How to Care for Your Pets During A Renovation

Not only is our long-overdue kitchen renovation taking a toll on us, it’s also taking a toll on the pets. A few of you have reached out and asked how they are doing, especially when I posted a prompt for my Q&A series. So I thought it was time to check in, let you know how they are doing, and offer some tips that have helped us to care for our pets during a renovation!

Our Tips for Keeping Your Pets Happy During a Renovation

Make their presence known.

If you follow any tip from this post, it should be this one! Any time a contractor, worker or delivery person comes to your home, make sure they are aware that there are pets. I actually meet people at our fence to give them a heads up. This helps to avoid the possibility of one of our dogs or the cat slipping away and getting lost. I’m also very strict about making sure they keep the fence gate closed as much as possible!

Set boundaries.

Just like when I shared tips for how we stay sane during a renovation, many of those can be used for dogs and cats, too. For example, we’ve made sure to keep our bedroom as construction-free as possible. This has proven to help our tiny zoo, too! Georgette now spends most of her time in there because it’s a nice respite from the chaos and noise. The dogs are a bit easy (read: nosy) because they like to see what’s going on. But I can tell they are over it at times. So that’s when they also hang out in the bedroom.

Also, in terms of boundaries, we set up a plastic barrier to keep the pets out of the kitchen as much as possible — especially during demo and when the walls were open! You never know what gross stuff they can find or eat, so this was extra prevention to keep them safe and healthy.

Use pheromones.

Cats tend to be more finicky than dogs, so usually I keep at least one Feliaway diffuser going at all times in our home. But now that it’s a construction site, I’ve upped it to 3! Basically, this diffuser releases pheromones that help reduce stress-related behavior in cats. After dealing with some next-level angry cat pee behavior, I swear by these!

Get out of the house even more.

You can tell when the dogs haven’t had enough walks because they get a crazy look in their eye! All joking aside, we give the dogs at least one walk a day normally. But during a renovation… the walks get longer and more frequent! It’s great for everyone involved, tbh.

Maintain as much normalcy as you can.

It’s so easy to get caught up in working on the kitchen, so we actually used Alexa to set a daily reminder to feed our pets. They are creatures of habit, so feeding them at the same time every day helped to maintain some sense of normalcy.

Find a place to go.

And finally, if you know something especially loud and upsetting is going to happen during your project, try to find a place for your pets to go away from the home. Thankfully, Sean’s dad lives 3 blocks away so we can bring him some visitors (this was especially awesome when the roof was being put on!). If you don’t have that option, try to bring your dog to work, ask a friend to watch them, or look into a boarding facility.

Those are some tips that have really helped us over the past few months of construction. Sarah from Room for Tuesday also shared some tips last week, so be sure to check those out, too. And if you have any I should add to this list, let me know in the comments!

photography by Jojotastic.

Behind The Blog

Joanna Hawley-McBride is a Pacific Northwest-based social media strategist, content creator, and former textile designer. Joanna is the founder and editor-in-chief of Jojotastic, a lifestyle blog focused on Joanna’s work-in-progress cabin, finding the best pair of underwear through #UnderwearThesis, and empowering women to explore nature — all in her signature unfiltered style. Her work has been featured in Domino, CNBC, and Eating Well.

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