One of the major reasons that people tend to delay or put off remodeling projects at home is their pets. Their safety is always number one. No matter how big or small your project is (or how mischievous your pets are), here are a few ideas on how to keep your pets safe during a home renovation. You always want to be on the safer side of things. During a home renovation or remodel, you must consider that all items are hazardous to your pets. Doing so will help you be ahead of the curve and prevent any dangerous situation.
Heavy Items and tools
Contractors will likely be moving furniture, cinder blocks, wood, glass, and other heavy items during a home renovation. They will also be using loud power tools. If your pets aren’t used to this much activity, they may get startled. You want to make sure your pet is in a safe and in a secure place during renovation to keep them away from these hazards.
For all intents and purposes, there’s nothing that cannot be poisonous/dangerous for pets during a home renovation. Whether it’s paint, nails, cleaning materials, adhesives, all items pose some kind of hazard for the wellbeing of your pets.
Watch out for:
- Plants: some plants can be poisonous to pets A quick online research can let you know fast which plants are poisonous to pets. If you have any plants at home, make sure they remain out of reach of your pets if they’re being shifted around. Poisonous plants affect the gastrointestinal tract and may cause vomiting as well as mild to severe upset stomach.
- Paints: lead based paints are extremely harmful to your pets, whereas lead-less paints cause mild irritation. Of course, it all depends on the size of your pet and the amount of ingestion. A small amount ingested may cause no effect, but a large amount ingested may cause nausea or vomiting. Using eco-friendly paints is recommended as it is less harmful to your health than conventional paints.
- Nails, wood chips, small pieces: small pieces of any kind are choking hazards for your pet. These small pieces may be appealing to dogs, cats, or even birds. They are all harmful. It can block their intestinal tract which can get stuck and will require surgery to get out. If your pet swallows a sharp object, this can cause internal bleeding which is extremely dangerous and will require you to contact your vet immediately.
2. Revamp Your Bathroom
Whether you decide to keep your pet at home, send them to daycare, or hire a pet sitter, there are many options to create a pet friendly environment. At home, boarding or at a pet hotel, you can create a safe space with familiar toys and bedding, making it suitable for different pets and situations.
If you decide to keep your pet at home during renovation, it’s best to introduce your pet/s to your contractor/s working in your property. This will allow them to become more familiar with one another. Also, please ask the contractors if they’re ok with your pets being at home during the renovation. Some people may be allergic and/or afraid of certain species.
You can also opt to create a safe space or room for your pet. This will keep them away from trouble while your home is renovated.
- Isolated room: if you have a room available that won’t be used during the renovation, you can use it to isolate your pet and protect them from the noise and foot traffic.
- Familiar items: Fill the room with their favorite toys, bedding, and treats. If possible, also include some entertainment, whether that be TV, movies, or calming music
- Check ins: make sure you check-in on your pets often and take them outside for walks and bathroom breaks. If possible, take them for a longer walk than usual so they decompress and are tired when they come back.
- Boarding Options: if it’s going to be a long-term renovation or if your pet is younger and more risk prone, you may want to opt for a local boarding place. Boarding options may include overnight stays or daycare. Beware that overnight boarding can become expensive.
- 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: for shorter home renovations, you can ask 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, especially since there’s big chance that they’ve already met and fell comfortable with one another.
It’s important to keep your pets distracted and entertained, especially if they’re in their young stage.
- Toys: get them chew toys that are designed to be extra tough. Keep their minds distracted with puzzles that have treats hidden inside. You can easily create some toys for your pets using common household items.
- Extended playtime: play with your pet outside, throw the ball a few extra times, or let them roam around outside a bit longer than usual.
- Walks: going for a walk is a great way to relieve some stress, decompress and burn some extra energy. Try doing extended walks or walking more than once or twice a day during the renovation project.
In case things get out of hand, please see the resources below. It’s good to keep these in hand but please reach out to your veterinarian first as they know your pet’s medical history best.
- ASPCA: They offer general guidance to emergency care for pets on their website. They also have additional information about poisonous items.
- FDA’s Center For Veterinary Medicine (CVM): provides a list of phone numbers to call in the event of an emergency
- PetPlace: they have a lot of useful pet related information. Extremely helpful for first time pet parents
- VCA Hospitals – they have an immense article library where you can search any issues you need assistance with
Ultimately, the wellbeing of your pet is your number one priority during the home remodeling project. Depending on the length of the project and your pet’s age and personality, you may choose to keep your pet at home, at daycare, boarding or with a friend or family. With such a wide range of options, there is no wrong choice for your pet to enjoy (and be safe at the same time) his/her time while the project is being finished.
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