Many people use their summer vacations to remodel their homes, and if you’re planning to spruce up anytime soon, don’t forget to think about your four-legged friend. Depending on the project, remodeling can be stressful for a pet and even dangerous. So how can you keep your pet safe and comfortable while you rejuvenate your space?
1. Have Your Home Inspected First
Before doing any serious remodeling, you should have your home inspected to check for lead-based paint, mold, and asbestos insulation. These things require special handling and removal as they can really irritate a pet’s respiratory system.
2. Supervise or Contain Your Pet
If you plan to have workers in your home, don’t expect them to look after your pet, keep doors closed, or be aware of safety hazards, such as loose nails or open paint cans. Supervise your pet when you can and contain them when you can’t. For very busy or loud days, you may also want to consider taking your pet to daycare or dropping them off with a responsible friend or family member.
3. Ask Workers to Alert You When Using Hazardous Materials
Remodeling may involve sprays, fumes, paints, and other toxic or irritating substances that could harm your pet. Ask workers to tell you if they are using anything dangerous, and if they are, remove your pet from the house for the day. If you’ll be doing projects yourself, try to select products that are natural and pet-safe.
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4. Work Outside When Possible
Is there cutting, spraying, or painting that can happen outside of the house? This will help to reduce dust and irritants inside.
5. Offer a Safe Space For Your Pet
If your pet will be home while work is taking place, offer them a safe and quiet place to rest, such as a private room with a closed door. Move your pet’s essentials (such as crate, food, water, and toys) inside of the room, and place a sign on the door indicating that it should stay closed. This not only provides your pet with a place to escape loud noises and commotion, it will also protect your pet from dust and odors that could irritate them or cause an allergic reaction.
6. Alleviate Your Pet’s Stress
A safe space is one way to alleviate the stress that can appear during remodeling, but there are other things you can do to help calm your pet:
- Try to keep to your pet’s regular schedule as much as possible, with walks and meals happening at the same times that they normally do.
- Visit with your pet throughout the day. Check in and give them a scratch, or take a few moments to toss a toy.
- Consider putting on soothing music or the television. This can help to drown out construction noise and distract your pet from the activity.
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7. Remove Paint From Fur
Even if you try your best to avoid it, your pet may still end up with a spot of paint here or there. It is important to remove it right away, as ingested paint can be harmful to a pet, and many pets are prone to licking unfamiliar substances on their fur. If the paint is latex-based and not fully dry, use soap and water. If the paint is fully dry, the best thing you can do is clip off the area of fur. When in doubt, contact your veterinarian.
8. Check The House at The End of The Day
After work is done for the day, check around the house for items that could harm your pet (such as nails, staples, and toxic substances) or escape routes (such as open doors or windows).
Have you recently remodeled your home? How did your pet handle it? Leave a comment and let us know, and sign up for PetPlus, a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding, and more.