By Andrea Servadio, Co-Owner, Fitdog Sports Club
No matter the scale or the time frame, construction projects are stressful, expensive and time consuming. Between the budgeting, design decisions and inconvenient living situation, your pet's safety and comfort might be the last thing that's on your mind but it's an important factor to consider.
Pet owners should be aware of what they are exposing their pets to when undertaking a home renovation: new people working in the home, dangerous or noisy equipment, crowded and disorganized spaces, loud noises in general, and varying types of potentially toxic or dangerous materials.
While some pets are more affected than others, here are some quick tips to keep your pets safe and secure during construction:
Easy Exits: Keep your pets in a safe room while workers are in your house. Typically during construction, doors and windows are left wide open so workers can come and go with materials. Easy exits make it more likely your pets will run out.
Identification: Make sure your pets are properly tagged and microchipped. Just in the off chance a worker opens the door to where your pets are being kept, and your dog or cat bolts, you want to make sure he's tagged and chipped so he's safely returned to you.
Pet Daycare: Sawing, painting and demolition result in a lot of toxic fumes and wastes, which could be poisonous for your pets. On these days, it's recommended to have your dog stay with a pet sitter or go to daycare. It's best to have them (and you) out of the house.
Boarding: If your dog is weary of strangers and loud noises, it's better that your dog stay with a friend or board overnight at a dog care facility during the construction process. Dogs that are afraid of strangers or loud noises are likely to suffer from anxiety and could be traumatized by the experience. Also, dogs that don't like strangers are more likely to try to attack workers in your home.
Safe Zone: Even when you get home, don't let your dog roam around your house. Workers leave all sorts of sharp and dangerous objects behind like nails, saws, shards of metal and wood, etc. Make sure there is a safe zone in your house for your pets.
Keep a Routine: Try to maintain your pets' routine by keeping feeding and walking times the same, and if possible, not moving their personal belongings or bedding. Food and walks are important to dogs and keeping them the same goes a long way to ensuring they are not overly stressed by the mayhem of construction.
Keep these tips in mind the next time you tackle a house project early on so that you have one less thing on your plate in the process.