Are you about to take on a home remodel, but find yourself worried sick your pet won’t be able to handle it?
As owner of a home remodeling company, I’ve gotten up-close-and-personal with many pets over the years. While the thought of managing your pet’s stress level with all the comings and goings of contractors can seem overwhelming, I can assure you that all of our “pet clients” have survived home renovations unscathed. With some thought and planning, your 4 legged fur-baby should be just fine!
Here are my top 5 tips for keeping the peace with your pets:
Location, Location, Location
We all know our furry friends have favorite spots where they like to hang out around the house. If those usual spaces are going to be close to the areas being renovated, you’ll want to find them a temporary home while construction is underway (start this about 1-2 weeks before you start).
Their new hang-out space should be as far away from the noise as possible (pets have a much keener sense of hearing than humans). You can even try adding a white noise machine, fan or air purifier to help muffle the disruption.
Most importantly, move their most coveted belongings over (you know…their comfy little pillow, basket of toys and favorite ottoman).
Curb their curiosity
Introducing your pet (and reintroducing weekly!) to the tradespeople who will be at your house can go a long way in making your pet comfortable. You can even ask your lead contractor ahead of time if each person coming to your home could give your dog a treat (provided by you) and allow some “get to know you sniffs” assuming they are not allergic or afraid.
During the renovation, your home will become a revolving door of trades people. If your dog reacts when people come to the door (barking, lunging, jumping…) you’ll want to desensitize them to the doorbell/visitors well before your renovation begins – there’s a plethora of training tips for this online.
If your pet is an escape artist, make sure you fit them with a microchip and/or ensure they have a collar with an ID tag on at all times. While you and your contractor certainly will do your best to keep your pet from getting out, knowing how you’d find them IF something were to go awry will give you peace of mind
Give them a Spa Day (or two)
Everyone needs a mental health break from time to time and our furry friends are no different. Consider taking Fido to a pet “Day Spa” or to a relative or neighbor’s home on the days when it’s going to be extra noisy or dusty. If they’ve never been to a pet spa, try it a few times before you start your renovation so they get familiar with it ahead of time.
And don’t underestimate the power of shorter getaways! Taking your dog on a long walk, or to a park to swim each morning, will tire them out and make them more likely to chill in the afternoon.
Good Vibes Only
Animals are super-sensitive to our feelings, so do your best to keep your emotions in check when you’re with them. Instead of approaching with an “I’m so sorry, how’re you doing in here? Are you okay?” attitude, show them a little enthusiasm and excitement so they can mirror you.
In other words, the more they know you’re okay, they more likely they’ll be okay!
And that’s the positive side of doing a home remodel! Sometimes skittish pets become desensitized to new people and become more well adjusted in the long run. I call that a win/win!
Would you like more insight on how to successfully take on a home renovation? My FREE download is packed with tips and tricks on how to ensure your next renovation project is stress-free. The download includes:
- Simple ways to minimize disruption to your daily life.
- How to set clear expectations with your contractor (before the first hammer is swung).
- Tips to prepare your FAMILY for construction disruption.
- and so much more!
You can download it here.