Is the garage a safe place to leave my pet?

If you’re going to be out for a few hours or even all day, keeping your pet in the garage can be ideal – especially as it will prevent her from destroying things inside the house! However, you have to make sure that your garage is pet-friendly.
This isn’t a DIY post about building a crate for your pet, we’re just simply going to cover some pointers on how you can transform your garage into a safe and comfortable pet palace.


To get started…

Make a list of the advantages and disadvantages of keeping your pet in garage rather than in a crate inside the house.

  • One main advantage is that your garage is, of course, roomier than a crate so your pet will have space to stretch her legs and dispense some of her energy. If you normally leave your pet in a crate while you’re out and she thinks of the cage as her safe place, you could start with the crate in the garage and leave its door open. That way your pet can go in and out as she pleases.

  • Leaving your pet outside can become dangerous in the winter months. Once the temperatures start to drop she could end up with frostbite. Keeping her in the garage is a better option.

  • Many dogs like to spend their days “guarding” your house, barking at everything that moves outside. Keeping your dog in the garage can stop her from driving your neighbors up the wall. With a well-insulated (R-16) garage door, heat and cold won’t be able to enter the garage, and your dog’s barks won’t be heard outside either!


Will my furry friend be comfortable in the garage?

It’s important to get your pet used to spending time in your garage gradually, don’t leave her in there all alone from the outset. You’ll need to define where your dog is and isn’t allowed to go using barriers, and for safety purposes you should never leave your dog on her leash.
A housetrained dog will wait to do his business until you come home and take her out, but if you’ve got a puppy laying down newspaper or training pads just as you would in the house is probably a good idea. If you’re planning on leaving your cat in the garage you just need to put down her litterbox.
Gradually increase the area your dog has access to. Spend a little bit of time playing with your pet and giving her some affection and treats in the garage so she doesn’t see it as a lonely, boring place. Just as you would if you’re crate training, give your dog a treat before you leave.

Temperature and insulation

Just as we would find an uninsulated house uncomfortable, your pet isn’t going to enjoy spending time in an uninsulated garage. A well-insulated, weathertight garage will guarantee your pet’s year-round comfort and protect her from both the heat and the cold.
The temperature should be set to at least 50°F (10°C) in the winter months. In the summer, you should leave a window open to aide natural ventilation.
A common problem with garages is humidity. For your pet to be comfortable, the moisture level should be 50% or below. You can use a hygrometer to measure the humidity, and dehumidifiers can reduce the level, if necessary.


Feed your pet as you would if she was in the house. She should receive his meals at the regular times and, as usual, you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Don’t forget to leave your dog a fresh water bowl in the garage, and make sure she can’t tip it over easily!


Leave your pet with her favorite bed, blanket and toys. Her bed will protect her from the cold concrete floor in the winter, although she is likely to prefer the cool floor in the hot summer months. If your pet is used to hearing certain noises, leave the radio or some music on.
Toys and treats are a must – especially chew toys as this will reduce your pet’s urge to chew on something she shouldn’t!

Remove hazards

You need to ensure that your garage is a safe environment for your pet so you need to remove any dangerous substances that your pet might swallow or chew on, and lock away toxic items. If you’ve been working on a new DIY project, make sure you sweep the floor and remove any small objects your pet could swallow. Finally, keep ropes, cords and other items your pet could become entangled in well out of reach.
Cover large items they might be tempted to chew on, such as motorbikes and lawn mowers. If they can’t see them, they won’t bother with them!

If you don’t have a well-insulated garage door…

If the fourth wall of your garage (the wall the garage door is on) isn’t well-insulated or weathertight, give us a call at
(603) 833-7135. It will be our pleasure to talk to you about our range of doors and advise you about the best choice for your home. If you prefer, ask for a free quotation online.
If you’re considering changing your garage door, try out our design center. You might also find our image gallery useful.