Dog+Garage: How To Safely Keep Them There In Winter/Summer?

If you look after your dog and provide it optimal attention and care while it’s in the garage, you’re doing things fine.

So, how to keep a dog in the garage in winter/summer? You can place a thick sheet on the floor, offer warm bedding, and use space heaters in winters. In the summer, make sure the garage is ventilated by opening the doors and windows. You can also install a fan or AC.

But, some people will never visit their dogs in the garage or provide them food, which is illegal. Also, the weather conditions may demand you to take more care of your dogs.

Is It Ok For My Dog To Sleep In The Garage?

Although garages aren’t meant to keep dogs for a lifetime, they are suitable for short periods, like sleeping at night. Also, it is only ok for your dog to sleep in the garage if you have taken all the safety measures and provided adequate protection from the weather.

If you throw the dog in the garage and make it stay alone for several days, it’s a cruel act! Being dog owners, we need to shower love on them and keep them safe. If you want to go out and have no option other than keeping the dog in the garage, you can provide it with a comfortable place to stay.

Only then your dog will stay in the garage or sleep there all night. Otherwise, it will suffer from depression and anxiety.

How Cold Is Too Cold For A Dog To Sleep In The Garage?

The ability of a dog to handle the cold depends on various factors like its size, skin, the thickness of the fur, and breed.

Larger dogs with thick furs are adapted to live in the cold and survive if the temperature drops. But, smaller breed dogs with soft and thin skin cannot tolerate the same temperature.

In general, temperature below 10° C (50° F) is dangerous for dogs. But, smaller dogs might not be able to tolerate this low temperature. Also, temperatures lower than 3° C (37.4° F) can become fatal for dogs.

If you want to check the exact cold temperature your dog can tolerate, we recommend keeping an eye on it when you leave it in the garage at night.

What Temperature Is Too Hot For A Dog In The Garage?

Temperatures higher than 85° F (29.4° C­) can become too hot for dogs in the summers.

However, this isn’t the exact temperature as different dogs can tolerate different temperatures. While you can expect a dog with short fur and thin skin to cope with fairly hot weather, dogs with thick fur will not do so.

So, a better idea is to consider your dog’s breed, weight, size, and coat before you decide the temperature it can tolerate. As a general rule of thumb, dogs stay fine when the temperature is between 60° F and 72° F.

Also, higher temperatures will cause your dog to start panting, and dehydration can lead to several health risks. In many cases, exposure to high temperatures for a long time can cause strokes in dogs.

General Recommendations For Keeping Your Dog In The Garage

Before we get to the matter of keeping your dog warm in winter and cool in summer while in the garage, let’s address the general things you need to do and think through before placing your dog in the garage.

  • Provide enough food and drinking water

This step is quite obvious, but still worth mentioning. Make sure there is enough food and water for your dog to feel comfortable while you are away. Make sure that the water bowl is placed in the way your dog won’t accidentally knock it over. Also, don’t change or use different food bowls for the garage only, keep your dog’s usual bowl so it feels familiar.

  • Use positive reinforcement

If your dog always stayed in the house with you, but for some reason, you have the need to leave it in the garage from time to time, make sure you get your dog acquainted with this area first. You can spend some time together with your dog in the garage playing and giving them treats, so the dog won’t feel uncomfortable while left there alone.

  • Remove all hazardous objects

Our pets can behave exactly in the same way as our children do sometimes. If they can find something dangerous to play with, they will. So make sure all potentially dangerous, poisonous, and sharp objects that your dog can chew or even choke on are safely stored in a place inaccessible for your pet.

  • Keep your dog entertained and stimulated

Even if your garage has ample space for your dog to roam, make sure they are given their favorite toys and treats to play with and provide them with an overall level of emotional comfort. Don’t forget to take your dog out on a walk so it can socialize with you, other dogs, and burn some of that energy.

  • Think about the toilet area

Ideally, you should take your dog out for a walk every day as discussed in the previous step, but if you need to be out for more than 4-5 hours, make sure you create a designated area for your dog where it can do its business. You can use fake loan pads, newspapers, or absorbent pads for that purpose.

  • Monitor the temperature

This is a very important and vital part of keeping your dog safe in the garage. If you don’t yet have a thermometer placed in the garage, make sure you get one before leaving your dog in the garage. This way you will be able to know the exact temperature and adjust it depending on the time of year.

How Can I Keep My Dog Warm In The Cold Garage?

As garages are often separate from the house and aren’t as warm as the inside, you need to protect your dog if it sleeps there. Freezing temperatures can also kill the dog. So, here are a few tips on how to keep a dog warm in the cold garage.

  • Offer a warm dog house

If your dog has a habit of sleeping inside the dog house, you can make it warm to help your dog cope with the cold weather.

Even if your dog isn’t adapted to live in a dog house, a better idea is to make it a habit if it sleeps in the garage regularly. It is because dog houses are easy to ensure insulation and can keep the pet warm inside.

You can cover the dog house with a sheet or warm cloth from all sides to prevent cold air from entering. But, make sure the covering doesn’t suffocate the dog.

Also, don’t forget to provide a warm blanket and a cozy pillow to your dog to spend the night. An even better idea is to provide it with its favorite toys. When sleeping in the blanket with the toys, your dog will feel a sense of security.

  • Make the floor warm

Cold air entering from the bottom of the garage door and the cold floor can interfere with a warm and cozy environment for winter. As most dogs sleep on the floor, you have to ensure they don’t have to sleep on the cold floor. If you offer a dog bed, that’s even better.

But, if you don’t have a dog bed, that’s ok. You can cover the floor with thick cardboard sheets to prevent the dog from getting cold.  Another alternative is to lift the dog house from the floor. As a general rule, lifting the dog house at least five inches from the floor will work well.

  • Use heated dog bowls

Apart from the outside environment, you can also keep your dog warm from the inside. It is possible with warm food and water.

For this purpose, we recommend investing in heated dog bowls. They keep the food warm for a long time in the winter. So, whenever the dog feels cold, it can sip the water and eat some warm food.

How Can I Keep My Dog Cool In The Garage During Summer?

In summers, using appropriate methods to keep the heat away from your dog is essential to avoid dehydration. So, here are a few steps you can follow in this regard.

  • Use a fan or AC

A mini-split AC works best for keeping the dogs cool in the summer. If your dog frequently sleeps in the garage, we recommend investing in a mini-split AC to prevent dehydration and let your dog sleep peacefully.

However, if you want to opt for a cheaper option, a fan/ceiling fan is a good choice. But, you’ll need to put the fan directly in front of the dog. In this way, more air will reach the dog and evaporate the sweat.

In extremely hot areas with temperatures more than 90-degree Fahrenheit, an AC is the best option.

  • Provide a cold water bowl

As dehydration can become fatal for dogs, they must have access to a water bowl with cold water all the time. If the dog feels sweaty and dehydrated, it will drink the water to calm itself.

  • Ensure ventilation

The closed doors of the garage will cause suffocation inside unless you have the AC on.

So, ventilation is essential to make the fresh air come into the garage. This step comes in handy during the evening. However, people may prefer keeping the windows covered with foil in the scorching heat.

So, you can keep the windows slightly open to let the air pass.

  • Put a cold water tub

You can either bathe your dog before making it go in the garage during summer or put a cold water tub beside it. Whenever the dog feels hot, it will go inside the tub and take a bath to cool down its temperature.

But, make sure to keep the water level in the tub according to your dog’s size. Small dogs may drown in a tub filled with water to the top.

Final Words

Providing the necessary equipment and protection from the weather can make your dog spend the night peacefully in the garage. In winter, you should keep the garage warm and give a blanket to your furry friend.

Although you can adopt different methods in the summer, installing a split AC remains the best one. Also, don’t forget to keep an eye on your dog to ensure it’s doing well in the garage!