You can leave your dog in the garage overnight as long as the space is safe. Make sure it doesn’t get too hot or too cold and that you get rid of any possible hazards (such as power tools or cleaning chemicals). You should also provide a comfortable bed for your dog so they don’t have to lay directly on the cement.
Dogs can thrive just about anywhere, from outdoors to smaller apartment buildings. They’re not only one of the smartest animals out there, but are also incredibly adaptable.
Therefore, it might seem okay to leave your dog overnight in the garage if necessary. But before you do, you need to make sure that what you are doing is safe, in the best interest of your dog, and ensure you are taking the proper precautions.
Things to Consider When Leaving Your Dog in the Garage
Weather – Too Hold or Too Cold
Garages are usually not insulated, so temperatures are unregulated. Both summer and winter carry their own risks if you’re thinking of leaving your dog in the garage overnight.
Winter is an especially brutal season for dogs, and keeping your dog in the garage overnight should be avoided if possible.
In the winter, you run the risk of potentially below-freezing temperatures, especially during the night. Although most dogs have a thick fur coat to keep them warm, it does not protect them against extreme cold.
If you need to keep your dog in a garage overnight during cold weather, be sure to take the following steps to ensure the comfort and safety of your pup. .
Installing radiators in your garage can keep your dog warm, as well as installing weather strips to prevent cold drafts.
If possible, raising the dog bed off the floor will prevent the bed from getting too cold. While you should always make sure your dog has bedding and food, extra bedding will be beneficial in winter to keep them warm.
Keeping a thermometer in the garage will help you monitor the temperature for your dog. If it gets too cold, be sure to have a plan to bring your dog inside or get it to a safe, warm space.
Also, know the signs of hypothermia, such as shivering, tiredness, and shallow breathing. If your dog shows any of these symptoms, get them to an animal hospital immediately.
Summers are also notoriously hard for dogs because of the high heat. For example, during the hottest days of summer, surfaces such as asphalt and wood can reach up to 145°F and stay hot for hours after the sun hits them.
This can be unbearable on a dog’s paw pads. Plus, their fur coat makes them more susceptible to overheating on hot days.
Luckily, temperatures lower during the night, so overheating is usually not the primary concern for your dog overnight.
However, still be caution on especially hot nights since their body temperature is usually a few degrees higher than the average human. Putting a fan in your garage for your dog if they’re kept in there overnight is a good idea, just in case.
Humidity can also make it uncomfortable for a dog, just like humans. Make sure the humidity in your garage is under 50% to keep your dog as comfortable as possible. A few ways to reduce humidity in your garage include increasing ventilation, investing in a dehumidifier, and inspecting your drainage periodically.
While water should be available to your dog at all times, it can be especially helpful on hot summer nights.
Water helps dogs regulate body temperature. When they’re overheated, you may notice a dog panting. Panting is similar to how humans sweat, and just as we lose fluids from sweating, dogs lose fluids through their tongue when they pant.
Making sure your pup has an ample amount of water is important. It may even be a good idea to check it periodically to ensure your dog hasn’t run out.
Garages are usually where you store things like power tools, cleaners, and other potentially hazardous items. Most dogs are naturally curious, especially puppies, and will get into anything you have lying around.
Things from harsh chemicals, like fertilizers and rat poison, to seemingly harmless household products, like glue, can all be toxic to your dog.
It is essential to know what’s in your garage before leaving your dog for the night because you won’t be around to monitor them or act quickly if they end up ingesting something they’re not supposed to.
Other hazardous products for dogs include drain openers, grout, or even essential oils. Make sure no products your dog may get into contain any toxic chemicals such as bleach, chlorine, or ammonia.
Chemicals aren’t the only thing to look out for, though. Tools like shovels, rakes, and toolboxes have the possibility of falling on your dog and hurting them. Always clean out your garage before leaving your dog there to make sure nothing that might harm them is in their reach. Another idea is to block off part of your garage with something such as a baby gate so that your dog is blocked off from anything that could hurt them.
The last thing to consider when thinking about leaving your dog overnight is space. Is the garage spacious enough for a dog?
You may often think that the garage gives them more room to move around overnight than a crate or locking them away in a room. However, if there’s too much clutter in your garage, it can be challenging for your dog to get around.
Make sure you have enough space for not only your dog to move around but also for necessities like bedding, food, and water. Ensure your dog also has a pathway to the door or another way to get out in case of emergency.
How Long Can I Safely Keep My Dog in the Garage?
If you’ve taken all the above factors into account, the next thing you need to worry about is how long your dog can stay in there. As a rule of thumb, keep their time in the garage as short as you can.
If you are leaving them there overnight, try to only keep them there when you absolutely have to and let them out as soon as you are able.
Leaving your dog in the garage is not only isolating and psychologically difficult, as they are social creatures, but leaving them there may cause them to act out or have an accident.
Helping Your Dog Adjust
If you’re planning on keeping your dog in the garage overnight more than once, it’s a good idea to get them used to it first.
Bringing their favorite toys and a few treats may make them feel more at ease. Additionally, bringing them into the garage for playtime before you leave them there overnight will help them get used to it.
Cleaning the garage beforehand, making sure it is free of dust and dirt, will not only be more comfortable for the dog but also more hygienic.
If you can find a safer and more comfortable alternative to keeping your dog in the garage overnight, such as leaving it in a secure room or in a large crate, that may be better for you and the dog in the long run. However, if you keep your dog in the garage overnight, follow these tips to make it the best experience possible.
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