How to keep our pets safe during home renovation

Autumn is a popular season for home renovating projects. Warm sunny days are behind us, and it is the perfect time to get the house nice and cosy before the cold season.

Renovation is however sometimes stressful to us, and most definitely stressful to our pets. Their home environment is becoming noisy, smelly, messy, and sometimes crowdy, with strangers using weird tools. And remember that our cat’s and our dog’s senses are a lot stronger than ours: Any noise or smell we find annoying can actually be painful to our pets. In addition to all of this, more often than not, their own humans turn into anxious and irritable beings that they do not recognize.

 

So what we should do:

The first rule is to stay attentive and watch for any of those following signs of stress form our pets:

–       Loss of appetite

–       Accidents in the house when the cat or the dog was potty-trained

–       Destructive behavior, excessive barking or meowing, or any other unusual behaviors coming from our pets

–       Loss of hair

–       Irritability
Then there are actions we can take to ensure that our pets do not become too stressed and that they stay safe during our home renovation projects.

 

1)   Supervision when we can

You may have hire help for your home renovation, but these workers are not going to help you with your pets. Remember that you are responsible of making sure that your cat does not escape through the door when they come and go, or that your dog does not eat something potentially dangerous for him. If you are doing the renovation yourself, you should not be the one handling the supervision shift at the same time. Dividing your attention between your pets and your renovation chores is putting your own safety at risk.

2) Containment when you can’t

If you are not home or are just too busy, consider keeping your cat or your dog in a “safe haven” where he will be able to rest and not get into any trouble. No one but you should be allowed into that room, to ensure that your pet’s space and privacy gets respected. You absolutely want to minimize all stressful situations and interactions when you cannot supervise. You never know what tools and such might, for instance, upset your dog so much that he fears he has to defend himself. Your pets will most probably be happier and more relaxed anyway in a safe haven with all of their favorite things. And, on your end, wouldn’t you want to minimize all potential delays that might happen in a renovation project, if for instance your cat or your dog gets into the workers’ way?

3)   Vacation time!

Wouldn’t you wish you could spend some time away from the chaos when things get a little bit hectic in your home? You have to be there to work or supervise, but your pets can get away from it all and enjoy a fun vacation at their favorite petsitter instead! Your pet will most probably have a quieter stay than at home, and he will get to be reintroduced at his own pace to his home environment when things are less hectic.

4)   Not all changes are good.

As his home environment is drastically changing, now is definitely not the time to do any other non-mandatory changes to his daily routine! When possible, try to feed your pet at the same time every day, keep his daily walk or petting time the same, etc. While they may not fit well with your new home decor, you should still wait before throwing away his old toys or changing his bed! Let him feel at home is in your new renovated environment, then make some gradual changes to his stuff if you want to.

5)   Ohmmmm

You have to be the calm and reassuring presence in your pet’s life during this busy period. Yes, it can be quite a challenge, but now it’s the perfect opportunity to work on your stress level. While schedules tend to become hectic when renovating, it is important that you do everything you can to keep some daily enjoyable and relaxing family time that includes your pets. Everyone in the family will benefit from them!

6)   Renovation projects for your pets

“While we are at it” is a dangerous phrase to a budget during a renovation project. But, “while you are at it”, why not plan a cute renovation idea especially for you pets? Now might be the time to add some shelves for your cat or to order a customised bed for your dog!

 

Happy renovation time!

20 Septembre 2012

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