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How to pet proof your home in 7 easy steps!

Looking for a furry friend to brighten up the dark winter days? Before bringing home a new companion, you’ll need to do a thorough inspection of your home to ensure any harmful objects or chemicals are out of reach from a curious pet.

Follow these seven steps to create a safe environment for your new family member.

Step 1:
Safely stow all chemicals and foods that could harm your pet

Many household goods can be harmful to pets, such as cleaners, detergents, mothballs, pesticides, antifreeze, pest poisons, medications, cosmetics and more. Make sure these chemicals are stored out of reach or behind child-proof latches.

There are also several human foods that can be poisonous to pets, such as chocolate, avocados, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, onions, garlic, coffee and alcohol— ensure these are securely stored as well. Make sure to do your research on toxic foods prior to bringing your pet home.

Step 2:
Keep electrical cords out of sight

Chewing on electrical cords can give a pet a nasty shock. Cover your cords, chargers and power cables, or tuck them away so your animals are not tempted. You can also use a deterrent spray to prevent your pet from chewing on them.

Step 3:
Stash your trash

Lots of harmful things can end up in the garbage. Get trash cans that lock or store them behind cupboard doors with child-proof latches.

Step 4:
Check your houseplants

Many houseplants can be dangerous to animals when ingested. Examples include lilies, aloe vera, jade, dumb cane, elephant ear, devil’s ivy, asparagus fern and sowbread. Unsure what kind of plant you have? Try searching the database on houseplant411.com to identify it.

Step 5:
Remove choking hazards

Curious pets can sometimes choke on small objects such as twist ties, hair elastics, or small toys. Ingesting foreign objects can cause bowel obstructions and result in a pricey veterinary bill, or possibly worse. When you’re not around to monitor your pet, make sure these objects remain out of reach.

Step 6:
Give them their own space

Whether it’s a crate, a pen or a room, prepare a space where your pet can be contained when you’re not at home. That way you can rest at ease knowing they’re safe and not getting into any unwanted trouble! If your pet knows that space is theirs, they’ll also appreciate having a quiet, safe space to retreat to where they’ll feel safe.

Step 7:
Set some boundaries

There may be places in your home where you don’t want your pet to explore, such as your kitchen when you’re cooking over a hot stove. If so, install a self-closing mechanism on the doors to ensure you won’t forget to close them, or install pet gates to keep them out.

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, pets can still get into trouble. Although home insurance doesn’t cover damage to your home caused by a pet, it does cover damage your pet may cause to neighbour’s property through your liability coverage.

The Ontario’s Dog Owner’s Liability Act mandates that owners can be held liable for dog attacks. If an incident happens, the courts will hear if the attack was provoked or if owners did all they could to prevent it. If the owner is held liable, liability coverage will kick in to help pay for expenses related to injuries. Note: damage caused by breeds that are restricted or not permitted in Ontario will not be covered by your home insurance policy.

If you’re interested in a home insurance quote, or if you’re getting a new cat or dog and want to review your home insurance liability policy, call AGR Insurance Broker’s today at 1-800-668-0250.