Have you ever considered keeping your dog or cat in the garage while you’re away during the day? If so, you’ve probably also worried that something may happen to your little friend or that the garage may otherwise not be safe for them. The truth is that you can definitely keep your pup in the garage while you’re away provided you take the required steps to ensure it is safe and comfortable beforehand.
If your dog tends to ruin furniture or property while you’re gone or make messes on the carpet, keeping them in the garage can become part of the solution. While we won’t cover here how to build a cage for them, we will discuss the steps you must take to ensure the entire garage can keep them happy and safe while you’re gone.
The Benefits of Using Your Garage
Let’s begin with discussing some of the reasons other dog owners have opted to use their garage to store their pooches during the day. These include:
- Your pup will have a lot more room to move around while you’re gone as opposed to keeping them in a kennel. If they’ve become accustomed to a kennel and you think they rely on it for a sense of security, you can always move it to the garage and keep the door open so they can come and go as they please.
- Keeping your dog outside while you’re gone can be detrimental to their health if the weather turns nasty. The same goes for owners who let their cats roam free while they’re gone. As long as your garage provides suitable shelter, it’s far preferable to letting them stay outside.
- With a well-insulated (R‑16) garage door, your dog won’t be bothered by seeing people, animals or cars through windows. At the moment, they may bark at every passing object, something that could annoy your neighbors and be a real source of anxiety for your pet.
Depending on your dog, or even your cat, there may be other reasons to look into using your garage for them while you’re away. If so, keep reading as we discuss how you can do so.
Is Your Garage a Suitable Place for Your Dog?
We’ll start here because if your garage isn’t going to be a good environment for your animal, there’s no sense in moving forward. If your dog or cat is old enough, you’ll want to try out the garage with them gradually. You definitely don’t want to leave them in there for a full day the first time.
Another option for dogs is to specify a certain amount of space in the garage by putting up barriers they won’t be able to pass. Don’t attach your dog to a leash, although doing so often seems like common sense.
If your dog isn’t housebroken, it’s advisable to put down some newspaper or absorbent pads. Cats just need a litter box.
Eventually, as your dog becomes more and more comfortable with spending time in the garage, you can increase the amount of room open to them. One way to help speed up the process is to spend time with them in the garage before you leave and give them a treat before doing so. This last step will ensure they begin associating the garage with this desirable incentive.
Garage Temperature and Insulation
Insulating your garage is essential if you wish to keep your dog in it while you’re away. This doesn’t just apply to those colder climates either. Insulation can keep extreme heat out as well, which is vital to the health of your pet.
During the winter, you want to keep the interior temperature of your garage at no less than 500 F (100 C). If your garage has a window, leave it open in the summer to give your pup some natural air ventilation.
Humidity in the garage must be considered as well. You may want to use a hygrometer to measure its humidity level to verify it’s not a problem during the winter. If you find that it’s below 50%, your dog or cat will be fine. Otherwise, use a dehumidifier to lower the level.
Adjust Your Dog’s Eating Habits
You may need to adjust the way your pup eats as well. In most cases, though, leaving a bowl of food in the garage with them will suffice. Many dogs will conserve their energy while you’re away, though, which means they might end up eating a lot less than usual, at least until you get home.
Definitely make sure your canine has enough water while you’re gone. It needs to be kept in a bowl that can’t easily be knocked over too.
The Comfort of Your Dog
We’ve talked about how to adjust the climate in your garage, but we also encourage you to get them a bed that will insulate them from the cold of its concrete. Don’t cover the entire area they stay in, though, as the cold floor may be exactly what they want on hot days.
Other ways to make certain they are comfortable include leaving them their favorite toys and even an old t-shirt or other clothing items that have your scent on it. You can even leave a radio tuned to your favorite station and played at a reasonable level to give them a sense of familiarity.
Toys are also a good way to keep your pup from putting their teeth into something they shouldn’t simply because they got bored during the day.
Get Rid of Potential Hazards
Finally, any items that have the potential to hurt your animal must be done away with. This could include harmful substances like gas or cleaning supplies. Sweep the floor of your garage after any projects or other activities that might create small objects they could swallow. Ropes, straps and cords are all hazardous and must be gotten rid of too. If they’re going to be sharing space with a motorcycle or tractor, cover them up so your dog doesn’t get any ideas.
Be Sure to Insulate Your Garage Door
If you find that your garage door isn’t insulated well and weather tight, please feel free to contact us at506-455-3667. We would be happy to explain your many options and elaborate on which choice will be safest for your pet. We can also provide you with an our online quotation.