The best way to keep your dog warm in a garage is to make sure the garage is properly insulated. Once the garage is insulated correctly, you can use space heaters to keep it warm. It’s also a good idea to provide your dog with a burrow bed to maintain body heat.
The garages may seem like a common-sense area to house your dog, but it can grow too cold in the winter months. This may lead many dog owners to wonder whether or not it’s ok to keep their dog in the garage when the weather drops.
As long as you take the appropriate steps to keep the garage warm for your furry friend, there’s nothing wrong with keeping them in the garage during the winter. In today’s guide, we are going to go over the three steps to keep your dog warm. We will also go over a few safety concerns to keep an eye out for.
Follow the steps below and your garage will be a warm, cozy room for your pup. Let’s get started!
Step 1: Insulate Your Garage
Insulation is key. A properly insulated garage will stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Insulation prevents your garage from losing heat too quickly in the winter and cool air too rapidly in the summer. If you can see the inside of your siding and the wall studs forming the skeletal frame of your home, chances are that your garage is not insulated enough to house your dog.
Here are the three most common insulating methods for garages.
The most common insulation for garages is fiberglass padding. These are sold in pre-cut batts that are measured to fit between wall studs and ceiling joists. You can place these between studs before installing your drywall.
Cellulose insulation is made from recycled newspapers and treated with a fire retardant. A blowing machine aerates the particles and fills them into wall and ceiling cavities.
Spray Foam Insulation
Spray foam insulation is the most energy-efficient insulation for your garage. It sprays into wall and ceiling cavities, hardening while in those spaces.
Insulating The Garage Door
When insulating, do not forget the garage door. You can buy insulation kits that reinforce metal garage doors that provide little-to-no protection from heat loss.
When insulating your garage, make sure you seal any spaces where air may escape. Holes in corners or joints between drywall and siding pieces can reduce the effectiveness of proper insulation. Use silicone caulk to fill in these gaps and weather stripping to fill in gaps in doors and windows.
Once your garage is insulated correctly, you can then move onto the heating process.
Step 2: Heat Your Garage
Your garage should maintain a temperature above 55 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent your dog from cold-weather injury. As long as your garage is insulated, there should be no issue in maintaining that temperature when it is reached. But because most garages are not connected to the central air and heat of the home, you will need to provide this heat through other means.
A heating system for the garage is always the best bet. It allows you to control the temperature from a central point and provide proper ventilation.
System of Radiators
You can also install a system of radiators. Radiators heat the air through convection and may take longer than other heaters to warm a space, but they are more energy-efficient.
Electric heaters can heat up a large space faster, but they use more energy and are more prone to breaking down. In either case, you should check the ratings on the device because some don’t do an adequate job heating a large space.
Step 3: Provide Your Dog with Adequate Housing
Simply placing your dog in the garage is not enough, even if there is adequate ventilation and heat. You should ensure that their living quarters are nice and cozy, as well.
Insulated Kennel or Doghouse
An insulated kennel or doghouse can do this by providing a spot that they may claim with their own body heat. Dogs respond to kennels and dog houses as though these are the caves in which their ancestors slept.
Feeding them and giving them treats or toys in the kennel allows them to claim the space as their own. Just make sure that you never use the kennel as a punishment. If your dog associates the kennel with punishment, they will grow distrustful of the space and avoid it.
Warm Bedding and Blankets
Provide bedding where your dog can lie comfortably with enough room to stretch their legs. There are heated dog beds that may help maintain this warmth. Your pup should have a blanket to burrow into to keep themselves warm and their favorite plush toy to help them feel welcome.
The warmth provided by a blanket and bedding adds an extra degree of security for your dog when you are not in the garage with them. You want them to feel safe so that they can sleep well.
Lift The Bed Off The Floor
It may help to raise your dog’s bed off the floor. Your garage likely has a concrete floor that will grow cold. Raising the dog bed will keep proper circulation under your dog while allowing their body heat to warm them in the bed and blanket.
The easiest and most cost-efficient way to raise the bed off the floor is to place the bed on a wooden pallet. You can also set the bed on a stack of cardboard boxes. This will save some money but isn’t as effective as a wooden pallet.
Health and Safety Considerations When Heating The Garage
Of course, heating your garage needs to be done safely to prevent injury or death to your pet. Here are a few things you can do to ensure the safety of your pet.
Block Access to The Heater
If you are using a heater or radiator, block it from access by your dog. You do not want your pup to walk away with burns.
Don’t Use Gas or Ceramic Heaters
Avoid gas or ceramic heaters that could cause fires more easily than electric heaters. And keep any and all heating devices away from walls and flammable objects. You don’t want to burn down your garage with your dog inside.
Monitor The Temperature
Make sure you can monitor the heat in your garage. If you do not have a thermostat, then a wall-mounted thermometer will do the trick. Check the temperature regularly to ensure that the garage is not becoming too hot or too cold for your dog.
Taking Care of Mental Health
Another consideration in setting up your garage to keep your dog warm in the winter is ensuring that they have the proper space for their physical and mental health.
Creating a large pen in the garage will enable you to separate your dog from any hazards to their safety. This will allow them space to walk around and generate body heat that keeps their body temperature from dropping in the winter.
Providing toys for them to play with keeps your pup from growing too bored or depressed. Give your dog plenty of food and water. Water is especially important in helping your dog maintain a healthy body temperature.
Ensure that you place your dog’s living space near a window in the garage. The sunlight will keep your pup healthy, and they will have somewhere to look out into the world.
Is it Cruel to Keep Dog in The Garage
Nobody wants to be cruel to their dog, but there are certain times where keeping the dog inside isn’t possible. As long as you keep in mind the following things, it is NOT cruel to keep your dog in the garage.
Considering you’ve found your way to this article, this is something you’re probably already taking care of. Follow the advice in this article to make sure your dog stays warm during those cold winter months. At the same time, make sure you’re able to keep your dog cool during those hot summer months.
Don’t Neglect Your Dog
The second thing you need to do is not to neglect your dog. Remember, dogs are pack animals, and they WANT to be part of your family. If you leave your dog out in the garage and never come out to play with them, they’ll get bored. Show your dog you love them by spending time out in the garage with them.
Take Them On Walks
Lastly, it’s still important to take your dog out on walks. They may not be allowed inside, but they can still explore the great outdoors while on walks. It’s best if you can take them on different routes to prevent boredom.
Above all else, remember that a garage is just a place to house your dog. Your pup is part of your family and should be treated as such. Take them outside regularly for pee breaks and exercise. Play with them and remind them how much you love them. The warmth of your garage is only as warm as your love for your dog.
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Bryan Harkins is an avid dog lover and the proud owner of dogdorable.com, a website dedicated to all things canine. With years of experience working with dogs, Bryan is passionate about providing valuable information, tips, and resources to help pet owners provide the best possible care for their furry companions.