My bulldog is my best friend. She spends most of her time sleeping on the couch, but she occasionally spends time with me in the garage.
I’ll admit, I’ve thought about setting up a designated space for her in the garage. I’ve seen people create some pretty cool dog houses or even convert their garages into kennels.
But is it safe to convert your garage into a dog kennel?
Let’s learn more about having a kennel or dog house in the garage.
Is it Safe to Have a Dog Kennel in the Garage?
In short, yes. Keeping your dog in the garage is usually safe, provided you take measures to ensure your dog’s safety.
Here are some of the adjustments you may have to make:
Clean & Clear
My dog thinks she owns every space she occupies, and I’m sure yours does too. To them, anything in the garage with them is fair game.
You can tackle this problem how you choose. The important thing is to 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 around barefoot, it’s probably not safe for your dog.
A garage is a common place for screws, nails, wood chips, broken glass, rocks, and other debris.
Before letting your dog roam and play, give it a good sweep and clean.
Make it Homey
Even if you don’t make a dedicated dog house or kennel in your garage, you want it to feel as homey and comfortable for them. The goal is for your dog to be happy spending their time there.
Make it as close to the inside of your house as you can.
For starters, give them a big, fluffy bed to sleep on. If they’re crate-trained and enjoy spending time there, put a second crate in the garage too.
My dog is couch-trained, so we’ve never had to worry about crates. However, I purchased an additional dog bed, so she could be comfortable.
You don’t have to go to that extent, though. If your dog likes afternoon naps on the carpet, lay down a cheap area rug for them.
Be sure to bring some of their favorite toys into the garage as well. Depending on your dog, introducing a few brand-new toys can help get them excited about hanging out there.
When I first tried to get my dog comfortable with the garage, I’d leave my garage entry door open while working. She could come in and out as she pleased or sit at the threshold and be near me.
Over time, she got comfortable with the extension of her “den” and spent more time in the garage.
If your dog struggles, try adding one of your blankets or t-shirts. Your scent can help comfort them and make the transition easier.
Most garages are not insulated, heated, or air-conditioned. You’re all set if your garage happens to be all three.
For the rest of us, temperature control is your biggest challenge.
You want to keep your garage comfortable for your dog. Chances are if it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for them.
Most people struggle to keep their garages warm enough during the winter.
Most dog breeds will be comfortable for your dog at 50 degrees F. So as long 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, try to keep your garage cool.
Good air circulation is the key for hot garages.
Dogs have no sweat glands, so they cool themselves down by panting. They need proper airflow to avoid overheating.
This may involve fans or portable air conditioners. If your garage has windows, keep them open for airflow.
An insulated garage door is critical if your garage faces south.
Similarly, high humidity levels can be hazardous for dogs over prolonged periods. It’s also important to monitor the humidity in your garage.
A good humidity level for your garage is anything below 50 percent relative humidity.
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
Introducing a dog house or kennel in the garage shouldn’t change your dog’s feeding habits.
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 has several benefits that can outweigh this downside.
Larger Space to Play
Many owners crate their dogs during the day. Alternatively, some keep them limited to a small room, such as an office or the kitchen.
But that’s not fun for your dog, and it’s never worked well for our house.
Using your garage as your dog’s kennel gives your dog more room to work with. They can wander, sleep, or play as they please, even when you’re not home.
For some people, that lets them feel less guilty leaving them home alone while working, shopping or going out with friends.
Avoid Outdoor Shelters
I’ve never had an outside dog, so I’m out of my element with this one.
Outdoor shelters don’t offer the best protection on cold winter days. Some breeds are used to the cold, but freezing weather isn’t good for any kind of animal.
Using your garage as your dog’s shelter can keep them safe and warm during the winter or rain.
Depending on the climate, you can install a garage dog door to let them in and out as they please. Another option is to leave the back door to the garage open for them to come and go.
Either way, a warm, insulated, well-lit garage is far better than any outdoor shelter or dog house.
Less Damage to Your Home
Many pet owners keep their dogs in crates to avoid damage to their homes when no one is home.
Crating dogs is common, especially if you have a puppy or your dog suffers from bad separation anxiety.
Dogs are curious creatures. It’s common for your dog to explore their surroundings out of pure boredom.
That may mean diving into the dirty dishes, rooting through your trash can, or chewing on your shoes by the front door.
I remember coming home to find my dog shredded one of my favorite rare books. She’s lucky she was so cute. :)
The bottom line is that they’re just trying to entertain themselves.
Other dogs get destructive due to the separation anxiety we mentioned earlier.
This may take the form of digging at carpets or chewing on furniture.
Not to mention, if your dog has an accident, it’s easier to get the smell of urine out of concrete than your expensive living room carpet.
You can eliminate 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.
Ensure you don’t keep anything dangerous or hazardous in the garage with them!
Wrapping It Up
One of the first rules of crate training is that you want your dog to enjoy going into their crate. It needs to be a safe place that’s theirs to enjoy – not a punishment.
If you follow this same rule for your garage, you can create a special place for your dog that they will enjoy using.