Garages are no longer used solely as carports. Today, the options are nearly endless when it comes to utilizing the space. Workshops, home gyms, even home offices are just some of the ways people are creatively adapting their garages to fit today's various lifestyles. And with their open air, cool floors and shady respite from summer's heat, garages are also the choice hangout for man's best friend. But just as you safeguard the other rooms in your home, the garage should not be forgotten when it comes to keeping your dog safe from potential hazards. Below are a few options to ensure your garage is dog-ready, so you and your best friend won't miss a beat.
Keep it Clean
This doesn’t mean that you have to break out the vacuum and duster every day. It’s still a garage, and garages are expected to be a bit dirty. But keep an eye out for spider webs and potential insect nests. By making an effort to keep these areas consistently clean, you won’t need to control pests with harmful chemicals that are not intended to be used around pets. This leads us to the next point…
Store Hazardous Materials Out of Reach
For most households, the garage is often a catch-all for storing hazardous materials, chemical cleaners and the like. Often things like weed killers, pesticides, paints, and other poisonous household cleaners can pile up over the years and can result in a
treasure trove of hazardous chemicals that become even more dangerous as they expire. Safely dispose of any unused or expired chemicals and always store the rest safely out of reach of dogs. Always keep in mind dogs are ninjas and can jump or knock down even the highest shelves. And we all know dogs have a knack for tasting everything they can find, so clean up any spills or residue completely.
Secondly, monitor how these chemicals are being used. While some products claim to be safe for dogs, they often fall short of safety standards. The RoundUp brand has claimed for years that its products are safe, but research is now showing it can cause cancer in dogs and humans. And because you may still need to use certain products like this, check out our post, "What’s Safe For Dogs in the Yard?" for more information on how to keep your furry friend even safer. One of the best solutions for storing hazardous chemicals is to look into storing them in a locked shed or closet, if possible.
Tools Are Dangerous
Just like hazardous chemicals, the garage is often full of tools that can be dangerous in the wrong hands. And just like children, you want to keep these items away from your dogs. Be extra conscious of where and how you store heavy or sharp tools. Using a small, secure nail may be fine to hang a rake, but don't use the same method to hang a heavier item like a pitchfork. Also, just as a secure shed or closet is great for locking away chemicals, it might also be beneficial when it comes to your most dangerous tools. And while a lock may not be necessary, make sure tools are hung securely to avoid a feisty Fido knocking them off, and consider using a large bucket or something similar to store and cover the sharpest points of tools.
Dogs are outdoor lovers, whether it's running under the hot sun or rolling through the freezing snow. But only for brief periods, or depending on the breed, it may not be recommended at all. Unless you have a temperature-controlled garage, one that's set for dogs between 68F-80F, you should always be aware of the garage temperature when your dog is in there. Buy a cheap outdoor thermometer and hang it in the garage so you'll always know if the temperature is safe enough for your best friend. If your garage is not temperature controlled, never leave your dog unattended or for long periods of time. Think of your garage like your car: The temperature in a shut car or garage can dramatically increase in hot weather and decrease in cold weather, and has the potential to kill a dog quickly. So just as you should never leave your dog in a car on a sweltering summer day or a bitterly cold winter day, and you should follow this rule when it comes to your garage.
Putting the Door Up
Every year, 1.6 Million dogs are hit by cars, with many of them escaping from an open garage door. And with this statistic in mind, you don't want to lose one of the best features of the open garage--fresh air, bright and natural light, and an open window to the neighborhood. A downside is that most garages open with direct access to the road, and if your dog is in the garage with you, it can take a split second for your dog to run out the open door. But, as mentioned above, it's not always safe to keep a dog unattended with the door shut due to extreme changes in temperature that may occur. Keeping these issues in mind, there is a solution that allows man's best friend to roam the garage freely while also giving you the open-air space that you love--The Buddy Gate (www.buddygate.net).
Buddy Gates are 34 inches tall and are designed for standard single-door garages and double-door garages. Constructed of all metal, Buddy Gates are strong and have all the same functions as a traditional gate, but made extra durable for outdoor use.
By following the steps above, you can enjoy your garage with all the fresh air and natural light you love while also keeping your buddy safe. And although these talking points are just a quick overview and we will continue to cover similar topics more in depth in future blogs, we encourage you to do your own research. An informed pet owner is a good pet owner!