Can Dogs Be Kept in an Insulated Garage?

by Quentin Coleman

    Keeping your dog in an insulated garage is certainly an effective way to stop him from vandalizing the house when you're away, but there are many factors you need to consider first. A garage can be as comfortable as your home if it provides a safe and comfortable environment.

    Just because your garage is insulated doesn't mean it provides sufficient protection from the elements. Install a thermometer and check the air temperature in your garage every few days to make sure your dog is safe out there. Consult a veterinarian or breed expert to figure out what temperature range your dog is comfortable in. A fluffy Pomeranian will be fine in temperatures that are too cool for a short-haired Doberman pincher. As a general rule, the temperature in the garage should be between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Your dog needs something to keep him entertained while he's secluded from other pets and people. Stuffing Kong toys with peanut butter is a great way to keep garage-bound pets occupied when you are gone for the day, according to Pawsitive Experience. Remember, your dog can and will destroy things to ease his boredom. If you want to keep your pup in the garage, you'll have to move dangerous chemicals, pointy tools and other dangerous objects out of reach. Lock them in a sturdy cabinet or remove them from the garage completely.

    Ideally, you should connect your garage directly to an enclosure outdoors so your pet can go out to use the bathroom. If that's not an option, consider putting down newspapers or absorbent pads in an open corner. You don't want him to get used to urinating wherever he pleases, so encourage good bathroom habits even in the garage. Your dog needs access to enough space to run around in. He needs to exercise throughout the day, so give him some room to move around.

    Regardless of your reason for keeping the dog in the garage, you need spend time with him every day. If your schedule prevents you, ask a family member or friend to play with your pup or take him for a walk on the days you can't. Dogs are social animals so they need attention just like they require nourishment. Don't forget about your pet just because he's out in the garage.

    Make sure your dog gets enough food each day. It's a good idea to ration meals rather than filling the bowl constantly, especially if the dog is alone for hours each day. He may eat to alleviate his boredom or stress even when he's not hungry. Ask your vet about good feeding habits. Check the label on your dog food brand for feeding instructions based on your pet's weight. He should always have access to clean water, especially in the summer. Provide him with a heated bed when it gets cold out. Your dog may benefit from having a kennel out in the garage. He'll be grateful the next time a scary thunderstorm starts booming overhead.

    Pregnant dogs can live and give birth to puppies in an insulated garage. However, this setting is suitable only if it's completely clean and temperature-controlled. The garage should be connected to your home's heating and air system so you can keep the air temperature at a comfortable level all the time. Dust and debris are not acceptable, either. They can be toxic and harbor pests, so the entire garage needs to be spotless before the puppies arrive. Consider moving your pregnant dog indoors for the last few days before birth for a more sterile and controlled environment.

    About the Author

    Quentin Coleman has written for several news publications as well as the University of Delaware's public relations department. He also spent more than 10 years working with a local animal shelter to help nurse kittens, treat sick cats and domesticate feral animals. Coleman graduated from the University of Delaware with a bachelor's degree in journalism.

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