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How to Keep Your Dog Calm During Home Renovations: 10 Vet-Reviewed Tips

Written by: Chris Dinesen Rogers

Last Updated on June 12, 2024 by Dogster Team

Three-legged dog inside the house

How to Keep Your Dog Calm During Home Renovations: 10 Vet-Reviewed Tips

VET APPROVED

Dr. Amanda Charles Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Amanda Charles

BVSc MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

Renovating your home is an excellent way to improve your home’s value and salability. Statistics show that 72% of these projects involve interior remodeling. Therefore, it’s likely to be stressful for dogs that are primarily indoor pets. Many renovations last more than one day, making it challenging for caregivers to manage the trauma their animal companions experience.

We understand your dilemma. You want to improve your home but would rather avoid upsetting your pup. Our guide will give you advice about minimizing the stress and helping you both get through the work.

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The 10 Tips for Keeping a Dog Calm During Home Renovations

1. Stick to Your Routine

Jack Russell Terrier dog eats dry food from slow feeding bowl
Image Credit: Reshetnikov_art, Shutterstock

Dogs like a routine. You are probably in that camp, too. That’s what makes home renovations so traumatic—they upset the order of things. One of the best ways to control your dog’s anxiety is to stick to your usual close to normal as possible. Try to walk, feed, or play with your dog at the same time as usual to reinforce safety and security.

Tip:

Discuss the timing of the renovations with your contractor. Determine if you can find some common ground to minimize the stress.


2. Distractions Can Change Your Dog’s Focus

Canines are often food motivated. You can use this to your advantage by providing some distraction for your dog so the noise and change of the routine aren’t so upsetting. A new treat to try or an interactive toy can offer a welcome divergence and help keep your pup calm.


3. Go to the Dog Park or Run Errands

smiling couple with dog in autumn park
Image Credit: Ground Picture, Shutterstock

If things are going to get really loud, it’s probably a great time to take advantage of the dog park or a car ride. Your dog will enjoy the time out of the house and chances to meet new friends, both canine and human. The good news is that the time away will probably wear out your dog so that they’ll sleep when you get back home.

Tip:
Coordinate with your contractor to get the noisiest tasks done in one go, if possible, to minimize their stress.

4. Make Some New Friends at Daycare

If you haven’t used puppy daycare before, home renovations may offer an excellent time to check one out to see if it’s right for you and your pet. Many businesses have short-term plans so you can use their services only when you need them. It’s a helpful option if the renovations involve replacing windows or doors when you can’t safely contain your dog indoors.


5. Learn to Read Your Pet’s Body Language

beagle dog sick sad on bed
Image Credit: Iryna Imago, Shutterstock

If renovations are a new experience for your pet, it’s helpful to learn how to read their emotions to know when it’s becoming too stressful. Look for evident signs, such as pacing, restlessness, or hiding. Dogs also show anxiety by licking their lips and yawning. If your dog seems very upset, take them for a walk to restore some calm with the distractions it offers.

Tip:
Dogs can also read your emotions. If you’re feeling stressed out, your dog realizes it, making downtime outside the home an excellent option.

6. Let Your Dog Check Things Out if It’s Safe

The unknown can be stressful for people and animals. Your pet may also object to being cut off from someplace they usually enter unheeded. You may find that letting your dog check out the situation is enough to quell their anxiety. However, respecting the contractors and their work is imperative. Allow your dog to go in the area only if it’s safe for them to do so.


7. Offer a Safe Space

Image Credit: Catherine Murray, Shutterstock

One of the best things you can do is offer a safe space for your dog to relax when they’re feeling overwhelmed. This is often in the form of a crate or kennel, but it can also be a room that’s not being renovated. If you can, make sure where they are is as quiet as possible, all while providing plenty of airflow, fresh water, food, comfortable bedding, and toys.


8. Add Some White Noise

Many people find white noise comforting, allowing them to relax and tune out unwanted distractions. Your dog might experience similar benefits. It could involve something as simple as running a fan to drown out the noise of the work going on during the renovations, or you could go buy an actual noise machine. However, ensure your dog is comfortable with the sounds they make before using it for extended periods.


9. Consider Letting the Contractors Meet Your Pooch

Man doing renovation work dog construction tools
Image Credit: Zivica Kerkez, Shutterstock

Your dog will know strangers are in your home, which could be welcoming to some pets that want to meet new friends, but it can be upsetting to others, leaving them wanting to check out who these people are. This won’t be suitable for all nervous dogs, but if your contractors agree and you think it will help, consider allowing your pet to meet them. The meeting could satisfy your dog’s curiosity and make it less traumatic for them when the workers enter and leave your property.


10. Monitor Your Pet’s Behavior

Dogs vary in their adaptability to novel experiences. Much depends on training and socialization. Genetics may also play a role. Some pups will find this disruption very alarming, and they may refuse to eat or hide while the activity continues. If your pet’s behavior seems alarming, consult your vet for advice about handling the situation. But all in all, minimizing stress is vital for your pup’s good health.

Tip:
We suggest discussing the issue with your vet before the renovations start so that you have a game plan.
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Conclusion

Renovations are part of home ownership. It’s often disruptive for everyone in the household, including your pup. However, you can take measures before and during the project to make it more manageable and less stressful. You may not be able to diminish all anxiety, but at least you can help your dog feel more secure while everything is topsy-turvy.


Featured Image Credit: Ksenia Raykova, Shutterstock

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