New Homeowners’ Etiquette Guide: Pets in the Home During Home Renovations
If you’ve seen our social media already, then you know that we’ve got plenty of furry family members running amok here at Pinto Carpentry. We rescued each of our cats from a life on the streets and gave them a safe, healthy, happy home full to the brim with snuggles, snacks, and naps. We’ve got two resident office cats who are ever so grateful for their luxury accommodations (we’ve got the purrs and snuggles to prove it) ...and one gregarious little gremlin who is never satisfied with suburban house life, and instead prefers to take himself on walkabouts, wandering outside into the yard and into the shop. He’s a tough little guy, but even the bravest pets can get shaken up by the sights, sounds, and sawdust from our woodsdhop and tools. Not to mention, he’s a bit of a safety hazard both in the shop and the home office, so we do our best to corral him when possible.
With that in mind, we realized that our daily management techniques with our own cats would likely come in quite handy for our clients dealing, too. If you’re scheduling renovations and construction on your home, and not sure what to do about your pets, our handy guide will give you the confidence and know-how to ensure a pet-friendly project! For our latest installment in the Homeowners’ Etiquette Guide, today’s blog is dedicated to tips and tricks for keeping your furry, finned, and four-legged pals safe and sound and calm while the contractors are around.
Let’s learn together!
New Homeowners’ Etiquette Guide: Pets in the Home with Contractors
Inform your contractors that you have pets in the home. Let them know how many, what breeds/species, and their names/appearances. If your contractor and your pet are amenable, a consensual and friendly introduction may help your pet understand that the crew are “Friends” and here to help. It can ease anxiety of the sights/sounds of new people in and around their sacred home turf.
Inform your contractors of any personality traits, fears, anxieties, or aggression that your animals may display. Is your dog very friendly and tries to befriend everyone they meet? This may make them a safety hazard following workers around the job site. Is your pup very wary of people wearing hats? This might be an issue for hard-hat crews. Do the pets have any special training such as service skills or guard dog training etc? This helps workers know if something is normal for the pet or if they’re reacting unfavorably/unusually and need to contact you or the pet caretaker for assistance and/or intervention.
Inform the crew if there are any special instructions for entering/exiting the property to ensure the safety and security of your pets. This point is especially important for aggressive and fearful animals who may make escape attempts and not respond to recalls or may act in fear if they should slip out. Make sure there is at least one point of contact for your crew in case of any animal emergencies or concerns, or any adverse reactions due to construction site risks.
Remember: While some contractors may be pet-friendly, please be aware that they are still there to complete a home related task or construction project, and are not there to babysit your household pets. Please, do not ask your contractors to let your pets out for potty breaks or playtime or feed them. Arrange alternate care for your pets instead, and let your construction crew finish their project safely.
Consult your vet prior to the work date to see if anxiety medication or calming supplements may also help subdue fears, anxiety, and discomfort around contractors in the home or living in a construction site.
Consider purchasing a white noise machine, or queuing up some ambient sound playlists as well as some quiet television or soothing visual aids. This can help calm and distract your pet, and they’re more likely to settle and sleep through the process. Likewise, placing a HEPA air filter in the vicinity of your pets may help them breathe easier whilst also dampening noise from tools and workers.
Quarantine your pet in a safe area, preferably as far away from teh renovations and construction as possible. Avoid letting your pet wander into or near the construction site, but we also generally advise against allowing them to free range in your home while the crew is on site. If your pet is going to remain at home, especially if you won’t be, it is highly recommended that you crate your pets or at the very least keep them sequestered in a pet-proof room with a closed door (especially one that locks from the outside for those determined escape artists!) Keep things interesting by providing enrichment in the form of frozen snacks, new toys, food puzzles, or Pet TV apps.
If you’re able to stay home while workers are on site, it’s even better if you stay with your pet in their safe space. Take them outside for extra play sesh or more frequent long walks to give them a break from the sights, sounds, and smells. In the absence of pet parents, we also recommend “doggy daycare”, hiring a day-time pet sitter, or asking your dog walker for special long, extended playtimes; it can help them acclimate and settle if they’ve had adequate stimulation, enrichment, and human contact!
Understand the risks of keeping your pets in the home during renovations/construction:
Fumes, dust, debris from the work being done
Use of paint, varnish, stain, glue, stripping chemicals, etc.
Extremely loud, jarring, and unusual noises from heavy machinery, power tools, equipment, and crew members moving around
Heavy equipment and dangerous machinery in operation on site
Dangers of your pets accidentally consuming unexpected food (the crew’s meals or someone feeding food/treats they shouldn’t, etc)
Extreme light risk or escape attempts with poor recall due to fear/anxiety
Some breeds are extra prone to breathing and aspiration issues which may especially be exacerbated by renovations
Know the warning signs of adverse health reactions to chemicals used on site or inhalation of particles in the air. Contact your local veterinary emergency group or your vet immediately if you suspect your pet is having issues or toxicity.
Remember to give your pet extra attention, love, and care after the crew have left your home for the day and/or finished the project at hand.