Here’s why pet safety should be a high priority when planning renovations.
Most people know that home renovations can be stressful, especially for the youngest members of a household. Children can have a hard time dealing with the noise and disruption of their safe place, which is why most parents take time to calm their fears and may even arrange for the children to visit relatives while renovations are under way. But, what about pets?
Like children, pets can have a difficult time coping with renovations to the home. So, it’s important for pet parents to consider their needs and possibly make a few arrangements to ensure the comfort and safety of their furry family members.
For a lot of pets, the most stressful part of home renovations will be the presence of strangers in their home. Certain breeds of cats and dogs tend to be naturally wary of strangers. For example (a very personal example from this writer’s experience), Miniature Schnauzers can be extremely protective of their home and people, particularly very young Miniature Schnauzers. This can result in a lot of stress for your dog and a lot (A WHOLE LOT) of barking.
When your home is being renovated, you can expect that the workers will be in and out of the home fairly frequently. This is due to their need to get equipment and supplies from their trucks, for breaks, or if you have indoor and outdoor projects happening concurrently. This can pose a danger to cats and dogs who may find an open door too tempting to resist. This goes for any backyard gates as well.
Be sure that pets are tattooed, microchipped, or are at least wearing ID collars with your contact information. No one expects pets to wander a way, but accident do happen.
Power tools, paints, small objects like nails and screws, and even bits of plastic are all hazards that a curious pet who may want to inspect. However, such items have the potential to cause illness, injury or worse. Even excess dust and debris could be harmful to smaller animals.
If you’ve taken on a home renovation you can guarantee that it’s going to be noisier at home than usual. Sawing, drilling, demolition, and even just the sound of strangers talking in the house may be enough to send your pet’s stress level through the roof. Remember, your pet’s hearing is likely far better than your hearing. So, what might be a bearable level of noise to you, may be painfully loud to them.
A Day Away – If renovations will take place while you’re away at work, the best way to keep your furry kids safe and happy may be to schedule some time at a doggy daycare, pet sitter, or with family. Not only will they be kept out of harm’s way, but they’ll probably have a lot of fun.
Create a Safe Space – You could also consider restricting your pet to a room (with doors) away from the renovation work. This is a good way to keep them away from harmful objects and loud noises. It’s also the best way to keep them from sneaking out the front door.
If you choose this option, be sure that the room is equipped with food, water and toys. You’ll also want to ensure that it’s a comfortable temperature and allows some natural light as well as shady spots for napping. Don’t forget to come home at lunch to check on your pet, and be sure to leave a sign on the door, instructing that it remain closed at all times.
Tire Them Out – Before leaving for work, take some extra time for a longer than usual morning walk or play session. A sleepy pet may be less inclined to worry about the unusual activity at home.
When you return home, be sure to treat your pet to extra cuddles and playtime. They’re going to need your reassurance that everything is ok.
Most importantly, don’t forget to notify your contractor prior to the start of renovations if there will be a pet at home while you’re away.
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