Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Making it safe for your dog during house renovations

(By Andrea Servadio, co-founder of Fitdog Sports Club)

 A few years ago we underwent a six  week construction project and decided to stay at our place.  All of us, including our dog and cat, were confined to two rooms of the house.  It bothered our cat much more than our dog. She wanted to see what was happening to her space, so eventually (after hours of her meowing at the door), we let her out to explore when the workers were gone.  She came back happy and covered in sawdust. We had to wipe her down quickly before she tried to clean it off herself or jump into our bed. But besides her nightly walks, she spent the whole of construction sleeping. 

The dog loved having people at the house because it meant more attention for him. However, he’s a bit of a klutz and low to the ground, so he never got to roam around.  His life consisted of walk ways and us picking him up to move to and from certain rooms. I ended up taking him to work every day for some much needed exercise and space. As long as he was cuddled up with us at night and getting belly rubs from the workers during the day, he seemed unaffected. Overall it wasn’t as bad as it could have been, and honestly, bothered us humans way more than it did our pets.  

But whether it’s a small renovation project or a complete kitchen redesign, every experience is different and depending on the personality of your pets, you may want to keep them far away from the action.  If you’re considering braving a construction project at your home, here are some quick tips to keep your pets safe: 

Keep your pets in a safe room while workers are in your house. Typically during construction, doors and windows are left wide open so workers and come and go with materials. Easy exits make it highly likely your pets will run out. 

--Make sure your pets are properly tagged and microchipped.  For the reason stated above, just in the off chance a worker opens the door to where your pets are  being kept, and your dog or cat bolts, you want to make sure he’s tagged and chipped so he’s safety returned to you.  

--Sawing, painting and demolition result in a lot of toxic fumes and waste which could be poisonous for your pets. On these days, it’s recommended to have your dog stay with a pet sitter or go to daycare. It’s best to have them (and you) out of the house.  

 --If your dog is weary of strangers and loud noises, it’s better that your dog stay with a friend or board overnight at a dog care facility during the construction process.  Dogs that are afraid of strangers or loud noises are likely to suffer from anxiety and could be traumatized by the experience. Also dogs that don’t like strangers are more likely to try to attack workers in your home. 

--Even when you get home, don’t let your dog roam around your house. Workers leave all sorts of sharp and dangerous objects behind like nails, saws, chards of metal and wood, etc.  Make sure there is a safe zone in your house for your pets. 

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