How to Clean Kennels to Transport Shelter Dogs

Many animal shelters organize sanitation efforts with a detailed plan that all workers must follow.
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Cleaning transport kennels can save your dog's life. Pets in animal shelters are often exposed to viruses and bacteria, which spread through contaminated carriers and cages. Some of these pathogens are highly contagious and deadly, so it's important to sanitize kennels after each use.


Dismantle the kennel so that you can access all of the surfaces, both interior and exterior. Take this opportunity to check the cage for rust, loose hinges and other signs of damage. Rinse the cage with hot water to remove chunks of dirt and debris, then use hot water and detergent to scrub all of the surfaces with a thick-bristled brush. Clean off all visible grime, grease or dirt, as organic material can harbor germs during the disinfecting process.

Kill the Pathogens

Selecting a disinfecting agent is no simple task. While a solution of 1 part bleach to 32 parts water is affordable and effective against most germs, it is not able to destroy all pathogens. Consult a veterinarian or a local shelter sanitation supervisor if you are unsure what agent to use. Cleaning chemicals like potassium peroxymonosulfate and accelerated hydrogen peroxide are particularly good at killing certain types of viruses, but may not be effective against fungal organisms.

Cleaning Up

Leave the disinfecting agent on the kennel for the duration listed in the instructions, then wash it off with hot water. Bleach and other disinfectants can be corrosive, so take your time with the final rinse. Put the cage back together once it's dry and replace bowls, toys and accessories after they've been cleaned and sanitized.