We often take our garages for granted. With the click of a button, we can drive our vehicles into a covered room to protect it (and ourselves) from harsh elements.
It’s a place to store power tools, Christmas decorations and sometimes converted into a man-cave or living space.
But is it safe to keep our pets in the garage?
Some would argue that there’s certain benefits to keeping your dog in an insulated garage while you’re away. With a larger space to roam and play, providing some toys, food and water, and a place to rest can help to greatly reduce separation anxiety. However, without the proper precautions, the garage can be hazardous to your pet’s well-being.
Before you fully commit to putting Fido in the garage, make sure you follow these # tips for keeping your pets safe.
Garage Door Tips for Keeping Your Pet Safe
If you haven’t given it much thought before, don’t worry. Here are some simple tips to make sure that your pet stays safe when they’re going to be close to the garage door:
1. Safeguard the Garage Door Tracks and Components
Pets can pull off some mind boggling stunts. When the door is raised, your cat could easily be hiding or sleeping in the space above the garage door. Your dog, on the other hand, might try to chew on the tracks or gnaw on some of the cables or peices attached to it.
As a general rule, try to keep your pets as far away from the garage door as possible. Never tie up a leash to the tracks or door, as it could cause your pet physical harm. Additionally, this could cause damage and require you to get your garage door repaired or replaced if they tug too hard on their leash.
As tempting as it is might be to tie them to the tracks quickly, even a small amount of pressure could cause alignment issues and pose a safety risk to yourself, family, and of course your pets.
2. Know Where Your Pet is Beforehand
If you’re keeping your pet in the garage during the day, you’ll probably have to rethink your parking routine.
Before pulling your car into the garage from the driveway, you should get your pet out of the garage. It’s important to always check the area around and above the garage door when raising or lowering it.
3. Have Your Garage Door Serviced
Having your garage door serviced regularly by a professional at least once a year can help you to ensure that everything is running smoothly and that the safety features are working as intended.
As a preventative measure, test your garage door’s functionality every so often. You’ll want to double check that the built in safety features, like the reversal system, works properly in case your pet gets in the way of a closing door.
Garage Layout Tips for Keeping Pets Safe
The layout of your garage can be a hazard to your pet’s health if certain precautions aren’t taken. Follow these quick tips to ensure that Fido has a safe environment to play and live in, even if it’s just temporary.
4. Removing Your Vehicle
If you can avoid it, it’s best to not park your family’s car in the garage. Especially for cats during cold months, the warm engine can be a tempting place to hide and sleep.
If you do need to park your car in the garage however, always make a loud noise before starting your car to wake your cat up and wait for them to crawl out from underneath.
Check underneath and around the vehicle before backing up to ensure that your pets are always safe.
5. Dog Proofing Your Garage
Common garage chemicals like petroleum or anti-freeze pose a highly dangerous threat to your pets. With some garages baited traps for bugs or rats, there are many health-threatening compounds that need to be removed or secured before you let your pets loose.
The only way to know about everything in your garage is to do a deep cleaning. Remove the items, wash the floors, and wipe down other surfaces. Sort through your items and plan a unique layout to maximize your garage’s storage space and give your pets more room to dwell in.
You should store harsh chemicals and sharp tools in sealed bins or in sturdy storage cabinets. It’s best to keep your harsh chemicals up high to prevent your dog getting to them if they tear into the bin or cabinet while you’re away.
Even if you lock your chemicals away, a leak from your car can be sniffed out and consumed by your pets. This is another reason why removing your car from the garage altogether is the best preventative solution.
Carefully Assess Your Pet’s Needs
If you have an active dog breed like a German Shepherd or a Greyhound, they will likely need access to a yard throughout the day. Installing a dog door to a side entrance of the backyard can be beneficial for dogs who will be alone for longer periods of time.
For high-energy, athletic puppies, you may want to consider moving to a Roseville home with a big yard. Often times, behavioral problems like chewing and hyperactivity in dogs can be corrected when they have enough space to exercise and play.
Cats on the other hand might feel more comfortable with places to climb and perch, or areas to hide and sleep.
Carefully consider your pet’s needs to consider other ways to help them feel more comfortable while you’re not home. Age, breed, and your time away from home are variables to look at when making the best decision for your pet.