The Consumer Protection Act treats pets as consumer goods. The same regulations apply, even if some terms may seem like they are not adapted to living beings.
The pets and pet accessories you buy are covered by warranties provided by the law. These warranties automatically apply without charge, even if the merchant or the manufacturer claims to sell without warranties. Among these warranties are:
- the use warranty;
- the reasonable lifetime warranty;
- the warranty against hidden defects.
Legal warranties allow you to expect that the pets or pet accessories you are buying:
- will serve the purpose for which they were bought;
- will have a reasonable lifetime, given the price paid, the contract, and the conditions of use;
- will not show hidden defects – that is, important defects that were present before the sale, that were not mentioned to you and that you could not have noticed, even if you were observant;
- will conform to the description written in the contract and the advertising, and to the merchant’s statements.
The reasonable lifetime warranty provides that purchased goods must serve for normal use for a reasonable period of time. However, the law does not specify, for example, that a pet must have a lifetime of 10 years. Why? Because several factors, such as the price paid, the contract, and the conditions of use, must be taken into account to determine the reasonable lifetime of a pet.
In short, it’s a question of facts and common sense.
If the pet or the pet accessory you bought is defective or cannot serve its purpose, you must inform the merchant (and manufacturer, if applicable) of the problem. They will need to:
- repair the accessory or have it repaired without charge or, in the case of a pet, cover the costs of veterinary care and pay for required medicine;
- exchange it;
- refund your money.
You may also have suffered damages from using a defective product. If that is the case, the merchant may also have to compensate you.
To help you resolve your problem, the Office has made various tools available to you. First, refer to the Resolve a problem with a merchant section, which presents the various steps to follow. Among other things, you will find suggestions on negotiating with a merchant in order to reach an agreement.
The Office also makes available information kits tailored to problems of an exclusively civil nature. They cover reasonable durability of goods, deliveries, warranties and non-conformity of goods or services. The Download an information kit page provides all the information you need.
Last update : April 28, 2021
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The information contained on this page is presented in simple terms to make it easier to understand. It does not replace the texts of the laws and regulations.