Having a dog as a companion is one of the best decisions you can ever make in this life – in our entirely unbiased opinion, of course. In fact, almost half of all American households own a dog.
And while most dog ownership is full of fun and snuggles, it also comes with its own set of complications; namely, where you keep your furry friend.
Whether you’re out running errands, away for the day, or simply need some peace and quiet in your home (we see you, work from home folks!), having a space like a garage for your pup can be a great option.
But is it safe to convert your garage into a dog kennel?
Let’s find out more about having a dog kennel in the garage.
Is it Safe to Have a Dog Kennel in the Garage?
In short, yes – it can be very safe to keep your dog in the garage. Using your garage as a dog kennel can certainly be ideal, so long as you take certain measures to ensure your dog’s safety.
We’ll explore some of the adjustments you may have to make to your garage in order to safely house your dog there.
Clean & Clear
Dogs tend to think that they own the space they occupy, so anything that’s in the garage with them is fair game. You can tackle this problem how you choose, but make sure you clear out anything you don’t want your dog messing with.
Additionally, be sure to clean the garage well to make sure it’s safe. If you wouldn’t walk in there barefoot, you probably need to do some work. A garage is a common place for screws, nails, chips of wood, broken glass, rocks, and other debris.
Give it a good sweep and clean before letting your pup roam and play.
Make it Homey
Your garage should feel as homey and comfortable as possible if you want your dog to be happy spending his time there. So, make it as close to the inside of your house as you can.
For starters, give him a big, fluffy bed to sleep on. If he’s accustomed to hanging out in his crate, put that in there too.
If your dog was fond of afternoon naps on the carpet in your house, lay down a cheap area rug for him.
And be sure to bring his favorite toys into the garage as well. Introducing some brand-new toys for the space can help get him excited about hanging out there, too.
If your dog is struggling with the transition, try leaving him a personal item of yours, such as a blanket or a t-shirt. Your scent can help comfort him when he misses you.
Most garages are not insulated, heated, or air-conditioned. If yours happens to be all three, then you’re all set.
For the rest of us, temperature control can be a bit of a challenge.
The most important part of all of this is keeping your garage warm enough during the winter. Your garage will be comfortable for your dog at 50 degrees F. If you insulate your garage and get an insulated garage door, you shouldn’t need a space heater. However, that’s always a good option if your garage gets too cold.
During the summer, do your best to keep it fairly cool. Some folks might use fans or AC units. Again, having insulation will help keep the cool air in. If your garage has windows, keep them open for airflow.
High humidity levels can be very dangerous for dogs over prolonged periods of time, so it’s also important to take control of the humidity in your garage.
A good humidity level is anything below 50 percent. You can check this using an indoor humidity monitor. If you’re struggling to maintain a good level, try putting a dehumidifier in the garage.
Food & Water
Nothing should change about your dog’s feeding habits as your transition them to the garage. If they’re used to having constant access to food, water, or both, keep that the same in their garage space.
Otherwise, stick to their usual feeding schedule and make sure they always have water.
Benefits of Using Your Garage as a Dog Kennel
While using your garage as a dog kennel might mean keeping your car out on the street, it comes with several benefits that can outweigh this downside.
Larger Space to Play
Crating your dog during the day, at bedtime, or while no one is home is a very common practice for dog owners. If you don’t crate your dog, you may at least keep them limited to one small room, such as an office or the kitchen.
But that’s not very fun for your dog.
Using your garage as your dog’s kennel gives your furry friend so much more room to work with. They can wander, sleep, or play as they please, even when you’re not home.
Giving your dog the whole garage is better for them and will make you feel far less guilty leaving them home alone while you work, shop, or go out with friends.
Avoid Outdoor Shelters
During the winter months, outdoor shelters don’t always offer the best protection. One might argue that their dog is used to the cold, but cold weather isn’t good for any kind of pet.
By using your garage as your dog’s shelter, you can keep them safe and warm during the winter and even in the rain by giving them a better place to stay. You can still let them in and out as they please; if you’re so inclined, you can even leave the back door to the garage open for them to come and go.
A warm, insulated, and well-lit garage is by far better than any outdoor shelter or dog house.
Less Damage to Your Home
A significant number of pet owners keep their dogs in crates when no one is home to avoid damage to their homes. Crating dogs is a common practice – especially if your dog suffers from bad separation anxiety.
Dogs are curious creatures. It’s not uncommon for your dog to explore his options simply out of pure boredom. Your dog might take a dive into the dirty dishes, root through your trash can, or chew on your shoes by the front door.
He’s essentially just trying to entertain himself.
Other dogs get destructive due to the separation anxiety we mentioned earlier. They might act out by digging at carpets or chewing on furniture.
You can eliminate all of these harmful, costly actions by making your dog a home in the garage. You won’t have to lock them up in a tiny kennel for hours and hours, and they won’t destroy all of your favorite items.
Just make sure you don’t keep anything you love in the garage with them!
A Place of Their Own
One of the first rules of crate training is that you want your dog to enjoy going into his crate. It should be a safe place that’s all his to enjoy – not a punishment.
When you follow this same rule for your garage, you can truly create a special place for your dog that he will enjoy using.
Sometimes dogs get anxious, sad, sleepy, or independent and wander off by themselves. If your dog is crate trained, he probably wanders to his crate frequently to chew on a toy quietly or take a nap.
When you set up the garage for them with all of their favorite things, you can create a larger, more enjoyable place for them to have to themselves.