Renovating a home with pets can be a challenge. How can you keep an eye on Fluffy when you're talking to the contractor, moving your valuables out of the way, and picking out paint colors?
Fortunately, you can follow some basic pet safety tips during your home renovation. Many potential issues can be prevented just by going over your concerns with your contractor beforehand to work out the details.
The more you know how to ensure your pet's safety, the less stress you’ll experience—and the less stress your pet will feel, too.
1. Microchip Your Pet
If you haven’t done so already, microchip your dog or cat. That way, if your pet escapes during your home renovation, the local shelter will be able to quickly identify your pet and contact you. It’s also smart to take a current photo of your pet, just in case you need to make lost dog or cat fliers.
2. Create a Safe Haven
While your pet may be used to walking freely around the house or the backyard, this won’t work very well during construction. Instead, choose a room that’s far from the action and keep your pet there, along with his bed, food, and toys. Tape a note on the door to let people know the pet is inside.
3. Get a Project Schedule from Your Contractor
You've probably already asked your contractor which days demolition will occur, when the concrete will be poured, when the painters will come by, etc. But if you have a pet, you’ll want to look at the schedule in a different light.
Which part of the project will impact when your pet can be outside or inside? On what days will it be necessary to lock your dog in a room? Knowing the schedule will help you keep your pet out of harm's way.
Once you know the days you should keep your beloved pet away from heavy renovation, don’t forget to pencil it in. That way, when you’re in the middle of a renovation, your calendar will already be updated.
4. Ask About Chemicals and Noise
Some home renovation projects entail hazardous fumes. Almost all projects create dust and noise. Chemicals and dusty particles can be particularly harmful, especially to birds. If the construction requires removal of asbestos, then you’ll want to remove your pet from the premises.
As for loud noises, you know how much your dog reacts to fireworks or vacuum cleaners. If a nail gun or jack hammer is going to set off your pet, it might be wise to find someplace else for your four-legged friend to stay that day. Set up a play date for them or get your neighbor to keep a loving eye on them during this time.
5. Verify What Projects Can Be Done Outside
There may be tasks that construction crews can do outside your home or ahead of time, such as cutting materials to size or pre-painting surfaces. That means less mess inside, less stuff your pet can get into, and less stress on you. Just ask your contractor.
6. Don’t Neglect Your Pet's Normal Routine
Home renovation projects often create upheaval in the home, but don’t let that get in the way of keeping a regular routine with your pet. Do your best to feed them at the same time, take them for walks, and make time for play.
7. Do a Walk-Through at the End of the Day
After crews have left for the day, walk through your house looking for debris, such as nails or other sharp objects, which could harm your pet. Do an inspection outdoors as well. Make sure that all the gates are closed.
8. When All Else Fails...
Boarding your pet is often the last option, because it’s expensive. However, there may be certain days when your home renovation project requires you—and everyone else—to be out of the house. If that’s case, check with a friend or regular pet sitter or boarder to see if your pet can stay over. Most likely, it’s just for a day or two at the most.
If you practice these pet safety tips while renovating your home, the happier your pet—and all his or her humans—will be. Share this article on social media with other pet lovers you know!