The crate is a fundamental part of owning a dog. It provides the dog with a safe and comfortable space, which they will come to love. Crates can be great for training and potty-training dogs, but they often have an unfortunate side effect—they can smell pretty bad! Here are a few tips for dog owners on how to get rid of the dog smell.
What Causes Dog Crate Odors?
Even the best dog crate will smell if not properly maintained. The musty smell of a dog’s kennel is often an unpleasant one. The causes of this dog odor are numerous, but most can be remedied by taking some simple steps.
Inadequate Bathing Frequency
If your dog’s plastic crate smells, it’s probably because he hasn’t had a bath in a while. A good, thorough wash is needed—not just a rinse in the tub. If your dog is afraid of baths, make sure you acclimate him to the idea slowly by showering him with praise and food before and during his bath. You can also make the odor more pleasant by using an outdoor hose or filling up a kiddie pool for his bath rather than filling up the tub. You can use dry shampoo or wipes to clean your dog’s coat between baths.
This is the most common reason for any dog bed to smell bad. Ideally, you should wash your dog’s bedding whenever they soil it while sleeping or after getting back from the park or other excursions. But even if you don’t wash the whole thing, at least remove the top layer and replace it with clean bedding.
This can be an issue if your pet “marks” their bed or frequently wets it during the night, usually because of health problems. Dog urine has a strong odor that becomes staler over time, especially as bacteria grow inside the bedding. Cleaning your dog’s bedding regularly will help prevent this from becoming a problem.
Rolling in Unpleasantness
Another reason dog plastic crates smell like that could be that they’ve rolled in something awful. It can happen on walks or even in your backyard. If this is the case, it’s best to bathe your pet with a gentle dog shampoo to have them smelling nice before putting them back into their crate for the night.
Untrained dog or it had an accident
Suppose the dog is not trained and has an accident it diarrhea or vomits in the crate. Leaving the mess unattended can cause unpleasant odors to develop. Sometimes dogs with gastrointestinal problems like pancreatitis or inflammatory bowel disease will have accidents in their crate, so it’s important to watch them as they get older.
Stress and Anxiety
If your dog suffers from anxiety, he may start to urinate or defecate in his crate when you leave the house. If the problem persists, consult your vet about the issue. It could be an issue with other animals in the house or an underlying condition.
How to Clean and Maintain a Dog Crate
Wash Your Dog!
If you have a puppy or an older dog, it is best to take them outside and hose them off with warm water. You can also use pet shampoo for this purpose.
Clean the Crate
Begin by removing everything from inside the crate—dog toys, blankets, water bowls, and anything else you have in there. Then take out the tray if it is removable. The tray should be cleaned first so that it has time to dry before putting everything back together again. Wash the crate and accessories with hot water and a pet-safe detergent or baking soda.
Clean the Laundry
Wash the dog’s bedding and towels with hot water and pet-safe detergents in the washing machine. Use a pet shampoo or the best carpet cleaner for pets & stains in spot cleaning any heavily soiled areas on the bedding or towels.
Use Spray Disinfectant
Remove any pads, blankets, or toys inside the crate. Once these items are removed, spray the inside down of the crate with disinfectant. Afterward, wipe it out with paper towels until everything looks clean.
You can also vacuum to clean off any blankets or bedding in your dog’s crate. These items will most likely be washable, but vacuuming them will eliminate loose hair and dirt while they wait to be washed. Air dry it out and leave the doors open so that the moisture evaporates.
Getting Your Dog to Stop Urinating in the Crate
Make the dog potty before going into the crate
The most important thing you can do to stop a puppy from peeing in the crate is to make sure your pet goes to potty before entering it. Then, put him in his crate when he is nice and relaxed. If he’s still relaxed, chances are high you will not have to deal with a strong odor.
Express their anal glands
Sometimes your pet’s anal glands become infected causing pungent odors and discomfort . The only way to grant relief is to express them, though many dogs also have recurring problems so this needs to be done regularly.
Have a regular schedule
A consistent schedule will help you keep track of the signals that indicate they need to go out—like whining or pacing—and take them out before an accident happens.
Don’t give the dog water 1 hour before bedtime
Take away their water bowl about an hour before bedtime so that they don’t need to potty during the night. If the dog has an accident, refrain from yelling; this will only make them fearful of you and more prone to peeing in his crate again. Instead, persist through the smells and clean it up quietly. If your dog potties outside, praise and enthusiastically and play with him.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why keep the dog crate clean and remove dog smell?
Dogs like to retreat into a clean, comfortable space. A dirty plastic crate can cause your dog physical and emotional distress. Pets can get sick from exposure to bacteria and parasites found in urine and feces. Dirty crates provide the perfect environment for these organisms to flourish.
When should I crate train my dog?
If you have a new puppy, it is best to start crate training early. Most pets will not have any issues being crate trained and will quickly learn to see the crate as their safe place. Older dogs can also be crate trained, but it may take longer. Start by crate training for short periods.