Does your pet get separation anxiety when you leave the house? Do they tend to ruin furniture or floors while you are away? Keeping them in the garage may be the perfect solution for protecting your pet’s health and your furniture! Building an environment inside your garage is definitely possible, and with this guide you will learn how to best optimize that space to ensure your pet’s happiness and comfort! This blog will discuss all the necessary tips and tricks for giving your furry friend a great home away from home.
Scope Out Your Garage and Weigh the Pros and Cons
There are several factors that can determine whether or not the garage is a safe space for your pet to be on their own during the day. The advantages of keeping them in the garage as opposed to in a cage in the home are numerous. Consider these facts:
- Your pet will have the entire garage to roam freely around, as opposed to being confined in a cage during the day. If your pet is used to being inside a cage, the cage can be moved to the garage with the door held open, so that the pet can move in and out of the cage as desired.
- The garage keeps great temperatures to combat warm or cold weather. During the winter, the garage will stay warm and comfortable for your pet. During the summer, they will have a cool and dark place to relax without getting overheated. There are certain times of the year where the temperatures are too extreme for the pet to be left outside, and the garage is a great and comfortable alternative.
- The pet will be away from any outside distractions or passerby. If you own a dog who barks at shapes, shadows, and people, keeping them in a well-insulated garage will prevent them from making so much noise, which your neighbors may thank you for! Not being able to see outside can also greatly reduce the stress and anxiety your pet may experience on a daily basis.
The Best Way to Introduce Your Pet to the Garage
Our best recommendation is to slowly introduce your pet to the concept of staying in the garage, if they are not accustomed to it already. If your pet has reached adulthood, it is best to not automatically leave them for an entire day to start out. Get them used to the garage by leaving them for an hour or two at a time, monitoring their reactions and seeing to their comfort levels. For puppies and kittens, you can easily continue their housebreaking lessons by putting down newspapers or a litter box. The pet will quickly learn where they can relieve themselves and where they can’t. If there are certain parts of the garage that you don’t want your pet to have access to, you can define the animal’s territory by placing blocks and barriers across certain parts, making it inaccessible to the pet. It is also wise to remove any hazards that could be harmful for your pet, such as toxic bottles, ropes, and small objects that they can swallow.
It is recommended to spend time with your pet at the beginning of their garage days, which will help your pet establish the garage as a place of comfort and happiness. Eventually, you can grant them unrestricted access to the garage for longer periods of time. Giving them a treat before you leave helps the pet feel warm and at home. In time, the pet will feel right at home in the garage.
Keep Your Garage at a Nice Temperature
Before you can regularly keep your pet in the garage, you need to make sure that it is well-insulated and protected against harsh weather conditions. Heating the garage will have little effect if there is no insulation to keep that warm temperature inside. Animals can be very sensitive to extreme conditions, so make sure to maintain a nice temperature at all times!
A recommended garage temperature during the winter is at least 50℉ or higher. Depending on your region, winter temperatures can get as low as -20℉, so keeping the thermostat at a comfortable temperature is vital. There is the problem of humidity, however. During the winter, a warm garage can become moist and hot. If this becomes an issue, you can invest in a dehumidifier for the garage that will balance out the humidity and warmth.
Maintain a Feeding Schedule and a Comfortable Environment
It is best to maintain the same feeding schedule that your pet has always had. If they only eat at certain times during the day, it may not be necessary to leave out a bowl of food. It is likely that the pet will not eat at all, as they usually have little energy while you are gone. When you return, they will probably be hungry and happy to see you! If they have a free eating schedule, leave a bowl of food and water in the garage, so they can eat if they feel up to it. Make sure they always have access to water throughout the day!
Provide familiar items and smells for your pet, to make them feel like the garage is truly an extension of their home. Offer them a comfortable bed, but also leave parts of the cool concrete exposed so they can lay there if the day is hot. Leave items and toys that the pet can play with and sniff – this will lessen their feelings of panic and separation anxiety. Toys will also prevent them from chewing on other things in the garage that they shouldn’t be chewing on.
Help! My Garage Isn’t Well Insulated!
If your garage door isn’t weather-tight, feel free to contact us by email or at (613) 547-4566. We can discuss which garage door option is best for you to ensure maximum comfort and safety for your pet. You can design your own door or view images of our existing doors. Feel free to visit our website and get a free quote!