Remodeling is stressful for us humans. But for our pets, there’s even more stress. They see the unfamiliar faces of contractors, hear an unrelenting racket of noise and automatically assume their cushy lives are being turned upside down. Or, they’re underfoot and in the way.
So, if you plan on doing some work to your home, be mindful of furry family members. Make sure they are comfortable, protected and that it’s all going to be okay.
Here are six things to keep in mind to keep your pets safe during a remodel.
1. Understand What the Remodel Involves
You should have a basic understanding of what’s involved with remodeling. For instance, if the renovation calls for demolitions or installing pet-friendly waterproof flooring, be sure to coordinate a schedule with the contractor so you can get pets out of the house.
Ask the contractor what days might involve demolition to ensure your pet is not forced to listen to a jackhammer or tile saw all day. Some pets become highly stressed with loud noises, such as vacuum cleaners and fireworks. Consider your pet’s behavior toward these and make a judgment call.
Also inquire about any adhesives, paints or sanding, which could emit chemicals, fumes or dust particles that could be hazardous to pets and people. Be sure to ask how long it takes to cure and how long before the fumes dissipate.
2. Sequester Pets from Construction Areas
Although pets are used to roaming about the home, this may not be a good time to allow free range. Not only is it safer to keep pets away from construction zones, but it allows contractors to complete the remodel smoothly and without interruptions.
During renovations, there could be lots of debris such as nails and electrical wires that could still be on. Even for contractors who tidy up after each day, there might be something they missed and there’s no telling what mischief, or even danger, pets can get into.
Pets may also end up in a contractor’s way or just slow the renovation process. Allow the contractor to do their job efficiently by removing furry obstacles. And allow contractors to enter and exit freely without being extra mindful of shutting exterior entryway doors.
It’s also a wise idea to simply let contractors know there’s a pet in the house. When you sequester pets in a room or side of the home, be sure to leave a note on separating doors as a reminder.
3. Keep Your Pets Calm and Minimize Stress
Aside from sequestering pets from areas or rooms being renovated, it’s essential to keep them calm and minimize stress. Gather together their bedding and favorite toys and create a safe haven for them as far from renovations as possible. If your dog is happy inside their crate or your cat up a cat tree, be sure to bring that into the safe haven as well.
An excellent way to minimize stress is to distract your pets with toys. Dogs can be entertained for days with a brand-new toy. Cats, however, are a bit more aloof. Instead, grant cats a higher ground or window seat to watch outside birds or squirrels.
For more anxious pets, such as cats and small dogs, many respond well to pheromone-based devices which can be found in a variety of products from collars, plug-in diffusers, wipes, sprays and even chewable treats.
If renovations are noisy, as they often are, drown out the sounds with a radio or television. Better yet, use a white noise machine.
4. Take Extra Precautions
Before remodeling begins, it’s wise to take a few extra precautions.
Schedule a vet visit and have a basic check-up to see if anything is out of the ordinary. Pets can’t tell us they’re ill, and if an underlying illness becomes exacerbated by added stress from remodels, it could develop into something more serious.
Should your pet somehow accidentally escape during remodels, you want to ensure they return home safe and sound. If your pet is not yet microchipped, have the vet insert one during the visit and register it as soon as possible.
At the very least, make sure each pet wears its collar and has up-to-date tags and IDs. This is important, especially if remodels are made on a newly purchased home with a new address.
During the renovation period and even after completion, keep an eye on your pet’s health and behavior. If they vocalize, have more accidents or become aggressive, it could be a sign of stress. If they cough, act lethargic or even seem unusually uninterested in food, it’s crucial to see a vet as soon as possible.
In the same vein, maintain their feeding and walking schedule. It’s tempting to arrive home excited for a quick glance at the renovation’s progress, but attend to pets first! Also, make sure they get plenty of playtime and burn off some anxious energy. If you have a high energy dog, find time to take them to a dog park.
Renovations bring many reasons why you need to remove your pets from the house–from stress-inducing, constant noise to chemical fumes.
No one likes to board their pets. It’s expensive and typically causes even more stress. But these days, there are many more comfortable options. Have a pet sitter or familiar neighbor take them over to their place until the reno is complete, which ranges from a day or two, depending on the project. Alternatively, you can board them at a doggie daycare where they can run and frolic to their heart’s content.
As an animal lover and pet owner, there’s nothing you wouldn’t do for your pets. So, when it comes to renovating or remodeling your home, it’s important to keep these six considerations in mind to keep them safe.
Whether it’s installing a pet-friendly flooring option or simply painting your walls a new shade of color, your pet’s health and happiness are a top priority. Hopefully, this helps serve as a guide for making sure they’re comfortable and free of stress.
Article Written by Ford Hudson
Marketing Manager at Twenty and Oak