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Can I Leave My Dog in the Garage While at Work? Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe

Melissa Gunter

By Melissa Gunter

dog with his owner inside garage

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Our relationship with dogs has changed quite a bit throughout the years. Regarded as man’s best friend, dogs weren’t always the pampered pups they are now. Buying cute clothes and puppuccinos wasn’t a big deal 50 years ago. Now, many of us couldn’t imagine not showing our dogs that kind of love and attention.

While we may want to be with our pets all hours of the day and spoil them like crazy, that simply isn’t conceivable. Most people, even pet owners, have to go out and make a living. This leaves them with a big question to answer. What do I do with my dog while I’m away? Is it safe to leave them in the garage while I’m at work? Answering these questions can be a slippery slope and it all depends if your garage is prepared and safe for your pet. In some cases, the garage may be a suitable environment for a dog to hang out in while you’re at work. In others, it could be quite dangerous. Let’s look at this subject more in-depth so you can do the right thing for your best pal.

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The Pain of Leaving Your Dog

Saying goodbye to your pet, even for a few hours, can be hard. For pet parents who have dogs that can be a bit destructive or aren’t fully trained yet, it can be more concerning. Finding a proper place to leave your pooch is a big deal. The idea of confining them to a small space like the bathroom doesn’t sit well with most people. For those destructive dogs, there are things in the bathroom they can surely damage. Instead of constantly paying for repairs around the house, dog owners with a garage often look at that as a great alternative. Unfortunately, not every garage, every situation, and every dog are the same.

brown dog lying on garage floor
Image Credit: Robert MacMillan, Shutterstock

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How to Safely Leave Your Dog in the Garage

For those who have no other option but to leave their dog in the garage while at work, it can be done. That is if certain criteria are met. Let’s take a look at how your dog can spend a bit of time in your garage while you’re away without you having to worry all day long.

1. Regulate the Temperature of Your Garage

This is potentially the biggest issue you may face when it comes to a dog in the garage. Yes, dogs are very adaptable, but they need proper ventilation in the summer and warmth in the winter. If your garage happens to be attached to your home and temperature controlled, you shouldn’t have any issues. You can easily set the thermostat to keep your dog comfortable while you’re away.

Unfortunately, not every garage has this. To achieve warmth for your dog in the winter, make sure your garage is insulated. You’ll also need to use weather stripping to keep the outside elements at bay. From there, you can add heaters, warm blankets, and other necessary items to keep your dog toasty until you return home from work.

In the summer, without a thermostat to keep your dog regulated, things can be even more dangerous. Overheating is potentially fatal for your dog. If your garage isn’t air-conditioned, your dog needs ventilation. Opening high windows to let air circulate is a good idea. You can also invest in ceiling fans or swamp coolers to keep cool air circulating so your dog doesn’t overheat.

Image Cerdit: Kwangmoozaa, Shutterstock

2. Make Your Garage Safe

The garage is often the perfect place for us to store items we don’t want in the house. Some of these items can be harmful chemicals, cleaners, or tools. When your dog spends time in the garage while you’re at work, having access to these items is extremely dangerous. If you plan on allowing your dog to spend time in the garage while you’re away, it should be clean. Don’t leave things lying around so they can hurt themselves. Put all tools away and consider using a locking cabinet or backyard shed to keep chemicals, cleaners, and other hazardous materials out of reach.

3. Make Your Garage Like Home

While you’re away, your dog needs certain items so they can be comfortable. Make sure they have fresh, clean water and food. You’ll also want to bring out their dog bed, toys, and any other comfort items your dog enjoys. Keep in mind, they’ll also need a designated area to go potty. Whether you use puppy pads or fake lawn pads, don’t forget this part or your pooch will simply eliminate on the floor.

4. Make Your Garage Secure

The last thing you want is for your dog to escape the garage while you’re away. When you’re making your garage safe for your pet, do an inspection. Check for any places you feel your dog could escape. Also, make sure your garage doors are in good shape. This is especially important for big dogs. If a good bump can make your garage door rise slightly, the likelihood your dog could sneak out is high.

man fixing garage door
Image Credit: Andrey_Popov, Shutterstock

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Leaving Your Dog in the Garage Isn’t for Everyone

If you can’t make your garage a suitable place for your dog to spend time while you’re away from home, don’t put them in there. Some garages are more inviting than others. The last thing you want to do is put your dog in a situation where they can get hurt, run away, or potentially ingest something harmful. If you find yourself debating whether you feel your garage is the right place for your dog, it most likely isn’t. Consider doggy daycare, having a friend come over to help out, or reaching out to friends and neighbors to help you keep your pooch safe and comfortable while you’re at work.

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Final Thoughts

While keeping your dog in the garage while you’re at work may not be ideal, it can be done. The key is to make sure your garage is a suitable area where your dog can be comfortable while you’re away. It’s up to you, as the pet parent, to ensure there’s nothing harmful or dangerous in the garage while your dog is there. Regulating the temperature is also a must or it could be best to look for other options for doggy care while you’re away.

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Featured Image Credit: RossHelen, Shutterstock.

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