MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Everybody has heard the old “dog ate my homework” joke, but, these days there’s a chance that your pooch may be more interested in your smartphone more than your science project.
More and more dogs and cats are treating electronics like play things. The habit is hard on your wallet and it could also pose a digital danger to your pets.
“I think Oisin is a chewaholic. And for some reason he prefers crunchy things like kindles, digital cameras, and cellphones,” Ginger McDevitt said.
Oisin isn’t the only pet with this problem. YouTube is filled with videos of pets treating electronics like chew toys.
“Tablets, phones, laptops even are just, you know, always around the house. And, you know dogs, especially dogs like to grab stuff and chew them and throw them all over the place,” CNET cellphone reviews senior editor Brian Bennett explained.
Pet experts agreed, saying it’s no surprise that dogs are attracted to tech products.
“They vibrate and make noise just like a lot of squeak toys and other toys that they play with. So, a lot of animals confuse them between things that they’re supposed to play with,” veterinarian Duffy Jones explained.
As smartphones and tablets have become more popular so have reports about pets damaging them. According to one survey pets damage about 8 million electronic devices every year.
Even a small amount of pet slobber can destroy an electronic device.
“Moisture can get into the screen and get into the little vents of little speaker grills. Anything like that is not covered by the manufacturer warranty,” Bennett said.
There has also been an increase in cases of pets being injured by electronic devices, according to veterinarians.
“They can not only get burns in their mouth but also burns in their stomach. Some of these burns can go on to be so bad that parts of the stomach will die and we’d actually have to do surgery to repair them,” Jones explained.
Experts recommend keeping your devices out of reach of your pets and keeping your four-legged friend tired with plenty of exercise.
“The more tired they are the less likely they are to get in trouble,” Jones explained.
If your pet is a serial offender you can purchase an extended warranty that covers this type of damage.
Experts also suggested backing up important information in case your pet does destroy a device.