6 Handy Tips When Renovating With Dogs In The House

Kevin Roberts just finished renovating his house, and as a dog day, that means that extra precautions had to be taken to keep his pooches safe. Here are a few tips to keep in mind if you’re planning on remodeling with dogs in the house.

A new garage.  Painting walls. Refinishing hardwood floors. Building a new fence. Installing new windows. A kitchen overhaul.  Putting up a gazebo. Redoing a recreation room (due to flooding). Been there, done that, have the bill to prove it. All this work done with my dogs around, and we survived to tell the tale! Whether your renovation dreams are big or small, if they involve a pet, you are going to have some extra planning to do.

Our newest renovation project involved renovating our kitchen. Some of the work we did ourselves, and some of it we hired experts.  We tore the kitchen out right down to the studs, ripped the floors out, down to the joists. We moved a doorway and rewired everything. Knocked a hole in the wall, cut a hole in the roof for a fan, rerouted the vents and put in a new window. Lights were added everywhere, along with new paint, and more cupboards. Our 60-year-old kitchen is now bright, modern and easy to use. This has been a long process, during which we lived in the house with our dogs. We don’t have a large house, and it wasn’t always easy, but we may it through.

We followed these tips to keep our dogs safe.

Routine

Dogs are creatures of habit. They find safety and comfort when the things in their world are predictable. Renovations can throw all of that out the window, creating chaos and stress for your dog. Stick to your dog’s regular routine as closely as possible during the renovations.  If your dog is going to need to be fed or sleep somewhere else in the house, start before the renovations. Regular playtime and walks are great ways for our dogs to burn off their excess energy and avoid stress. Your dog will be happier during the renos with a predictable routine.

Containment

To keep your dog safe during the renovations – and all the chaos that goes along with it – you are going to need a way to contain your dog.

A room far from the renovations, with a door that you can securely close, would be ideal. If it’s not a room that your dog is used to spending time in, start making a positive association with the area before the renovations take place. Feed your dog some special treats or let him have his dinner in the room. As soon as he is done eating in there, then let him out. The idea is that this will be a place you can keep your dog securely away from the dangers of the renovations.

Have a safe place

For our dogs, their kennels are their safe places. The kennels provide a safe and comfortable place where they can retreat and take a nap or chew on a favorite toy. Before we started the renovations, we moved the kennels to another room, which was going to be more accessible to the dogs.

If your dog isn’t kennel trained, then perhaps it’s a blanket or piece of furniture that provides comfort and safety. Consider where you can set up your dog’s safe place. It would be ideal if you can contain the dog in the area of the safe place, to keep him out from underfoot and away from any of the possible dangers of the construction zone.

Toxins and dangers

You will be thankful your dog has a safe place to stay out of the mess, wet paint, freshly varnished floors, power tools or various electrical cords. Mold or asbestos might be uncovered during the renovation process. The list of dangers goes on and on.  If it’s toxic to humans, it’s toxic for our pets as well. With smaller bodies that use less lung capacity, it doesn’t take much of a dangerous substance to harm a dog. Be aware of the products being used in your home, and ask if they are safe for pets.

Do a thorough sweep at the end of each day, looking for staples, nails, bits of glass or wire – anything that might cause harm to your dog. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

Also be clear about where workers can throw the garbage from their lunches. Dispose if it properly so your dog doesn’t get into any wrappers of leftover which might make him sick.

Not everyone likes dogs (WHAT!?!)

It’s true. Not everyone who will be working on the renovation project is comfortable around dogs.   For that reason, it’s best to keep your dog away and contained while you have workers in the house.  Plus, they have a job to do, and may not appreciate a dog who can’t control his licker.

Check the gate

With people coming and going, often carrying heavy objects and tools, the gate to your yard is likely going to be opened and closed, opened and closed and opened and closed (you get the picture).  It’s best to check it, and often. It’s pretty obvious when a door to the house has been left open, but it can be easy to miss the gate. Before you let your dog out in the yard, just double check the gate has been closed and latched.

Renovations can be a very fun, and stressful time for our pets, as well as for us. Be sure to take a break from the hard work, mess and chaos to get out and play with your dogs!

kev-robertsKevin Roberts lives for adventure. Together with his pack of rescue dogs and his husband, he spends as much time outdoors as possible. Kevin lives by the motto: “Get outside and play with your dogs!”


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