It is often said that dogs are man’s best friend, which is proven true by their love and loyalty to their human owners. In fact, some dogs so love their owners that they experience separation anxiety and boredom when left alone. It is not uncommon for a pet owner to come home and find their house chewed and torn to bits. Fortunately, you can put an end to overturned furniture, strewn trash, and shoes that look nothing like their former selves by placing your dog in the garage while you are gone.
Rather than providing information that imprisons your dog within the confines of your garage, this blog will instead provide helpful tips to convert your garage into a dog-friendly haven.
Benefits of using the garage
Rather than limiting your furry pal to one room in the house or perhaps a small, uncomfortable dog kennel, a garage allows your dog to move about freely and uninhibited in a larger, safer space. If your dog is already kennel trained, you can always place the kennel in the garage, but choose to leave the door open so your pet can easily move about when needed.
Another benefit of using the garage is that it offers a warm place for your pet to stay during the colder fall and winter months. Rather than letting your dog out into the yard while you are gone, your garage provides a shelter that protects your four-legged friend from the elements.
The garage can also act as a preventative measure to reduce the amount of disruptive barking that dogs often display. It is not uncommon for dogs to go on the defense with their owners are away from their home. For instance, your dog may bark incessantly at passers-by they see out the window. They may even be the type to bark at a stray leaf blowing across the yard.
A garage limits your dog’s view of the outside world, thus reducing their likelihood of barking at everything, or even nothing. If your garage also has a well‑insulated (R‑16) garage door, it can provide sound attenuation to help reduce the sound of disruptive barking while also maintaining comfortable temperatures within the space.
Helpful tips and what to expect
If your dog is used to the luxury and comforts of your home, the garage is going to end up being a stark contrast. Your dog may display displeasure at being sent to the garage, particularly for the first few days, or even weeks. It is up to you to convert the space in such a way that it is both inviting and appealing for your pet.
It is best to work your dog into the routine of staying in the garage slowly rather than placing your furry friend out there for an entire day and hoping for the best. On your days off, introduce your dog to the garage and perhaps allow him or her to stay out there while you make a quick run to the store. Increase the amount of time your dog spends in the garage little by little, so they learn to acclimate to the change in environment comfortably.
If your dog is already housebroke, you are not likely to have any issues with potty accidents. However, if you are dealing with a puppy, you will need to lay down absorbent puppy pads or newspapers to avoid any unnecessary cleanup after a long day of work. For cats, make sure you place a litter box in the garage and clean it regularly as cats do not like to relieve themselves in a full and dirty litter box.
By working your pet into the routine of staying in the garage slowly but surely, you can eventually make the transition easy for the both of you. Make sure that you let your dog out of the garage as soon as you get home and provide lots of love and attention. Another tip is to offer your dog a treat when you leave, so they learn to associate the garage with a rewarding experience.
Garages, even those that are attached to your home, are not typically connected to your home’s HVAC system. If that is your situation, you will have to find ways to control the temperature and humidity in your garage. Although you can look into connecting your HVAC system to the garage, that is often an expense that homeowners do not want to consider.
Instead, you can look into more affordable methods such as ensuring that your garage is well insulated, weathertight, and properly ventilated. Throughout the winter, you should make sure the garage is at least 500 F (100 C) or more. You can purchase a thermometer to check the temperature of the garage to ensure that it is comfortable for your pet.
If your garage has windows, you should open them just enough so that they provide ventilation during the summer months. Natural ventilation can help relieve the stifling, hot air that often builds inside of a garage, thus making your pet far more comfortable.
You should also look into regulating levels of humidity in the garage. A hygrometer allows you to measure the humidity level in the space, which should fall below 50% if you are to ensure your pet’s comfort. If the humidity level is too high, you can always use a dehumidifier to help regulate humidity levels.
Food and water
Food and water are essential for your pet’s health. If your dog has certain eating habits, you should not alter them simply because you decide to place your pet in the garage. Make sure you continue to follow the feeding recommendations on dog food bags and labels and simply move your pet’s food and water bowl to the garage.
Your dog may not eat and drink as much at first since they will need time to adjust. Also, dogs tend to rest a lot while their owners are away so they can display plenty of energy, love, and affection when you return home.
Make sure you use weighted bowls so your dog cannot knock over their food, and especially their water, throughout the day.
If you have a comfy, cozy pet bed that your dog uses while inside your home, you should make sure to have a dog bed in the garage, too. A cold, hard garage floor can prove distressing to your pet if they are already accustomed to the comforts of your home and a plush pet bed.
Make sure you also place your pet’s favorite toys out in the garage. Remember, the garage should be a fun, safe space rather than a form of imprisonment, punishment, or banishment. If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, take an old shirt of yours that carries your scent and place it in the garage, perhaps even in your dog’s bed. Another suggestion is to provide a radio for your dog so they can listen to some of your favorite tunes at a reasonable volume.
Make sure you provide plenty of chew toys to keep your pooch entertained and distracted throughout the day. A bored dog will often seek out items to chew on, and it is far better for you and your dog if those items are approved pet toys and treats.
Your garage might not be the safest and most pet-friendly place for your dog at first. However, a little elbow grease and some hard work to remove toxins and litter can go a long way. Make sure you lock up any chemicals in a cabinet or other storage area and remove empty bottles, paint cans, and sprayers.
Using a careful eye, sweep the garage for signs of small objects that your dog might choke on and remove them immediately. You should also put away rope, straps, and cords that could entrap your dog.
Cover larger garage items, such as lawnmowers, with a sturdy tarp to prevent your dog from chewing on their tempting seats.
If during your process to convert the garage into a doggy haven you realize that your fourth wall, which is your garage door, lacks insulation, make sure you contact us at 1-877-828-5279. We are more than happy to help you select the right door for your garage and explain ways that you can improve your garage so that it is comfortable for your pet. You can also submit a request to us for an online quotation.
Last, but certainly not least, if you are considering swapping out your garage door with something new, consider using our useful design center tool to help you pick the one that is best for your home. You can also view a wide selection of options using our image gallery.