From tearing down walls and hiring professional painters to lifting carpets and removing nails, you’ll likely have several things going on in your home during a renovation. The last thing you’ll want to worry about is where your pet is. Young, mischievous, or startled pets could easily begin barking, get into things they shouldn’t, or run out the door. A home renovation can be stressful for both you and your pet. Here we have provided you with pet proofing; a guide to pet safety during home renovations and remodeling.
In order to help alleviate that stress, consider the advice outlined below.
Dangers/Hazards to Pets During Home Renovations
There are various potential dangers and hazards presented to pets during a home renovation or remodel. Knowing what these hazards are is the first step to preventing them from harming your pet.
Below are a few of the dangers to pets to be aware of during a home renovation:
During a home renovation, contractors will be walking in and out of your house, shouting back and forth between rooms, and using generally loud power tools. This kind of noise and foot traffic could lead to several adverse events. The opening and closing of doors could lead to pets getting loose. Food traffic could cause pets to get trampled if they’re in the way. Loud noises could upset young, old, or anxious pets.
Animals react differently to fear. Some may become territorial and potentially bark at, scratch, or bite workers. Others may grow startled and run out of the house. Some may even become anxious and have an accident in the house.
Contractors will likely be moving furniture, cinder blocks, wood, glass, or other heavy items during a home renovation. Startled pets and heavy items can be a bad combination. You’ll want to make sure your pet is in a safe and secure place during a renovation in order to keep them away from these hazards.
Adhesives, cleaning materials, paints, and nails, for instance, are just a few items that pose a hazard to a pet’s wellbeing during a renovation. These items could either be genuinely poisonous or pose a choking hazard. What’s more, pets’ natural curiosity doesn’t mix well with the presence of toxic hazards. Dogs or cats, for instance, may be tempted to lick fresh paint off the walls — or even walk through worksites and find paint on themselves when grooming.
Whether or not paint is harmful to your pet depends on its type. Lead paint is known to be extremely harmful, while paints without lead generally only cause mild irritation. For paints without lead, ingesting or inhaling a small amount is likely to pose no effect — relative to the size of your pet — other than mild gastrointestinal upset. Larger ingestions could result in nausea or vomiting. If your home renovation included painting, it is recommended that you use eco-friendly paint and painting services as this is less harmful to your health than conventional paints.
Any kind of small pieces that pets could put in their mouths has the potential to become a choking hazard. Nails, wood chips, and other small pieces may be appealing to dogs, cats, or even birds. But these items are harmful to their health in a variety of ways. If your dog swallows a sharp object, go to the vet immediately. If your pet swallows a different foreign object, it may be possible to perform first aid. Wood chips and other foreign objects may also have toxic chemicals in them, making it a good idea to opt for sustainable home decor following your home renovation.
Poisonous chemicals at home renovation work sites include cleaning materials, adhesives, as well as the chemicals in paint and wood, as discussed in the bullet points above. Exposure to such chemicals does not have to occur solely through ingestion. Pets are also at risk when in a room with these chemicals, especially if doors and windows are closed.
Plants: There are a variety of plants that are poisonous to pets. It’s generally a good idea to be aware of what plants are poisonous to pets. If any plants are in your home, there’s a good chance they will be shifted around and potentially put in reach of your pets during the renovation. Poisonous plants, like paints, affect an animal’s gastrointestinal tract. They may cause a mild to severe upset stomach, as well as vomiting.
Call your local vet immediately if your pet has inhaled or consumed one of these hazardous materials.
Creating a pet-friendly/safe environment may involve introductions, creating a safe space with familiar toys and bedding, or boarding your pet at a pet hotel. There are a few different options suitable for different pets and situations.
It is important to make a decision as to whether or not your pet would be safer and happier at home or boarded at a pet hotel or daycare. Some pets may enjoy being boarded, while others may be more comfortable staying at home. Sociable, playful pets may have a blast at a pet hotel — and ease your worries about them running into trouble during the renovation. Other pets may not enjoy boarding as much, or may not need it as much. Older pets, for instance, may not get in the way of contractors or have much interest in the commotion at all. Younger pets, on the other hand, may get into more trouble.
If you decide to keep your pet at home for most of the renovations, it is generally a good idea to do introductions between your pet and the contractors working in your home. Becoming more familiar with each other may ease the anxieties of both your pet and the contractors.
You’ll also want to create a safe-space or containment room for your pet. This will keep them away from trouble while your home is renovated.
An isolated room away from noise and chaos: While you don’t want your pet to be alone for the renovation, you do need to make sure they are isolated from the worksite. Protect them from the noise and chaos by designating a room for them in your home.
Familiar toys, bedding, treats, crates, etc: Fill the room with familiar toys, bedding, and treats to keep them happy and comfortable.
Regular check-ins: Regularly check-in on your pets and take them outside for walks and bathroom breaks.
Leave a TV on: Leave a TV on for your pets to fill the room with familiar sounds. Some pets enjoy watching the Animal Planet channel.
Boarding Options: Explore local boarding options if it’s going to be a long-term renovation or if your pet is younger and more risk-prone. Boarding options may include overnight stays or daycare. Since overnight boarding can become expensive, you may opt for daycare only.
Pet-sitters and dog-walking services: Pet-sitters and dog-walking services can be utilized to get your pet out of the house for short-term intervals. These services are a good option for smaller or shorter home renovations. They also may be a more cost-effective option.
Family, friends, or neighbors: It never hurts to ask for a little help with your pet. For shorter home renovations, consider asking family, friends, or neighbors to pet sit during the day or overnight. Loved ones that already have pets may have no issue taking on one more.
For pets that are kept at home during a renovation, it is important to keep them distracted and entertained.