By Elisa Black-Taylor
“The dog ate my homework” was a frequent excuse students told teachers back in the day before cell phones, iPads and computers became the norm. Now electronic gadgets are being destroyed by pets, and this all comes at a price. Both in vet bills as well as replacing what curious cats and dogs manage to tear up.
According to insurance provider SquareTrade, pets are damaging more than eight million tech devices each year, with a cost of three billion dollars. To make matters worst, most warranties don’t cover physical damage done by your furry friend. So if you have a mischief seeking pet, be sure to look for an extended warranty that covers your electronic device.
This doesn’t take into account vet visits caused when a pet decides to eat the chargers, electrical cords and batteries powering these devices. Cords can cause electric shocks, and batteries can burn the mouth and stomach. The number of deaths caused when a curious pet tangles with what the pet considers a toy is on the increase.
As for your cell phones and computers, remember it only takes a bit of saliva to ruin your device. Pet hair is also a problem with many of today’s necessary gadgets. I read one report recently that suggests cleaning out your keyboards at least once every six weeks if you have a pet. Hair can build up and ruin a computer fan.
There are quite a few videos available on YouTube that show how to clean your electronics. There are also a lot of videos showing the damage a pet can do to a device.
Does your cat like to stay close to you when you’re online on your computer? This can spell disaster if you have a drink sitting nearby. Countless computers (especially laptops) have been ruined by cats knocking over a nearby beverage, where the majority of it ends up seeping down between the keys. NOT a good combination!
Here are some suggestions for keeping your pet safe:
- Have real toys on hand so pets aren’t as tempted to go after your electronics
- Warn people who visit your home to keep their cell phones where a pet won’t be tempted
- Exercise your dog-a tired dog isn’t as likely to get into trouble
- Always be aware of where drinks are and whether your pet could cause a liquid accident
Many manufacturers of electronic gadgets are working on ways to make their merchandise more pet proof. Cell phone makers are making scratch resistant screens, and some are using a Kevlar backing or making their phones water resistant.
Have any of you had a problem with your cat or dog being responsible for an accident involving your favorite gadget? My personal experience is having to clean under the keyboard of my laptop and to blow dust away from the cooling fan. It’s not difficult to do at home (away from your cats), but if you don’t feel at ease doing this, have a computer shop perform this maintenance.