The Short Answer is:
That depends on a number of factors, such as the living conditions in the garage and how long you plan to keep your pet there. A law does not explicitly prohibit such an arrangement, but you can get into trouble with animal welfare if certain conditions aren’t met.
In this article you will know the answer to the query “Is it legal to keep a dog in the garage?“.
- Is the garage too cold (in winter) for my dog?
- How do I keep my dog cool (in summer) in the garage?
- Should I leave my dog in the garage overnight?
- Tips for turning your garage into a great place for your dog
- Should I use a kennel or crate in the garage?
- What to do if neighbors complain about the noise?
- The garage is OK as long as your dog’s basic needs are met
People sometimes allow their pets to sleep in their beds while others believe a dog should not be in the house. In the latter case the easiest alternative would be to keep the dog in the garage but is it legal?
That depends on a number of factors such as the living conditions in the garage and how long you plan to keep your pet there. A law does not explicitly prohibit such an arrangement but you can get into trouble with animal welfare if certain conditions are not met.
Pet owners do not allow dogs into their homes for many reasons – some do not want to deal with all the hair some are afraid of germs and others have small children. Then there are those who buy a dog as protection and would rather have him outside on the job rather than on the couch. Some people need to confine their pets when the dog cannot be trusted to have the whole house to himself while they’re away from home. Regardless of their reasons all pet owners must follow state legislation regarding animal welfare.
A report of mistreatment of your pet could result in heavy fines for you if you do not give them humane treatment. Here are the basic things you need to consider to keep your dog comfortable and yourself safe.
Is the garage too cold (in winter) for my dog?
Obviously this depends on the weather in your area as well as the dogs breed since some breeds are better suited to cold temperatures than others. Make sure the garage is insulated and weatherproof before considering this move.
Temperatures should not drop below 60 °F (15 °C) in general. You will definitely need a heater in your garage if the winters are harsh in your region. A tricky task since you need to make sure the heater does not have open elements as old-fashioned heaters did. It is also important to ensure it is not placed where the dog could knock it over and start a fire.
When the garage is warm and comfortable you can let your dog sleep there. If however you plan to keep your pet there for a long period of time make sure the garage has enough ventilation so that your pet can get plenty of fresh air.
How do I keep my dog cool (in summer) in the garage?
It is easy for your dog to become sick in the summer if the temperature rises significantly. When the garage is regularly over 80F (26.7C) you need to find ways to keep your dog cool while you’re away.
Ideally you should have air-conditioning in your garage but if that is not possible you should at least install a ceiling fan.
In the garage you can also install a swamp cooler which cools down the air by evaporating water. This isnot going to add much to your electricity bill since evaporative coolers are energy-efficient.
Also keep a window open to allow the space to be well-ventilated.
Humidity should also be considered. In order for your dog to be comfortable in the garage make sure the humidity level stays below 50%.
Donot forget that if you spend only a few minutes in the garage you may not realize if its too hot or too cold. Put a thermometer and hygrometer in your home so you can measure humidity and temperature accurately.
Should I leave my dog in the garage overnight?
If you provide adequate bedding and the temperature is comfortable enough for your pooch you should not have any problem leaving your dog in the garage overnight. Please also ensure that your dog has clean water available at all times.
It is important to consider your dogs emotional state however. You might be surprised by how your dog reacts if you move his sleeping quarters to the garage after having raised him since he was a puppy. Allow the dog some time to adjust to the new surroundings if you must leave him in the garage. Spend some time playing with the dog in the garage petting him and trying to lure him to his sleeping place with a calm reassuring voice.
Tips for turning your garage into a great place for your dog
For example lets say you feel confident that the garage provides adequate temperature and ventilation for your dog. You should still think about other issues before locking him in the room for an entire night or when you’re away from home for a few hours.
- Make sure there is enough room for the dog to move around and stretch his legs.
- Avoid stacking a lot of boxes on top of one another as they might fall on your dog.
- Be especially vigilant when it comes to storing hazardous materials in your garage. Check to make sure your dog would not accidentally swallow toxic chemicals.
- Ensure the dog cannot get hurt by getting too close to tools or heavy machinery in the garage.
- Ensure that all dangerous items are off the dogs reach by placing them on the top shelves.
- Make sure the floor is clean.
- Make sure your dog would not get poisoned if you use insect repellent or rat poison.
- Set up a special place for your dog in the garage with bedding and his food and water bowls close by.
- In the garage keep the dogs favorite toys so he can entertain himself while you are away.
- During hot weather soak a dog toy in water and freeze it so your pet can play with it.
- Make sure your dog gets special treats when you need to leave him in the garage – a tasty snack or a peanut butter-smeared toy.
- You should leave a light on while your dog is in there if there is no natural lighting.
Should I use a kennel or crate in the garage?
This is a very tricky issue to deal with if you’re about to get a puppy and want to put the kennel or crate in the garage. Even those who go to great lengths to provide excellent living conditions in the garage should be aware of the psychological problems involved.
Separating from his siblings will cause separation anxiety in a pup who has just been weaned from his mother. At this point the dog is most in need of your attention. You should be there to provide the puppy with comfort and care if you wish to establish a strong bond with it. Although the dog may be perfectly safe in the garage he will also feel lonely and scared in the new setting.
I think its better to keep the kennel inside the house so the dog feels close to you. You can find a temporary solution if you’re worried about the dog creating a habit by sleeping in your bedroom right now.
Try sleeping on the sofa for a few nights while the dogs crate is in the living room. Although it is an inconvenience it is a minor one and the dog will not develop the annoying habit of whining to be allowed in your bedroom in the years to come.
If your dog is in the process of house-breaking keeping the kennel in the garage might not be the best idea. It is not possible to tell when a puppy needs to go outside if it is isolated in the garage. It may also cause bladder infections if forced to hold it.
What to do if neighbors complain about the noise?
In the case of neighbors complaining about your dog barking in the garage you should first try to appease them before taking action. Failure to do so might result in you being reported.
Is it normal for the dog to bark at certain times? The chances are he will keep you up as well as your neighbors if he protests being imprisoned in the garage overnight.
Consider acknowledging his frustration by going to see whats going on petting the dog to calm him down checking to see if anything is bothering him and then leading him back to his bed and telling him this is where he will sleep. Speak with a firm but a non-threatening voice. You may be prompted to return to him by the dog in revenge. Follow the steps above again. A dog will eventually understand that barking would not make you reconsider your decision and will eventually give up. Heres hoping!
Then you might want to find your dog another sleeping arrangement if he refuses to give in.
When the dog barks while you’re at work you can not do much about it and you’re unable to dispute your neighbors complaints as you’re not there and do not know how annoying the noise is. During your absence try to keep him entertained with anything you can. You can set a small radio on buy him a new toy and find someone to take him for a walk at noon. In the event that this does not work you’ll need to come up with another solution. Remember that an angry neighbor might decide to harm your dog on his own!
The garage is OK as long as your dog’s basic needs are met
So in summary keeping your dog in the garage is neither illegal nor inhumane as long as you provide him with a safe environment. While you’re away keep him warm during the winter and cool during the summer and make sure he has food and water.
It is not possible to lock your dog permanently in the garage. Keeping your dog at home while you’re at work or overnight is fine as long as he gets plenty of exercise and human companionship during the remainder of the day. Just like us dogs are social creatures and need to be around their family most of the time.