Dogs are loveable – and sometimes a big mess, usually bringing home all kinds of dirt when they come in from a walk. If your dog has a crate in the house, it’s a good idea to thoroughly clean it at least once a season. Here are a few simple tips:

Step 1: Get it Ready

Empty the crate of blankets and toys. Put the blankets into the washing machine. Wipe down the toys (or wash them along with blankets, if they’ll hold up in the washing machine).

Step 2: Wash

Since it’s currently too cold outside, line the bathtub with a thin blanket and set the crate in the bathtub (so you don’t scratch the tub surface). Use a hand-held shower head to spray down the crate; or use a microfibre cloth rinsed in clean water. Fill a bucket with warm water and 1 tbsp. of gentle dish soap to every gallon of water. Rinse the cloth in hot soapy water and clean the metal. Use a scrub brush on rusty spots or built-up grime.

Step 3: Rinse

Rinse all the soap away making sure you don’t miss any spots, as dish soap can cause indigestion in dogs.

Step 4: Disinfect the Cage

Use a disinfecting product by simply spraying it on and sponging it off. Check with your pet supply retailer about options for pet safe cleaning products.

Step 4: Odour Elimination

If you have a problem with nasty pet odors in the cage, use a solution of 1 part white vinegar to 1 part warm water. Fill a spray bottle with the vinegar solution and generously douse the metal crate. If you find the smell of vinegar offensive, rinse the vinegar solution off with plain water after about 15 minutes.

Step 5: Dry it off

To avoid rust building up on the metal, use a towel to remove all moisture. After the crate is completely dry, it is ready for your pet again!