How to Create a Pet-Safe Environment in the Garage
Our pets are our family. We want to keep them safe and happy, just as we do our children. Sometimes, however, we also want to keep them out of the house! While it’s great for pets to be able to run around outside to get some exercise and fresh air, the fact remains that the weather doesn’t always permit it and some people’s homes don’t permit it (i.e., they don’t have a fenced in area). So, many times we have to turn to what appears to be our next best option, the garage. The garage is a great place for pets to hang out. It’s out of the house, but you don’t have to worry about bad weather. If you do like to keep your pet in the garage, however, it’s imperative that you also make sure your pet is safe in this environment that can be somewhat hazardous to both pets and humans alike. Here are a few tips:
Make sure it’s not too cold or too hot
One of the most important factors to consider when you’re keeping your pet in the garage is the temperature. Sure, the garage is milder than being outside, but it can still get either too hot or too cold for an animal. Just like humans, animals can only stay safe for so long in certain temperatures. Don’t think that just because the garage is still “technically” inside, your pet will be safe for hours on end. If you wouldn’t be comfortable in your garage for a long period of time because of the temperate, it’s likely your pet won’t either.
Remove any hazardous or poisonous items
Typically, we keep items in our garage that we don’t want to keep in our house. This may be because they’re too big, too heavy, or because they’re unsafe. Make sure to remove any hazardous or poisonous items from your garage before allowing your pet to roam around. Remember how curious many animals are. It seems like they can somehow get into everything! It’s a good idea to get cabinets or bins that lock for anything that may put your pet in danger. When you’re considering what’s unsafe, make sure you’re not only thinking about the obvious hazards like anti-freeze or heavy tools and sporting equipment. Also look out for small things laying around that would be easy for your pet to swallow and choke on, like nails. Finally, you should also be weary of anything your car might be leaking, again, such as anti-freeze. Just licking a little bit of this off the floor could be deadly for your pet.
Double check your garage door
Double check that your garage door is working properly, especially when it comes to the reverse mechanism, which will make the door go back up if it senses something is under it. You don’t want to take any chances that your pet gets stuck under there, so it’s always a good idea to have a professional come out and check this, just to be sure everything is safe and working properly.
Keep your feeding routine the same
It’s important to keep your pet on the same feeding schedule they’d be on while inside. If you don’t leave a bowl of food inside for your pet to nibble on at any time, don’t do that in your garage either. Give them their food at the same time every day, but always make sure to keep a clean bowl of water outside for them (make sure the bowl isn’t something that can easily spill), so that they never get too thirsty.
Make sure your pet is comfortable
It’s best to not just leave your pet in the garage to roam around. Make sure you create an area for them that’s comfortable. If they’re used to sleeping on a bed or in a cage inside your home, you should provide one for them outside as well. If not, at least put a mat down for them to lay on. Garages can also get very cluttered. Make sure your pet has a little room to roam around and stretch their legs so they don’t feel cooped up and trapped.
Watch the car!
Now this one may seem obvious, but if you do leave your pet in your garage, even just on occasion, be careful every time you get in your car to leave. Make sure your pet is locked up, or at least far out of the way. You’ll also want to keep your pet away from the car right when the engine turns off, as if they get near it, it could be hot and they could get burned.
Contact Robyn at Robyn@theneighborhoodmoms.com