Have you ever forgotten to feed the cat at precisely the same time you do every morning? Or did you decide not to go on your daily walk with your dog? You’ve probably seen the looks of confusion or pure betrayal on your pet’s face when your routine is disturbed. Our pets rely on us for everything, including ensuring their safety and security while going through a home remodel.
The absolute best thing you can do for your pet before starting a remodel is open communication. We don’t mean with your pet, but with your contractor. This might be your first remodel or your second, but your contractor has done hundreds of remodels and has dealt with pets before. They will be your best asset in ensuring your pet is safe during the whole process. They can inform the carpenters that will be on-site, and everyone can do their part to keep your pet safe. Your contractor might even have some tips to share with you to help ease the discomfort your pet might experience during this time.
Set Up Safe Spaces
If you have a crate-trained pup, this is the best way to calm down your pet. Construction can get noisy and might be scary for some pets. Dogs naturally are den animals, and their crate is often a safe space for them to go when they get nervous. Move their crate to a quiet and safe space and allow them to go there whenever they want. You can also use baby gates to keep them out of certain areas of the home. This will enable them to roam free but still stay out of harm’s way. Construction sites are dusty and sometimes messy; you don’t want your pup getting in the way or eating something they shouldn’t.
This can be a little harder for cats since a crate tends to be scarier for them, and baby gates won’t keep them from going anywhere. Instead, you might try dedicating a whole room to your cat. You can add their toys, a bed, and some distracting scents to keep your cat safe and entertained.
After a stressful day, you might reach for a favorite drink or snack to soothe your nerves and help you relax. Cat’s can be settled in similar ways with various products from room sprays or treats. You can even buy sprays that can be applied to their favorite bed or pillow. Construction is noisy, and cats do not like to be cooped up all day. However, for their safety, being locked in a room is best. You can make their day less stressful by using these products to calm them down and allow them to relax until this disrupting situation ends. Just be sure to talk with your pet’s doctor before using any of these products.
If you’re lucky enough to be home all day with your pets, taking them on more walks throughout the day is a great way to give them a break from all that noise and disruption. Even if you don’t go for a walk, you can let your dog into the backyard for extra playtime and maybe throw the ball a few more times to wear them out.
Unfortunately, not all of us are lucky enough to be home with our pets all day. If this is the case, there are many resources you can use to hire someone to walk your dog. For example, you can use a service like Rover where someone can come to your home while you’re at work, and they will take your dog for a walk. Or you could consider taking them to a daycare a few times a week. This is an excellent way to get them socialized, tired from playing all day, and away from the construction mess.
Maintain Your Routine
As much as you can, maintain your pre-construction routine. Dogs and cats both hate when their routine is messed up. You’ve probably experienced a confused pup or an irritated cat when you didn’t feed them at the expected time or go for that after-work walk like you always do. So to lower their stress levels try to keep up with a regular schedule. For example, meals, walks, play, and snuggles should all happen at the same time and place as best you can.
New Treats and Toys
To distract your pets from what’s going on, you might want to try some new treats or toys. Like humans, pets get bored with the same chew toy or cat tree that they have had for years. A home remodel is the perfect time to switch things up and enrich your pet’s environment with new things to explore.
Seek Safety with Friends
Lastly, if your pet still seems too stressed out, maybe let them stay with a friend. This can be hard since remodel projects tend to last for weeks or even months, but with a pet showing severe signs of distress, it might be what’s best. Ask around and see if any of your friends could pet sit, even if it’s just a few days a week. This will let your pet get away from the noise and help them relax.
Our fur babies are important to us, so keeping them safe and happy during a challenging time is critical. So be sure to communicate to your contractor that you have pets, create safe spaces for them, spend as much time outside as you can, and invest in some new toys.
Brittany received her interior design degree in 2010 and recently earned her kitchen and bathroom certifications. She sees her job as much more than just picking out pretty colors and materials – it also involves exact measurements, plenty of planning, and determining how to have a space accurately reflect the lifestyle of its occupants.