4 min read


Can Dogs Live in a Garage?



4 min read


Can Dogs Live in a Garage?


Highly resilient and adaptable, dogs are known for being able to handle all kinds of living situations. That being said, dogs aren’t safe in all environments. Many people believe that on really cold or really hot days, putting their dog in the garage is a safer alternative to leaving them outside, which can be true, but it can also be wrong. 

Dogs who live outdoors or in garages for extended periods of time or year-round can be put in danger in a number of different ways. This means you should be cautious about leaving your dog cooped up in your garage.


Signs Dogs Shouldn't Live in a Garage

When you get a dog, you need to have a place prepared for your dog to live. In most cases, dog owners will have their dogs live in their homes with them. But, some people feel like dogs should spend at least most of their lives outside. Unfortunately, keeping your dog outside in extreme temperatures—both hot and cold—can lead to health problems like heat stroke and hypothermia. In these instances, many outdoor dogs are placed in sheds and garages to stay out of the elements.

Keeping your dog in a garage does provide shelter, but unless you have converted your garage into a living space, it probably doesn’t have any form of temperature control. This means that the temperatures in the garage could be almost as hot or cold as it is outside. Your dog could end up getting heat stroke or dehydration during the summer or frostbite or hypothermia in the winter regardless of whether or not they are outside or in a garage.

Much like being kept in a hot car, when dogs are left in hot garages, they can feel the effects of the extreme heat. It can get warmer in the garage than it is outside as well. In the winter, if snow or ice gets into the garage, it can lower the temperature in the garage. Plus, without the sun, snow and ice can take a long time to melt.

Body Language

Since dogs don't speak English, they use body language to communicate with humans. Here are some body language signs you may notice if your dog is unhappy living in your garage:

  • Barking
  • Whining
  • Ears Drop
  • Low Tail Carriage
  • Dropped Ears
  • Averting Eyes

Other Signs

Other signs that dogs shouldn't live in a garage include:

  • Being Susceptible To Extreme Temperatures
  • Injuring Themselves On Equipment Or Tools
  • Accessing Toxic Material

History of Dogs Living in Garages


Just a few decades ago, it may have been extremely common for dogs to be brought into the garage from the outdoors on hot or cold days. Now, more people consider their dogs to be part of the family, and they have them living inside the home. Most dogs have grown accustomed to living in the comfort of a home, so a garage would be quite a shock. Plus, garages aren’t really suitable places for dogs to live, and they can be dangerous.

Since the temperature in your garage is unlikely to be controllable, your dog is left in a place where they could easily be too hot or too cold. Temperatures aren’t the only dangers in a garage, however. Many people store chemicals such as pesticides, oil, anti-freeze, and other dangerous liquids in their garages. Without proper supervision, you dog could get into these liquids and become very ill or even die.

Tools and other equipment may also be stored in the garage. Your dog could knock over a heavy tool onto its head and sustain serious injuries. Concussion and broken bones are possibilities after an accident with objects in the garage. Plus, since you won’t be out in the garage with your pet, they aren’t likely to get the help they need in time.

Science Behind Dogs Living in a Garage


Most people know that dogs are highly adaptable animals, which means that they could probably adapt to life in your garage as long as they are given a safe space. To create a safe place for your dog in the garage, you will want to find a way to make a closed-off area. Either a kennel or corral can make your garage much safer for your pooch.

You could also add a fan or space heater to help make the garage a more comfortable environment for your dog. Be sure that all cords are kept out of reach from your dog, however.

You also need to provide enough food and water for your dog while they are in the garage. Don’t forget to give your dog regular potty breaks and exercise.

Having Your Dog Living in a Garage


When you bring a dog into your life, it is important that you make their needs a priority. The biggest problem associated with a dog living in the garage is that it is easy to leave them there and just forget about them. Dogs need social interaction and affection to stay happy. While keeping your dog in a garage for just a couple hours is probably fine, you won’t want to leave your dog out there all the time, because then you aren’t meeting their needs for attention and love.

Exercise is very important for dogs, so you will need to ensure that you give your dog plenty of time to play with you - either in the house or outside. Dogs should get exercise at least once a day for at least 30 minutes, but an hour is recommended by most veterinarians. Unless you want your dog to potty in your garage, regular bathroom breaks are also necessary.

If your garage hasn’t been converted into a living space, it is unlikely that it is really a safe place for your dog. Many people keep harmful chemicals and tool in their garages, which could cause injuries and illnesses to your pooch. Dangerous substances and items should be picked up off the floor. Any spills need to be cleaned up thoroughly. To keep your dog safe, keep them away from these things.

Ventilation can also be a problem in a garage. If your garage has windows, you can use those to let air circulate in the space. If there is a way to leave a door open into a fenced yard, not only will your dog get fresh air, but they can also enjoy the freedom to use the bathroom and play. Plus, windows and doors with windows give your dog light that helps them see around the garage without you needing to leave a light on.

Don’t forget to give your dog food and water. Dogs should have water at all times. It is your job to ensure that your dog doesn’t go hungry or thirsty.

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Safety Tips for Dogs Living in a Garage:

  1. Make sure your dog has ample food and water each day.
  2. Be sure your dog gets out for potty breaks and exercise.
  3. Keep harmful objects and chemicals away from dogs in a garage.
  4. Monitor the temperature in the garage.

Written by a Pomsky lover Chelsea Mies

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 04/12/2018, edited: 04/06/2020

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