How to Keep Your Pets Safe During A Home Renovation

Every home renovation involves dust, noise and foot traffic. While these disturbances are tolerable for most people, they can be very upsetting for pets. When selecting a contractor, make sure they will be respectful of your home and everyone that lives in it – humans and animals alike.

Cats & Dogs

All the noise, unfamiliar smells and strange people moving about can cause fear in pets that leads to erratic actions and may even lead to injuries. The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends sending your pets on a safe “holiday.” If the remodeling work focuses on a specific area (kitchen remodeling, for instance), place your pet in another room in a kennel or crate.

You will be closing off your pet for most of the day, so follow these guidelines:

  1. Make sure the room has appropriate temperature control. Don’t leave your pet in an uninsulated garage, a sunroom or out on the porch during extreme weather.
  2. If you have more than one pet, make sure they’re comfortable being housed with each other.
  3. Provide access to water to prevent dehydration. Set reminders on your phone to feed pets.
  4. Provide regular bathroom breaks for dogs. Cats should have access to a clean litter box.

If your pets have a history of anxiety or have medical complications such as diabetes, consider boarding them instead. They’ll receive the best care and you can focus on your remodeling project in the meantime.


Birds are very sensitive to certain types of glue, paint and aerosols, all of which may be used during remodeling. Keeping them in a separate room won’t be enough, as these particulates can still reach them through the HVAC system. An air purifier can help with the indoor air quality issue. However, you may also consider having your feathered friends stay with a friend or family member, or at a bird-safe boarding center.

Aquatic Animals

Fish and aquatic animals may not breathe air, but the presence of the aforementioned substances harmful to birds can also enter fish tanks and get mixed into the water. This can change the water pH level (making it too acidic or base) and may even be toxic to your aquatic friends. As with birds, a fish tank should be moved to a separate temperature-controlled room with an air purifier.

Don’t forget to discuss your pets’ needs with your remodeler so they can take them into consideration during the remodeling process.

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