Archive for August, 2015

Make Your Garage Pet Friendly

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Photo by Tony Evans

By Chelsy Ranard

If most of us had our way we’d either spend all day at home with our pets or bring them to work with us. Unfortunately, there are times when our furry children must stay at home without us. Some people leave their pets inside, in a kennel, in the back yard, or in one room in their home. One great opportunity for your pet’s haven is the garage. It offers shelter and a larger area for them to roam. However, there are some things to consider before leaving your animal in the garage while you’re away.

Safety First

Before leaving your animal in the garage at all it is vitally important to take care of the safety concerns in your garage. Clean the floors and consider painting over the concrete to eliminate any oil or any other vehicle fluid from coming into contact with your animal. If your pet ingests any antifreeze it can be fatal. Remove any chemicals, any small objects they could ingest, and sharp objects they can injure themselves on. Make sure your garage has appropriate ventilation, if not you can add a ventilation system or a window that will also be useful in adding natural light.

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Photo by Gold Label Door

Temperature Control

Temperature control is very important for leaving your pet in the garage. For the summer months the garage does tend to stay cooler than most other areas inside or outdoors due to the concrete structure of most garages. However, it is smart to include a fan to ensure your pet will not overheat if the garage temperature gets uncomfortably high. Be sure to be mindful of the ways to keep your dog cool during the summer. Many can be modified for the garage, like going for a swim can be translated to putting a small kiddie pool in the garage with them. Similarly, in the winter months you’ll need to make sure your garage is heated or bring in a space heater. Just make sure the space heater isn’t accessible to your furry friend.

Doggy Doors

Adding a doggy door will enable your pet to go outside to use the bathroom, get some exercise, or enjoy the outdoors for a while. Giving your animal options will help curb destructive behavior while you are away. There are doggy door kits available that are relatively easy to install yourself. If you’d rather not have a doggy door or your yard isn’t fenced, there are other options for potty areas for your animals. A cat box is an easy solution, and puppy pads or small grassy areas are available to put in an area of your garage that is sanitary and offers easy clean up.

Kennel

Offering your pet a kennel may seem unnecessary when you are already giving them the garage to stay in. The reality is that many animals find kennels to be comforting. Consider offering your animal a kennel to feel safe and comfortable even if you don’t close them inside it. This will allow your pet to stay warmer in the colder months, feel safe, and have a comfortable place to sleep. Give them some comfortable padding and a blanket over the top to keep it dark.

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Photo by Arland Marlano

High Shelving
Investing in some high shelves will be extremely useful once you’ve converted your garage into a pet sanctuary. In order to maintain areas in your garage for home improvement or vehicle maintenance, high shelving is an area to keep vehicle fluids, paints, and other chemicals that are harmful. For tools, add a hanging board that is high enough to keep your pet away; also, be sure it is securely fastened to the wall.
Before allowing your pet to take over the garage, take the important steps to making sure your garage is a pet friendly place for them. Remove safety hazards, make it a comfortable place, and agree to kick the car out of its spot to make room for your four-legged friends.

garage4Author Bio: Chelsy is a writer from Montana who is now living in Boise, Idaho. She graduated with her journalism degree from the University of Montana in 2012. She is happiest cuddling with her angsty cat, throwing a Frisbee with her goofy dog, and reading with a glass of wine. Follow her on Twitter!