DIY Causing Pet Illness
Are home renovations causing our pets to get sick? Pet Insurance Australia takes a look at DIY and the connection with certain illness’ and what homeowners can do to prevent problems.
“With Spring in full swing many pet owners will be considering refreshing the home with a fresh coat of paint or going the whole distance with an extensive renovation,” Nadia Crighton from Pet Insurance Australia says. “However, it’s a good idea to plan ahead to prevent pet problems.”
Dr Vadim Chelom BVSc, CEO of Pawssum and House Call Veterinarian agrees that more consideration needs to be made when it comes to the health of our pets during these times.
“In my house call work, I see a disproportionate number of pets adversely affected by the impact of home renovations – both physical and anxiety-related,” he says. “Pets at around one in 10 of the homes I attend are being affected by home renovations and it is often easier to diagnose a problem when visiting the pet’s home environment. A cursory walk around the property usually reveals the culprit.”
Some of the most common problems associated with home renovations include:
• Lead ingestion
• Asbestos exposure
• Toxic fumes
• Physical injury
• Anxiety and stress
“In financial year 2015 we recorded approximately 227 claims that could have been the direct result of home renovations. This included poisoning cases not specified and exposure to unspecified toxins,” Nadia Crighton from Pet Insurance Australia says.
“By comparison, in the 2018 financial year, we saw 2,494 such claims. While this increase could, in part, be due to increased uptake in pet insurance over those years, it still shows there is an increasing number of pets at risk due to poisons and toxins being left in reach.”
So how can pet owners prevent their pets from becoming sick due to dream renovations?
“A little planning and confinement,” Crighton suggests. “Ensure you keep your pets away from all of the action and plan ahead, perhaps they could stay with a friend or head to a boarding kennel during the really busy times.”
Dr Chelom agrees;
“The first thing is – never assume that because it has been blocked from human access, it is also out of reach of our pets,” he says. “They can be externally creative in overcoming man-made barriers. Often the best solution is to organise boarding away from home in advance of the renovations starting. They may not like the boarding kennel but, remember – dogs and cats like their house being turned upside down even less.”
Dr Chelom also reminds pet owners that pets are far more sensitive to sights, sounds and smells than the two-legged variety – AKA humans. So if the renovation is stressing you out, chances are your pet is also feeling the impact of a disturbed home environment.
“If a problem does occur, a house call visit from a Vet can be far more effective than trying to explain what’s going on in a clinic.”