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How to make sure your pets are safe during a renovation project

Last modified: 2020-04-02 | Approximate reading time 3 mins

Christine Simard

It's an issue a lot of people know about and that isn't always easy to manage. If you thought your renovation project was stressing you out, imagine the strain it's taking on your pets. Not only do they feel your stress, but they will also need to deal with the loud noises, the screaming, strangers in their environment, etc.

Although for larger jobs, it is best to relocate your furry friends, this option is not always available for everyone. Here are some temporary solutions to help, and some warning signs that you should stay alert for that will indicate the state of your animal.

How to make sure your pets are safe during any renovation project

Some indicators to look for in your pets during the work

Contrary to humans, animals have an acute sense of hearing and smell. Especially in cats, any sudden changes can create a high level of anxiety since they are creatures of habit. Some signs to look for are:

  • Hair loss;

  • Rapid breathing (especially in cats that seem to be breathing like dogs);

  • Loss of appetite;

  • Aggressive behaviour;

  • Accidents around the house;

  • Barking, meowing or damages to your furniture.

The first few steps to ensure your pet's comfort during the project

Introducing strangers

Whether it be cats or dogs, try as best you can to introduce the new people that will be walking around your house on a regular basis to your pets. Not only will you help them get used to new smells around them, but you will also help reduce their stress linked to new strangers in their space.

Define a safe space

Your little friends have favourite toys and favourite spots in your house. If the renovations are taking place close to these areas, it's important you move your pet's belongings to a room that is secure and comforting to them. Recognizing a familiar scent in a new room will facilitate their adaptation.

bulldog wearing a construction hat

Source: Minafies

Pheromone therapy to calm things down

An option to seriously consider is using products that help in reducing stress, many of which contain pheromones. Especially in cats, brands like Felliway offer products either in spray form or diffusers or like the brand Sentry that offers a collar with pheromones and lavender.

By plugging the diffuser at least 1 to 2 weeks prior to the start of the project, your cat will have enough time to adjust to the atmosphere of the room. Otherwise, you can use the spray on their crate or carrier, or their bed.

On the natural side, there are oils infused with CBD made for pets that you can easily find online or in certain pet stores. Either taken orally or made to be applied directly on the fur (behind the ears), they are safe to use on your pets, but it is always best to ask your veterinarian if you have any doubts

Cat in paint bucket.

Extra precautions to take during renovations for your pets' safety

  • Keep an eye out for any easy exits. The constant movement of a construction site mixed with distractions could lead to an unfortunate accident and your pet could sneak outside.

  • Make sure that your pets are microchipped. In order to avoid any unfortunate events such as what was mentioned prior, having your animals microchipped will aid in their safe return home and prevent any more chaos to this event.

  • Clean up after each day of work. By keeping the space clean, you'll avoid your pets stepping on any dangerous materials that could harm them.

  • Hide the tools and electrical wires at heights. Like mentioned in the previous point, keeping dangerous tools away in a secure room will prevent any accident.

  • Stay alert. Keep track of your pets' behaviour, evaluate their temper, change their water frequently. Also, make a habit of creating a rotation of new toys to keep them distracted.

dog on renovation worksite

So, what about you?

In the end, although it's best to relocate your pets during larger renovation projects, these easy tips could help you during smaller projects, like your bathroom or a specific room. To learn more about stress management for you and other humans living in your house during renovations, here are some useful articles you could read:

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