December 3, 2010

Remembering Your Pets During Renovation (Part One)

Ask any homeowner who has undergone a major renovation and they are sure to tell you how stressful and even traumatic the renovation process can be. No matter how organized or prepared you are, ultimately, you're forced to go about your daily life in a state of upheaval and plan around the presence of workmen in your home.

The mess, the noise, the dust...while we're able to understand that it's all just a temporary price we have to pay to achieve the end result, our our pets aren't able to do the same.

What they see is a home disrupted, and not surprisingly, this can result in a negative change in their behaviour. After all, their house is being invaded by "strangers" who are making a lot of noise and mess as they take it apart. Their owners may even be so distracted they're not giving them the love they deserve!

Monarch president Neil Samson has witnessed first-hand how stressed pets can become during the renovation process. "A few years ago, I was at a client's home doing the final measurements before tear down began," explains Neil. "Because the clients were doing the tear down themselves,I was demonstrating the most effective way to remove the drywall. As I lifted the hammer to the wall, their dog...sensing danger and I imagine, feeling a need to protect his owners...came up behind me and nipped at my leg. While the owners where horrified at their dog's behaviour, his reaction was completely understandable."

What can you do to ease the stress your home renovation will have on your pets? If possible, find them a temporary home during the bulk of the renovation. If this isn't an option, set them up in a quiet room or area not accessible to the many workmen who will be visiting your home. If you do need to change where your pet sleeps and eats while renovating, plan ahead and have your pet adjust to the change a few weeks before renovation begins. This way, they won't have to deal with all the changes at once.