We love them like children. But our pets can be costly, in more ways than one. Besides the expense of feeding them and giving them proper health care, according to a recent survey, pets damage about eight million electronic devices every year in the U.S.
The survey, sponsored by the San Francisco insurance company SquareTrade Inc., involved 1,200 people and their pets. SquareTrade estimates that we lose $3 billion every year repairing or replacing electronic devices damaged by pets. Among the most gobbled gadgets were cell phones.
Surprisingly, dogs are only twice as likely as cats to damage electronics, according to the study, and male pets are 50 percent more likely than females. I say surprisingly, because I guess I canít imagine cats chewing or even clawing at my cellphone (share your story below if you’ve had a different experience).
Almost 20 percent of Americans have seen one of their electronic devices mangled by a pet. Maybe the most interesting bit from the survey: People who allow their pets to sleep in their beds or ride on their laps while driving are up to three times more likely to have a electronics damaged by their animals. No word on a theory for the correlation.
“After seeing so many claims come in that involved pets, we decided to look into the data and see just how big a problem this was. And the results were pretty astounding,” Ty Shay, CMO at SquareTrade, told ZDNet. “Using an $800 smartphone as a chew toy is a pricey slip-up, not to mention itís the device most of us can’t live without.”
SquareTrade sells protection plans for electronic devices, such as iPhones, computers, and iPads so they obviously have a little biased interest in the results, though they are tough to deny. As more and more of us take part in additional electronic devices, such as tablets, we obviously become more vulnerable. Your best bet is to simply be vigilant about keeping them out of reach.