, you can’t keep animals, especially newborns, anywhere nearby when it is being used. If you do use WysiWash in a nursery, make
sure everything is rinsed, dry, and well ventilated before the newborns are returned to the area.

Wysiwash is very effective, it kills canine parvovirus, coronavirus, ringworm, Hepatitis, Salmonella, rabies and more. It’s also biodegradable and safe for the environment.

How Often Should You Clean Dog Kennels

For regular routine maintenance, weekly disinfecting of your dog kennel is a good rule of thumb. However, if you are dealing with an outbreak, we recommend disinfecting daily. It’s also a good idea to keep newly introduced dogs or cats in the kennel or cattery isolated and disinfect their area daily to avoid introducing new bacterial, viral or parasitic diseases into your facility. If you need help with developing a pet safe disinfecting plan for your kennel or cattery, call us at 800.786.4751.

Shelley Hexom

Written by: Shelley Hexom

Content Manager

Shelley Hexom is Revival's Content Manager and helps develop educational pet health resources. A three-time Emmy® Award-winning news anchor, Shelley works with Revival's Director of Veterinary Services, Dr. Marty Greer, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, to help create useful and easy-to-understand articles, videos, and webinars. Shelley received her bachelor's degree in Mass Communications from Winona State University in 2002. As a pet owner, Shelley enjoys time with her Boxer mix, Sally. Shelley has been part of the Revival Paw Squad since 2016.

If you need help, call us at 800.786.4751.