We all know that our four-legged friends can cause damage to our belongings, especially when Fido is bored or left alone too long. Pet owners are already familiar with the typical damage such as pet stains on the carpet or a chewed up pair of shoes. Now it seems our pets are setting their sights on our electronics, wreaking havoc on our smart phones, tablets and other electronic devices.
A 2013 survey sponsored by Square Trade (which, to be fair, sells protection plans for electronics) found that pets in the US damage about 8 million electronic devices each year, costing consumers an estimated $3 billion in repair and replacement costs annually. Almost one out of every five dog and cat owners reported having had a device damaged by a pet, with dogs being twice as likely as cats to damage electronics. Those bite-sized cell phones are the most common target, accounting for about one third of the reported damage. Not surprisingly, these incidents happen most often when pets are left alone.
The reported damage was the result of the pet chewing the device, by causing the owner to drop the electronics, or by vomiting/urinating on the equipment. Certainly, the problem is likely to only get worse as the number of devices increases and the free time we have to spend with our pets decreases. A bored dog or cat is much more likely to get into trouble, and chewing electronic devices can be hazardous to your pet’s health.
How can you protect your pet’s health and your pricey electronics? First be sure to keep your electronics out of reach of your dog or cat at all times whether or not you’re using the device, and especially when it’s plugged in charging. Provide your dog or cat with lots of attention, exercise and enticing toys.