As most pet owners know, furry pals and paint just don’t mesh well. Whether you’re looking to paint an entire house or just touch up a wall, the idea of your cat or dog rubbing his body against a freshly painted spot, or worse, consuming the paint itself, will have you running to Google to figure out how to keep your pet safe. Here are a few of our favorite painting tips to help protect your pets and yourself when touching up your home.
When purchasing materials for painting, keep an eye out for products that are eco-friendly. These are typically the best choices for painting near pets (and for the environment in general), as they are composed of natural ingredients as opposed to synthetic or harmful chemicals. When looking for paint specifically, ask your local home improvement expert for a can that is low on Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) or even has none at all. VOCs cause the lingering smell left after a big painting project and emit gases that are harmful to you and your pets in high doses.
Everyone knows that before you paint, you should make sure your surface is clean and free of dirt and smudges. Paint stores have hundreds of products for just this: thinners, all-purpose cleaners and chemicals that promise a shiny new wall. While you could purchase these, they pose a tremendous threat to your pet, should he or she consume them or even if the products come into contact with fur or skin. Instead, look around your home for all-natural, nontoxic cleaning products like lemon, vinegar, baking soda and sand paper. When paired with a little elbow grease, these will help you clean your walls before painting and keep your pets out of harm’s way.
Keep Your Pets Occupied
Perhaps one of the trickiest feats of being a pet owner is keeping your furry friends busy while you’re cleaning the house, running errands or hosting guests. To make absolute sure that your dog or cat won’t get into your painting materials, keep him or her tucked away in another room with food, water and a few toys while you’re painting. Afterwards, take them on a walk or on a trip to doggie day care until the paint is dry. Be sure that your tools are cleaned and completely put away before allowing your pet back into the newly painted room, and keep the area you painted well-ventilated and free of harsh paint smells.
Watch Out for Additional Hazards
While we’ve addressed the bulk of hazardous products above, there are still a few products and home repair goods that pose a serious threat to your furry friends. If you’re removing old paint from a home built more than 30 years ago, test it for lead before scraping. Not only is lead harmful to dogs and cats, but it could hurt you, too. Spackle is another risk to dogs, as it can induce vomiting and gastrointestinal issues if ingested. If you’re stripping your walls of tiles or adhesives, make sure to clean it thoroughly and get rid of all of the insulations and glues that are used. Last but not least, keep track of any power tools you use. A cat and a drill bit are not a good combination.
What are some of your go-to methods for keeping pets safe when you’re painting your space?