Seven tips to keeping your pet safe during home renovations

About to start home renovations but not sure if you can have your pets onsite? That decision is completely up to you, but you need to consider a few things first. No pet is the same and they all have their own personalities, so you need to consider your pet will react to having work done in their home.

While you understand what’s happening home renovation is a very confusing time for your pets. Depending on how your pet reacts to certain situations will depend on how you look after them during the home renovations. Below we discuss seven tips for keeping your pet safe and happy during your home renovation.

1. Consider if your pet is safe to stay on site

During home renovations, there can be a lot happening and a lot of opportunities for your pet to be spooked and run away. Before you begin, ensure your pet is microchipped and the contact information is up-to-date. This protects you and your pet in the chance they do get lost and makes returning them to you much easier and faster.

If you are doing an extensive renovation, with workers coming and going everyday and works happening from 7 am till 5 pm you really need to think if it is a safe place for your pet to be. Pets can be easily frightened by loud unexpected noises and can have a number of different reactions. From running away at any opportunity to hiding in the smallest space or even becoming slightly aggressive.

There are a number of options available if you need to relocate your pet during home renovation works. Your pet could stay with friends or family, or with a local dog sitter. You can also board them depending on the length of the renovation. While these options may not be ideal for you, you need to consider your pets well being, if they are not coping with the construction works it’s not fair to subject them to it.

2. Protect your pet from tools and materials

It’s easy to just leave tools and materials lying around when you’re in the throws of renovation, but think about how those loose nails, hammers, and wood offcuts could look to your pets. Ensure that wherever your pet can go during your home renovation you keep clean and free of any potential accidents. There are a number of things you can do to mitigate any risk to your pet, from using dog gates to restrict their access to keeping your pets in a space that is closed off from the renovations.

3. Ensure you know when and where there are chemicals onsite

Chemicals can be lethal to your pets so if you have them on your home renovation you need to be extremely careful in ensuring they don’t come into contact with any. You may not even realise some of the products you’re using are potentially toxic. Anything that comes in liquid form, from paint to plaster can easily be ingested by your pet when you’re not looking. If you have an especially curious pet it's best to keep them completely separate from where these materials are being used.

One secret chemical that you may not realise can be toxic to your pets is dust. When you are sanding, cutting or generally creating dust you need to ensure your pets are not in the middle of it. If you need to wear glasses and a face mask, consider how they may be coping with the dust. Dust that has come from sanding also often contains toxic chemicals from old paint or polish, if the dust were to get into your pet's eyes or lungs you could be putting them at risk of sickness or irritation. If you know there are going to be days of dust creation it’s best to have them stay elsewhere for that period of time to avoid any vet trips.

4. Maintain your pet's routine

Even though everything may be changing around them keeping your pet's routine as normal as possible will help them accept everything that is going on. Household pets are known to thrive on routine, they know when they go for a walk, have dinner and go to bed. Try to maintain this as much as possible, it shows your pets that while you may be really busy now you still care about them.

Pets are much more receptive to change than we think and can interpret what is happening in a number of different ways. If you become slack with walking them or are late on their dinner most nights some pets will misbehave in order to get attention. While it may seem like too much to do or you’re too tired, think about how much better both you and your pet will feel after a walk, spending some time together and calming down after what could have been a crazy day.

pet safety reno

5. Provide your pet with a safe space to spend their time

When you’ve got workers walking around your home, materials being moved around and tools being used it can be a lot for your pet to process. If your pets are staying during your home renovation you need to provide them with a safe space they can spend their days. Whether you shut off the backyard to the construction for them or you keep them in a quiet room, some pets need to have a space they can go to when it all gets too much for them. You’ll notice your pets start to remove themselves, or try to, when they need to go somewhere quiet.

6. Introduce your pets to the workers

If you are having a team working on your home renovation ensure you make them aware there will be a pet on the premises. Then, when the workers initially begin working on your project introduce your pet to them. If your pet knows who is in their space and becomes familiar with them, it can make your pet much more relaxed about the renovation.

If the workers that are making loud noises and moving things around are accommodating to your pets the whole project will move much more smoothly. However, if having your pet onsite becomes too much for the workers or your pet you may need to seek an alternative arrangement to ensure your home renovation runs on time and on budget.

7. Block easy exits

Lastly, if your pet is prone to running away you need to ensure they are secured in some way when trades are moving through the house. Often windows and doors need to be left open to allow for materials to be moved around, tools to be used and the home to stay ventilated. Block or barricade any exits that do not have to be left open to ensure your pet doesn’t slip out a back window or door when you’re not looking.

Renovating with pets is possible

While these seven steps may have raised concerns you hadn’t thought of remember - you know now! And you have actionable ways to mitigate most accidents. Doing a home renovation while you and your pet are living or spending all your time there will always have its ups and downs, but I can assure you the time you spend preparing your pet for the changes and keeping them safe during the home renovation will pay off when everyone gets to the end of the project happily and safely. If you have construction near you but you’re not renovating yourself, check out our blog on how to keep your pet safe when near construction sites.