Most of us are well aware that renovations can be stressful on the whole family. However, we often overlook the toll it takes on our pets. Furry family members may even actually take it the hardest because their daily routines are interrupted, their territory has been invaded and they don’t know what’s going on.
Christine is currently doing a long awaited remodel of her kitchen. Lola, her dog, now twitches and shakes every time she hears the screw gun working and her eyes are running from the sheetrock dust. In one instance, while Christine was gone, insulation ended up in her water bowl. Thankfully, she didn’t drink any! Normally, she’d knock her paw on the sliding door to tell Christine and her husband she needed to go out but with that area inaccessible, it took her a day or two to figure out where to go instead.
When Iris remodeled her home, her dog Paisley was petrified of the nail gun. The first time she heard it, Iris’ family couldn’t find Paisley anywhere. They searched inside and out, called her name and nothing. Eventually, Iris found her behind a little wall where the pool equipment is stored, which is in the furthest corner of the property away from the house!
These experiences, along with seeing how our clients’ pets have reacted, have taught us a few things. Here are some of the tactics we use to help our pets get through renovations unscathed:
Create a safe zone. Christine keeps Lola in her home office, which is away from the chaos. She has a comfy bed and her favorite blanket and toys in there to keep her calm, as well as food and water. Finding a safe, quiet space and outfitting it with some of your pet’s comfort items is key.
Breaks are important! When Christine is in meetings all day and the contractors are at the house, she’s been taking Lola to her sister-in-law’s house so she can unwind and won’t get too worked up. The same thing can work well for kids. For example, when Christine’s son was younger, he ended up in the ER from being exposed to sheetrock dust. So, in the future, when Christine and her husband were doing work in the house, he’d stay with his grandparents for a few days.
Make sure your pet knows where to go to alert you they need to use bathroom if their usual entrance and exit will be blocked off.
Keep electrical wires out of your pet’s reach. Most pets will chew through electrical wires if given the opportunity. Make sure all wires are put away safely where your curious little fur baby can’t reach them.
Keep an eye on open windows and doors. With tradespeople coming in and out of your home and windows being opened for ventilation, a stressed out pet could try to make an escape.
Respect the tradespeople’s time and space. Leaving pets alone with contractors is not a smart idea. Contractors working in your home are concentrating on the quality of their work and keeping themselves and their coworkers safe. The contractors aren’t there to pet sit.
Distract your pet. Play games, practice some commands, cuddle or go for a walk. This can definitely help manage their stress levels and keep both of you sane.
Renovating your home can be stressful on everyone, including your pets, under the best circumstances. Taking the necessary steps to ensure your pets are safe and stress-free before the project starts will be one less problem to deal with during the course of the project. As for the design and details of the remodel, we can help!
Contact us to schedule a consultation!