How to Renovate — The Pet -Friendly Way

Maybe you’ve decided on spring to do some home renovations, not just cleaning. Experts have a bevy of tips to make your house look fabulous and keep Fifi safe.


Even if you’re in the market for a quick refresh instead of a remodel, there are purchases that are more pup-friendly. “There are so many cost-effective ways to protect the home and furniture nowadays,” says Samantha Hull, a professional groomer and program manager for the Animal Behavior College’s Grooming Instruction Program in Valencia, California. “For example, you can purchase a fitted pet-proof cover for your couches that can easily be cleaned in a washer or even stain-proof rugs and carpets for large areas.”


“It is important to look for pet-friendly materials,” advises Melissa Gulbranson, vice president of marketing for Oxyfresh, based in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. “There are amazing floorings available that can withstand the claws of a fetching dog. They are also nontoxic, so they don’t emit chemicals that can be harmful to pets.”
Sandy Robins, award-winning author and pet lifestyle expert based in Southern California, says, “Apart from real wood, there are many options such as wood laminates. Be sure you choose a quality option that is scratch-resistant. Big dogs running around can really make their mark!”

Laura Pakis, CPT, blogger and owner and founder of Acme Canine, in Columbus, Ohio, adds, “For easy cleanup of hair or dog excrement, consider cork, bamboo or vinyl. They are durable and look great year after year.” She points out issues specific to carpets. “Dogs can easily snag and cause Berber carpet to run. Carpet also harbors odors and stains that slowly build up over time, eventually causing your carpet to look and smell bad.”

Walls and windows

“Fumes created by solvents in paint can irritate your dog’s respiratory tract as well as his eyes and stomach,” Laura says. “Even if you are using low-emission paint, it’s best to keep your dog out of the room while painting and also while the paint is drying. As far as paint is concerned, consider semi-gloss, eggshell or satin over flat finish. They will be easier to clean and look good.”

According to the ASPCA website, “Many pet parents welcome the breezy days of spring by opening their windows. Unfortunately, they also unknowingly put their pets at risk. Be sure to install snug and sturdy screens in all of your windows.”


If you want a new look on a smaller budget, give your couch a makeover. “When reupholstering furniture, look for tight-weave fabrics such as canvas, denim and synthetic microfiber,” Laura suggests.

If you’ve been planning for a new sofa in the spring, another easy-to-clean option is leather. You can still use a blanket for your dog to keep the couch fresher longer.

Renovators beware: The ASPCA website also cautions pet parents to be aware of renovation tools left on the floor — including nails, staples, insulation, blades and power tools — and their physical hazards. It’s wise to confine your dog to a designated pet-friendly room during home improvement projects.

Read Next: A Spring Cleaning Task List for Dog Owners

Top photography: Astakhova | Getty Image


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