Don’t like the idea of leaving your dog in its crate when at work? Frustrated that your dog barks at all of the neighbors from your living room window? Create a space just for your furry friend by building a pet haven right in your garage! Your garage can become a dedicated space that’s safe, comfortable and fun for your dog or cat.
Today, we have put together our favorite tips on creating a safe pet retreat right in your garage. No more chewing on your favorite pair of shoes or destroying the furniture!
Advantages of using your garage for your pet
Creating a great space for your dog has its advantages. Here are a few ideas to consider:
- Even a single car garage gives your pet lots of room to play. For dogs that are currently in a pet crate during the workday, it’s still possible to transition them to using a bigger space. Relocate your dog’s crate to the garage, and leave the door open for short periods of time. Once your dog is happy in its new space, you will be able to leave the crate door open at all times. Your dog will then use it when it needs to feel more secure or to nap.
- An insulated garage keeps your pet comfortable all year long. Most outdoor shelters, like doghouses, can keep your pet dry and out of the wind. However, those shelters are not heated or insulated. Avoid frostbite and frozen water dishes by building a great space indoors, right in the garage.
- An insulated garage door also acts as a sound barrier. If your dog tends to bark at your neighbors, creating a special pet room in your garage will help break the barking habit. Dogs tend to bark when they hear noise or see movement through a window. A garage door with high R‑value insulation will help eliminate both.
Transitioning your pet to the garage
It’s important to slowly transition your dog or cat to their new pet haven. This is especially important if you have an older dog – you want to avoid making it anxious. Start by leaving your pet in the space for an hour or two per day and work your way up. You may also wish to limit your dog to a smaller area of the garage at first to let it get used to the space. Use gates – never a leash – to limit your pet to a specific area.
When it comes to being house‑trained, your pet should treat your garage just like the inside of your home. Dogs will wait to be let out, cats will use their litterbox. If your puppy is still young, laying some newspaper in a corner may help keep the garage clean.
When done right, your pet will associate its new pet haven as a reward or positive experience. If your dog becomes anxious when you leave, create a routine that includes a brisk walk before you go. Offer a treat and give positive reinforcement when bringing your pet to the garage. Additionally, don’t use the space as a punishment if your dog misbehaves in the house.
Before setting up your pet in the garage, it will need to be insulated. Luckily, many home builders fully insulate the garage during construction. It may be left up to homeowners, however, to upgrade to an insulated garage door.
Insulating the garage will keep the cold out in winter, likewise the heat and humidity out in summer. If humidity is an issue in your garage, consider using a dehumidifier. It will reduce condensation while making the room feel much more comfortable, especially on those hot, muggy days.
An insulated garage is also easier to heat. Ideally, keep the temperature above 50°F (10°C). During warmer months, make sure your garage doesn’t get too hot – leaving a window open may help.
Pets and feeding
To help your pet adjust to its new surroundings, continue your current feeding routine. Provide the same pet food as before, at the same time of day. Speak to your veterinarian about the best type of food if you’re leaving your pet for long periods of time during the workday. Be careful not to overfeed your cat or dog. Many pets eat sparingly and are less active when owners are away.
Finally, provide your pet with lots of water. Choose a bowl that won’t tip over easily to avoid mishaps.
Keep your pet happy
Every pet space needs a great spot to nap. Add a pet bed, favorite chair or a blanket for your dog or cat to make them comfortable. The bedding has an added bonus of keeping your pet warmer, as cement floors can get cool in the wintertime.
Keeping your pet active is also important. Provide something to chew on and a few toys to prevent boredom, which can lead to bad behavior. If your dog tends to get anxious when you are away, consider placing an item of yours in their pet bed, like a blanket or shirt. Your scent may comfort them. You can also leave a radio on to provide some stimulation.
Check for dangerous items
To keep your pet safe, inspect your garage for dangerous items. Products like anti‑freeze, insecticides and laundry detergent are especially dangerous if ingested. Smaller items, including nails, coins, even socks from the laundry room could be eaten, which is dangerous. Keep all poisonous products in a safe, pet‑proof location.
Other potential hazards include ropes, chains, power cords and other similar items. Pets can get tangled up and even suffocate if the cording wraps around their neck. They could also tug on power cords and topple heavy tools on top of them.
Is your garage door properly insulated?
Your garage door acts as the fourth wall of your garage. If your current door doesn’t offer you protection from the elements, contact us at 519-842-6747. Our experts will help you choose a well‑insulated, weathertight garage door. And thanks to our online quotation form, a free estimate is just a few clicks away.
In need of inspiration? Search our image gallery to see our wide range of garage door styles and colours. Not sure which door would look best on your home? Try our online Design Centre! Simply upload a picture of your home and explore our beautiful options.