• Making Your Garage Dog-Friendly

    February 27, 2018 | Blog
  • For many of us, the garage isn’t just a space to house the car. It is an extension of the home’s living space, and a center of DIY activities, outdoor recreation, and even occasional entertaining. All the members of the household spend at least some time in the garage, and that includes the family dog(s). Whether they’re in the garage with you, or (briefly) alone, the garage should be a safe space. These are some hazards to take care of to protect your furry family members and make it a dog-friendly space.

    Car Dangers

    In addition to being a large object a pet can hide behind or under, and with wheels that leashes can get wrapped around, cars and other machinery pose a toxic threat to pets in the form of fluid leaks. Coolant, oil, and other fluids spilled during maintenance or leaking from a damaged vehicle can make your pet very sick—or even cause death. Keep all toxic fluids cleaned up, contained, and disposed of properly.

    Cleaners and Other Chemicals

    It’s common to keep household cleaners (especially bulk sizes), leftover paint, garden supplies, and any number of other chemicals in the garage—and they too can be toxic to your pet. Gather these items into one area and organize them, putting them on shelves or (better) in cabinets—perhaps that can be locked, which also protects young children.

    Pest Control

    Whether you’re trying to fend off insects or rid your garage of rodents, beware of the danger to your pets. Chemical sprays (both off-the-shelf and professionally applied) for pest control can pose a danger to your pets that’s even greater than what’s sealed away in containers. It’s intentionally sprayed in the living or working environment, so follow all precautions and choose products that aren’t harmful around dogs.

    Tools and Clutter

    Lawn and gardening equipment on the floor space (including mowers and trimmers) may be tempting for dogs to investigate. Store these safely out of the way, and cover larger equipment that can’t be moved (like a riding mower). Tools on worktables may also not be adequately out of the way for big dogs. Store items out of reach, which is good for everyone’s safety. Remove clutter, especially if it’s mostly items that have yet to be discarded. Shelving units can help a lot with organization; make sure to anchor them to the walls so they won’t topple over on an inquisitive pup (or child).

    Climate Control

    For most homes, while we may spend quality time in the garage, it’s not climate controlled like the inside of the house is. When you’re enjoying workshop or recreation time in and around the garage, keep an eye on your pet’s comfort. If you’re too hot or too cold, so are they. The garage can also be a tempting solution for housing an unruly pet while guests visit, or for keeping your dog contained during the day while at work. There are a number of reasons this is a poor long-term choice for a dog:

    • Isolation for long periods can be traumatizing for the dog and introduce behavioral problems.
    • Any hazards in the garage pose even greater danger without supervision.
    • Lack of climate control can result in dangerous temperatures that could harm or kill your pet.

    If the garage will be used to house your dog periodically, be sure it’s not long-term, but also make sure the garage is well-insulated and climate-controlled with air conditioning and heating as needed.

    Our garages are a great extension to our living space, and can be enjoyed by all family members—even the four-legged ones. With some caution and preparation, the garage can be a safe, dog-friendly place for everyone.