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How to keep your pets safe and happy during a home renovation

Updated: Apr 17

There’s so much to consider when undertaking a renovation. From picking out the right contractor down to the fun details of what tile or fixtures to choose, we often forget this can be a stressful time for our pets. Animals, like their human counterparts, enjoy routine. And since we can’t have a rational talk with our pets (let’s be honest, we’ll try anyway), here are some helpful tips to keep your pets safe and happy during a renovation.

It's important to keep your pets safe and happy during a home renovation
BuildAble loves animals! Our Mulligan, aka our Director of Naps...

Find out if your contractor likes animals.

How could anyone not love your precious Snowball as much as you? Getting cuddles on-site is often the best part of the job for our team, but this isn’t the case for everyone. Some contractors prefer to have a pet-free construction site for safety reasons or may not be as comfortable around animals. Asking their comfort level will give you reassurance if you leave the house for work and helps the contractor focus on their job. This question can also impact whether you decide to board your pet, leave them with a friend or family member, or keep them at home during your renovation.

Create a safe space away from the noise.

New sounds, strange people, equipment and tools coming in and out of the house—this can be overwhelming for homeowners, let alone our furry companions! Creating a space with familiar items like a dog or cat bed in a crate, their favourite toys, and one of your sweaters can be very comforting. Many of our clients give their pets a designated space while we’re working, and one client even created a blanket fort for their older, blind cat (our heart!). By day two of the project, she would come out to greet our workers, but she always had a safe space to go to when the drilling started.

Keep them away from open areas.

During a renovation, your contractor will likely come in and out of the house quite often to carry tools and equipment. Your pet could walk out the open doors if no one’s watching, so try to find ways that will help your pet stay in place. If you have an escape artist on your hands, ensure they’re kept in a room where they can’t get to the front or back door.

Hire a dog walker or get help from a friend.

Having a familiar face take your pooch out for exercise can be the best thing for your pet, especially if they’re a bit stressed. It’s also a great way to have someone check in on your pets, such as a dog walker or neighbour, and reassure them that everything is okay. However, please inform your contractor in advance if someone is stopping by your house so they don’t think a dog or cat-napping is taking place!

Pay attention to their behaviour.

You know your pets better than anyone. If you notice any abnormal behaviours during the renovation, such as peeing in the house, pacing, excessive panting, lip licking, or diarrhea, you’ll want to change their routine. In addition to checking with the vet, having your pet stay elsewhere during a renovation may be beneficial for their health.

Extra clean-up.

If the renovation area can’t be completely blocked off, make sure to do an extra check of the construction area at night. All staples, screws and tools should be cleaned up by your contractor each day, but some pieces might be missed accidentally. It doesn’t hurt to take a second look before your pet takes free range of your home again, preventing any injuries.


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