Garages tend to have many dark corners and unguarded alcoves with brand new smells that most dogs would love to get their snouts into. While it's never a good idea to let one's dogs in a garage unsupervised, we all know that despite our best efforts to keep them safe, dogs have a knack for nosing their way into places they aren't allowed. With that in mind, here are a few helpful hints for dog-proofing your garage in the off-chance that Fido finds his way in there:
The sharp stuff
With the possible exception of the kitchen, the garage often stores the sharpest items in the house. From saws to screws, take time to inventory all of your tools. Once inventoried, clean through your garage on a regular basis to guarantee that no loose nails are lying around and that all blades are hung up on hooks far out of your dogs' paws' reach.
Garages are havens for cleaning supplies, engine fluids and all sorts of dangerous chemicals. Be sure that any and all hazardous materials – things like antifreeze (an odorless liquid with a sweet flavor that dogs really like), motor oil, gasoline, turpentine, paints, etc. – are properly tucked away in wall cabinets or placed up high on shelves. In addition, wipe off all containers after use and immediately clean up any spills. Old batteries, either from a car or a child's toy, tend to end up in the garage where they leak corrosive acid. By properly disposing of these items, you can greatly reduce the chance of your dogs rolling around in battery acid and causing them serious harm.
The gardening equipment
The garage is the perfect spot to store gardening equipment. Fertilizer, weed-killer, insecticides and potentially poisonous plants can all wreak serious damage on a dog's digestive system. By properly storing your gardening equipment, this greatly diminishes the chances of your dogs discovering how sugary sweet ant killer can taste.
People have a tendency to start their car before entering it, letting it idle and warm up in the garage before they leave for the day. While there's nothing inherently wrong with doing so, this pumps carbon monoxide into the garage. Most people barely even notice this extra CO in the room, but dogs are much more susceptible to carbon monoxide poisoning than their owners. Either keep the garage door or windows open to avoid significant carbon monoxide build-ups or wait until the last possible moment to start your car. It also never hurts to bang on the car hood during the cold winter months, just in in case your dogs have climbed up into the engine to stay warm.
Using these simple methods, you can easily turn your garage into a dog-friendly refuge. But in the off-chance that your dog has managed to sneak into the garage and has cut itself, accidentally lapped up something it shouldn't have or ingested too much carbon monoxide, immediately bring it to the vet for a thorough, expert check-up.