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I have heard recently that some floor heating duct covers can injury some pets. What should I look for to know which ones can be harmful and how do I make them pet safe?

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In terms of what to look for, a lot will depend on the pets in question, but if we talk about pets such as cats, dogs, and rabbits as being the more likely to roam, it's about the size of the opening. Standard vent covers for your floor are typically the slatted kind with very thin openings and these are safe, but kind of boring, so many of us replace them with more intricate and interesting designs since, well, they have to be visible and nice looking is a bonus. So, if you go this route:

  1. Look at the shape and size of the openings in the designs. Some may seem quite small, but if they have curved patterns they can be larger than they look at a casual glance.
  2. Give yourself a measuring tool of some sort, it could even be your thumb if your hands are big enough, but something that you can insert and test with.
  3. It may be possible to find some that have a mesh or filter that's there to prevent small objects from falling in, this would also help with small paws.

Beyond that, if I was to DIY it now, I would probably use the mesh for screen doors. In that situation:

  1. Cut the screen mesh to size
  2. Open the underside of the vent and apply a bead of glue around the interior edges
  3. Guide the mesh inside the vent cover and position
  4. Press firmly into the glue and wipe excess from the visible side
  5. Allow to dry before replacing onto the floor

There might be additional ways to make the mesh screen more firmly attached, perhaps with bracing pieced along the edges inside or something along that line. You want it to be firm enough to hold some weight briefly, but you should inspect on a regular basis to ensure that it's still in place.

For myself, I replaced the vents since I wanted an updated look anyways. Fortunately, I managed to find a good set at Home Depot that had a nice pattern of small squares. :)

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