By Arden Moore, a certified dog and cat behaviorist with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. Arden is an author, radio host, and writer for Pets Best, a pet health insurance agency for dogs and cats.
A generation ago, we communicated via fax machines and cell phones the size of bricks. Today, we turn to our mobile devices – tablets, smart phones and iPads – to instantly connect with people all over the world or simply in the next room of our homes.
But if you share your home with a dog or two, you need to protect these pricey devices from being the target of canine destruction. According to a national survey performed by Square Trade, pets have destroyed more than eight million smart phones, iPads, laptops, television remotes and other cherished electronic devices – costing pet parents a whopping $8 billion in replacement costs.
In fact, I recently polled my Facebook followers about these high-tech pet hijinks. A chew-happy service pup in training named Muddy crushed two smart phones in her mouth. A Great Dane named Louie stashed three iPhones in his crate and “killed” them by sitting on them. Others reported numerous charging cables bitten in half by her curious puppies who apparently mistake those dangling cords for small prey tail. Far too many reported that their dogs urinated on these gadgets.
There are two reasons for these unwanted canine behaviors.
1. First, dogs investigate their surroundings by sniffing, pawing, chewing and yes, sometimes, urinating on these gadgets. This “p-mail” is a dog’s way of saying to others, “Hey, this is mine. Back off.”