Is leaving my pet in the garage while I’m away dangerous?


Don’t worry, leaving your pet in the garage while you’re away from the house can be completely safe. Just follow these simple tips and your pet will feel right at home.
 
We won’t cover the specifics of building anything to keep your pet safe in your garage, but we are going to suggest some measures you should take to make your garage a safe place for your furry friends.

 
 
 

First make a pro and con list…

 
… about keeping your pet in garage rather than inside the house.
 

  • If you keep your pet inside the house in a crate he will certainly have more room to stretch his legs in the garage. If your pet is used to being in his crate while you’re out, put the crate in the garage and leave the door open. He’ll be able to go in and out as he pleases, which will make him feel more at ease.
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  • The temperature can drop to dangerous levels during the winter and leaving your dog outside to brace the cold could leave him with frostbite. Eliminate the danger by leaving him in a well-insulated garage where he’ll be safe and warm.
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  • If your dog likes to sit in the window barking at everything that moves outside, keeping him in the garage while you’re out might be the best option for you – you certainly won’t end up with any disgruntled neighbors! A well-insulated (R-16) garage door will protect your pooch from summer’s blistering heat and winter’s freezing cold, and will also act as a sound barrier so Rex can’t disturb anyone.

 
 

I just don’t think my pet will feel at home…

 
Pets are sensitive to change so it’s important you always implement changes gradually. Spend time in the garage with your pet playing and giving him affection. And increase the amount of time he spends in the garage alone slowly; start with ten minutes, then twenty, thirty and then an hour. He’ll soon get used to it. Don’t forget to give your dog a treat before you leave, he’ll soon start associating the garage with a positive experience.
 
You’ll need to define where your pet can and cannot go using barriers, and gradually increase this area until he has access to the whole garage. Clean dogs will wait for you to take them out to do their business, but puppies will probably need some newspaper or training pads laying down, just as you would in the house. For cats, just bring in their litterbox.
 
 

Temperature and insulation

 
Pets are not going to be comfortable in poorly insulated garages. To ensure your pet is comfortable and happy in the garage, make sure it is well-insulated and weathertight, which will protect your pet from both the heat and the cold.
 
The temperature inside your garage should be set to at least 50°F (10°C) in the colder months and you should leave a window open to aide natural ventilation on hot days.
 
Humidity causes problems in many garages. If you want your pet to be comfortable, the humidity level in your garage should be below 50%. You can use a hygrometer to measure the humidity, and run a dehumidifier to reduce the moisture level.
 
 

Dinner time

 
Just because your pet is in a different location doesn’t mean you need to alter his food. Feed your pet at his regular meal time and give him the regular amount.
 
Of course, your dog should always have access to clean water, if you’re going to be gone for a while make sure he can’t knock his bowl over!
 
 

Comfort

 
Make your dog as comfortable as he would be in the house by leaving him his creature comforts – favorite bed, blanket, toys, maybe even something that smells like you.
 
Don’t forget to leave toys and treats. This will help keep your pup occupied while you’re away and leave him less likely to chew on things he shouldn’t be.
 
 

Remove hazards

 
Garages are generally full of dangerous items your dog could chew, swallow or stand on. Make sure your garage is pet-safe before leaving your pet alone in it. Store any dangerous substances and toxic items well out of reach, as well as any ropes, cords and other items your dog could become entangled in. It’s equally important that you don’t leave your dog’s leash on when he’s unsupervised!
 
To a dog, if they can’t see it, it’s not there – cover any items they might be tempted to chew on to avoid any unwanted destruction!
 
 

If you’re thinking about investing in a new garage door…

 
If your garage door isn’t well-insulated or weathertight and you’re considering investing in a new one, contact us at
(616) 453-0164. We’ll be more than happy to talk to you about our range and help you decide which door is the best fit for you and your pet. You can also request a free online quote.
 
 
You might also like to try out our design center, simply upload of photo of your house and see what your new garage door will look like. You might also find our image gallery useful.