By Monday, July 2, 2018 10 No tags Permalink

Home renovations with dogs is chaos. Plain and simple! …


It took us eleven months to find the pawfect contractor. When we did, we were ready to go – let the sledge hammers fly!

As major demolitions got underway – heavy plastic tarp covered the doorways which significantly reduced the amount of dust and debris. Having the Boys in the forefront of our minds as we planned this project, the additional tarp was a prerequisite.


If you as a pet parent are contemplating a home renovation, think through what extra precautions you may need to take to protect your four legged loved ones.

Do you have a safe place to contain your dog while the work is being done?

Lee is  home while I am at work which allows him the ability to oversee every step of the construction as well as look after the Boys.

The men working in our house are all super pet friendly, but I do not expect them to look after their welfare or protect them from renovation dangers.

If you’re unable to stay home while the work is being done, pawhaps a safe room with a barrier or crate, can protect them from stepping on something dangerous. If that’s not possible, a doggie day care facility may be the answer.


When we interviewed each contractor we discussed the materials, chemicals, and equipment they would use for this project. I requested (several times) to have prior knowledge about:

  • when extremely loud equipment would be used
  • which chemicals had strong odors
  • what stages of construction contained airborne toxins

Thankfully, we only had two days of extreme noise and one day with chemical odors. On those days, the Boys were removed from the home during application/use.

Lee keeps them with him at all times. If it’s a supply run, bank visit, or a MacDonalds drive-thru for a hot breakfast, they’re right there.

Just the other day I went to Home Depot and three different departments asked me “where are the Boys?” …



is certainly worth a pound of cure!

Mold, asbestos and lead paint can be hazardous to a dog. Educate yourself with what’s coming off and know the materials that are going on.

Terrified they may run into staples, nails, or something life threatening – my “safety first” mentality means extra work well after the contractors leave at the end of each day.

Before Harley and Jaxson are allowed full rein of the house – we sweep, vacuum, swift-it and if necessary – mop the floors. Yep! It’s a great deal of work. But I want to breathe easy the rest of the evening…



Everyone’s lifestyle will drastically change during home renovations. You can bet on it and dogs are no exceptions.

I wanted to believe I could keep their routine the same, but all my energy focused primarily on walks and meals. I didn’t broaden that  scope much. One day, I couldn’t find either one of them. I went upstairs to find them in a room we’ve stashed things to keep them from getting ruined and found them here…


These are their beds. Obviously they miss their beds and I had no idea. It broke my heart. #petparentblues

Every once in a while, I now sit in this room with them so they can spend time with their beds. It’s an early evening thing, a new routine for us (I guess) until renovations end, and the beds return to their original place.


As I patiently (and anxiously) wait for some sense of normalcy to creep back into my life I sometimes giggle at the thought of this actually happening.

I constantly look for signs of stress, but so far – so good.

No indications like –

  • lack of appetite
  • accidents in the house
  • change in temperament or pawsonality

What’s working to our advantage is that one of us are always there with them.

If your making some major summer renovations to your home, be mindful of your dogs comfort, safety and overall reaction to the changes that occur.

Wishing you a safe and happy 4th of July

  • Emma
    July 3, 2018

    Mom always lived in a construction zone as kid. Her dad would start a new house and move in before it was done. Work continued and about the time it was finished, the house would sell, and it would start over again. They only had a cat, so it wasn’t such a big deal. No wonder she won’t live in a renovation project anymore. I’m sure it will be over for you before you know it and you will love the new home!

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 24, 2018

      I can so relate to your mom right about now. The kitchen is finished – but then there’s the rest of the house #ugh!
      Hopefully now things will go much faster. That’s my prayer at least….

  • Monika & Sam
    July 3, 2018

    Life during a renovation is always a cluster, add a couple dogs and you become a saint. Hang in there!

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 24, 2018

      I think now that the kitchen is finished, we can run through the rest of the first floor (just need to paint) bring in some of our things from storage and start to feel like home as we attack the second level. The kitchen – my little corner office and “she shed” seemed to last forever. I love it and will spend the weekend putting all my kitchen things away. It’s a process I keep telling myself, it’s a process…

  • Pamela
    July 4, 2018

    Sounds like everyone in the family will be relieved to have construction done. But you’ve done such a great job in managing everything.

    This is the first time I’ve read a post like this. I wonder if a home renovation magazine would pay for an article on what pet people should consider when starting a big house project?

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 24, 2018

      I am always amazed at how your mind works girlfriend. I will definitely look into it. Thanks

    • Lee
      August 8, 2018

      Also, consider writing an article for a builder/architecture or contractor magazine about how home renovators can/should be knowledgable about and sensitive to) the concerns of homeowners with pets! This type of article will not only educate the renovators, but the smart ones will see the marketing benefits to getting this right…
      Lee N.

      • Cathy Bennett
        August 11, 2018

        AbsoDOODLEtutely! Thanks so much for the suggestion – I am definitely feeling the love!

  • Jan K
    July 7, 2018

    We took on a lot of projects at our previous house, but it was newer so things were a bit easier. Plus we did one project at a time – not the whole thing all at once like you’re doing. But I know how tough it is. You try to think of everything but just can’t. I remember so many evenings spent cleaning up, picking up nails and debris…trying to get everything a dog might get into.
    It sounds like you’ve got things figured out pretty well!
    We were friends with our regular contractors, and they used to enjoy throwing the ball for the dogs in between working….Cricket had them trained quite well!
    Now we have to keep Luke even more out of the way when we have things done, since he’s afraid of everyone. Thank goodness for gates and crates! 🙂

    • Cathy Bennett
      July 24, 2018

      We’re trying to break it up a bit – I mean the money will only go so far all at once, you know what I mean? LOL
      Now that the kitchen is finished, we can paint the living and dining rooms and the entire first floor will be ready for me to get some of my furnishings out of storage and feel as f I am finally moving in.
      The Boys have been great, but them all they really want to know is that we’re all together and they are fine.
      Soon we will attack the upstairs, but outside of re-doing the bathroom, the bedrooms are going to be a piece of cake.