Let’s face it, while home renovations are exciting and highly anticipated, they also come along with a fair amount of stress … for everyone. According to Susan, “people think that our company and crew do not care for dogs, cats, and other household pets.” But she is adamant, “That could not be further from the truth! But they do cause a high level of stress for us…”
To be honest, Susan admits, “I usually end up feeling sorry for them. A renovation can really be tough on pets.” Over the years, Susan has developed a few tips for keeping your pets organized and out of trouble during a home renovation … and stress-free.
- Pets are family members, of course, they are! But, unlike the rest of your family, they do not understand or comprehend a renovation. So plan ahead. There will be days of unbearable noise and traffic with strangers, which is highly stressful for pets. Make plans to have them out of the house during the busiest points of your renovation.
- Stay in constant contact with your contractors to know not just the day they’ll be there, but the time you can expect them. Then you’ll be able to have your pet’s safe space and all their favorite toys ready to get to at a second’s notice no matter where a contractor is in your house. It’s too easy for that favorite bone to disappear into the contractor’s trash bin.
- Prep your pet, and yes “poop them out”. Literally. A well-organized pet who has been relieved is likely to curl up in that far-away bedroom spot and just chill out for the day’s renovation activities. Sometimes playing music to drown out the construction noise or a TV in the background can be helpful as well.
- Pets are creatures of habit. They find safety and comfort when the things in their world are predictable and routine. Renovations can throw all of that out the window, creating chaos and stress for your pet. Stick to your pet’s regular routine as closely as possible during the renovations and make boarding plans outside the home during the messiest stage of the renovation.
- Do a thorough sweep at the end of each day, looking for staples, nails, bits of glass or wire, paint cans – anything that might cause harm to your pet. Because this is an active construction site, regular daily cleaning might miss some tiny things that your pet will be able to find.
- Not everyone likes dogs and other pets… (WHAT!?!) “It’s true,” says Susan. “Many of our trade partners have their own pets, but that doesn’t mean they want to be around yours,” Susan explains. While they will certainly always be courteous around your pets, the fact is not everyone is comfortable around pets, may be allergic, etc.
The solution, Susan recommends, is “keeping your pets contained while the contractors are in the house. They have a job to do, and most appreciate not having pets underfoot while they try to do it. Remember that doors will be left open periodically to bring in material, and there’s nothing worse than a pet on the run! I distinctly remember chasing an elusive cat around UA for about an hour one lovely afternoon!”