Keeping Your Animals Safe During Home Renovations
But what about our pets? It’s just as important to take care of them when it comes to the bedlam of renovation. Ideally, you’d be able to take them off-site, but that’s not always possible.
Here are five handy tips to keep your animals happy and healthy during a renovation.
1. Watch for signs of stress in your pets
There are several ways animals show us they’re stressed out, so it’s important to keep an eye on their emotions while the renovations are taking place.
Look for things like a loss of appetite; urinating in the house even though they’re toilet-trained; destructive behaviour; shedding an unusual amount of hair, and general irritability.
Depending on your pet, some of these actions may not be out of place – but when a number starts to show up, it’s time to act, helping your pets feel safe and comfortable.
2. Create a safe area for your pets
This one might seem like a no-brainer – just close the door! But what if you’re renovating an open living area? If your pet is used to having the run of the house, it’s not ideal to keep them shut in a small laundry or bathroom, especially when they’re already stressed from the commotion.
Consider using temporary fencing barriers to section off the part of the house that is being renovated. It will mean you don’t have to constantly worry about the whereabouts of your pets, while also making sure they’re not cooped up.
If the renovation is a particularly messy one, you can also use shade cloth rolls, or sediment cloth rolls, on the temporary fencing to help confine dust and debris to that part of the house.
If you have a pergola installed or a large patio area, you could even consider creating a safe pet-friendly patio for your furry friends to relax in.
3. Control the exits in your home
Keep your pet in their safe area while workers are in the house – often during construction, doors are left open so workers can easily bring in materials.
Any dog or cat owner will know they’re always looking for a way to sneak outside, especially if new and exciting (or scary!) things are going on.
Make sure your pet has no access to “easy exits” but just in case they do manage to slink out, make sure your cat or dog is tagged and microchipped in accordance with your local council, so they can be easily identified and returned to you.
4. Consider pet-sitting or animal day-care
It’s a rare renovation that doesn’t have days that are loud or painting that needs to be done, perhaps even a swathe of demolition – plan these days out and consider taking advantage of a local pet-sitting or animal day-care service.
No matter how cool your cat or dog can be, they may struggle with days that are particularly loud or where there’s a lot of people coming and going. Look into what services are available, or see if there’s any family or friends that might be able to take care of them for the day. It will give you peace of mind as well, which is important.
5. Stick to a routine
If there’s one thing house renovations are good at, it’s disrupting routines. You’ll likely be struggling enough as it is, so spares a thought for your poor pet trying to process what’s going on.
Even though it’s probably the last thing on your mind during a renovation, stick to a routine for your pet. Keep feeding and walking times the same and try not to move their bed or toys from familiar places.
It might not put your pet completely at ease, but it will go a long way to helping them feel safe during the renovation period.
It’s likely your pet will be put out by any renovation, but if you stick to these tips and combine them with lots of cuddles, your pet will have a relatively painless experience!
6. Time for a holiday
Do you have professionals coming in to complete the home renovation?
Well, why not head off on a holiday with your pets, travelling across beautiful Australia. Keep in mind that not all accommodation providers are pet-friendly, although you can find some local caravan parks that accept pets with conditions.
Remember to pack everything you need for a long stay, including beds, food and toys for your pets. While you may be planning a weekend or weeklong renovation, it can often be delayed - so it’s important to over-prepare compared to under-prepare.