December 9, 2016

Is leaving pets in the garage safe?

Leave pet in garage

Garages can, of course, seem like dangerous places to leave your beloved pets while you’re away from the house. But don’t worry, you can easily transform them into safe havens, and head out without any worries!

This article won’t discuss how to build a cage inside your garage, we’re just going to talk about easy steps you can take to make your garage a safe place to leave your pet.

List the pros and cons

You probably mentally make pro and con lists for each decision you make, and deciding whether or not you should keep your pet in the garage while you’re out of the house should be no different!

  • Unlike being in a cramped cage, the garage is a real palace for your pet, giving him plenty of room to move around and stretch his legs. If you usually keep your pet in a cage while you are not at home, he might think of his cage as a safe place, and the freedom and space of the garage may make your pet anxious. If this is the case, simply bring his cage into the garage and leave the door open so your pet can come and go as he pleases.
  • If you want to protect your dog from low winter temperatures and the dangers they bring – frostbite to name just one – leaving your dog in a warm, well-insulated garage could be the solution.
  • Many dogs like to spend their days looking out the window and barking at everything that moves – people, other dogs, cats, birds, cars, leaves… the list is endless! If this is your dog, your neighbours probably aren’t your biggest fans! Bringing Fido into the garage while you’re away from the home can prevent his barking, which we’re sure your neighbours will appreciate! A well‑insulated (R‑16) garage door doesn’t only act as a sound barrier, it will protect your pooch from hot and low temperatures all year round.

Will my pet like being in the garage?

Pets are creatures of habits, so you’ll need to make the change gradually. Start slowly and build up your pet’s time in the garage little by little a couple of times a week. And don’t forget to spend time with your pet playing and giving him affection in the garage, this helps pets associate the garage with a positive, safe place. Also, always give your dog a treat as you’re going out of the door!

Define where your pet can and cannot go using barriers, increase this area over time until he can access the whole garage. If your dog is housetrained he will wait for you to let him out to do his business, but you’ll need to put down some newspaper or training pads for puppies. If you’re leaving your cat in the garage don’t forget to bring in his litter box!

Temperature and insulation

Protect your furry friend from hot and cold temperatures by making sure your garage is well-insulated and weathertight.

Set the temperature in your garage to at least 50°F (10°C) during the winter. During the summer, you should leave a window open to aide natural ventilation.

Humidity can be a problem in many garages. The humidity level should be at or below 50% for your pet’s comfort. You’ll need a hygrometer if you want to check the humidity level, and if you find it’s too high you can always run a dehumidifier.


Don’t change anything about your pet’s habitual feeding routine. Feed him the same amount, at the same time, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Don’t forget to leave your pet a bowl of clean water so he can stay hydrated, you should try and find a bowl he can’t knock over to ensure there are no spills!


Your dog might feel a little bit anxious to be left alone in a strange place. Leaving him his favourite things – bed, blanket, toys, a t-shirt that smells like you – can reduce his anxiety and prevent destructive behaviour.

Toys and treats are the best things to leave to prevent destructive behaviour. If your dog has something tasty and fun to chew on he’s less likely to dig his teeth into something he shouldn’t! Don’t forget to cover any items you think Fido might be tempted to gnaw (like the soft seat of your ride-on mower) – if a dog can’t see it, it doesn’t exist.

Remove hazards

Talking of chewing; remove any dangerous items your dog could chew, swallow or stand on (nails, screws, etc.), and make sure dangerous substances and toxic items are stored well out of reach, under lock and key. You should also store ropes, cords and other items your dog could become entangled in (including his leash) well out of reach.

Thinking about changing your garage door?

Not sure if your garage door is properly insulated and weathertight? It definitely should be if you’re considering leaving your pet in the garage! Give us a call if you’re thinking about buying a new garage door, at 705-322-0136. It will be our pleasure to talk you through our range and discuss the best fit for you. You can also request an free online quote.

Why not try out our Design Centre? All you need to do is upload of photo of our house and we’ll process an image of what your new garage would look like. You can also visit our image gallery for inspiration.


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