Household pets are responsible for damaging 28 million electronic devices with puppies being the biggest offenders. Also Read - Skype will now let users add up to 100 participants to join the chat simultaneously
Over the past 12 months, one in 10 US pet owners has had a technological mishap — whether it’s something as simple as an overexcited dog knocking a ringing smartphone off the table to something altogether more unpleasant, like a device being mistaken for a litter tray, according to insurance company SquareTrade’s annual research into Americans and their pets. The study, which bases its findings on responses from over 1000 pet owners, plus data from the American Veterinary Medical Association and US census, might not paint the most accurate picture of dogs’ and cats’ relationships with modern technology. It does, however, single out the most at-risk devices and the pets most likely to damage them. Also Read - Skype desktop app gets noise cancellation feature: How to activate it during calls
It seems that the power cable, whether attached to a phone, computer or something as big as a TV, is what bears the brunt of canine and feline attention in 41 percent of cases. The smartphone is the second most likely device to get damaged — 31 percent, followed by laptop computers and game controllers (12%) in joint third place. “One in ten pet owners experience a pet-related accident with their device, according to our research. Of course we all love our pets, so these incidents are quickly forgiven,” said Ty Shay, CMO at SquareTrade. “But we’re seeing frequent, expensive repairs and replacements from pet-related damage, and only one in four of devices damaged are covered by a protection plan.” Also Read - Don't be like #Shweta: Here's how to mute audio on Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype
Male dogs are the biggest culprits and are 86 percent more likely than female dogs to cause damage to an electronic device. Age also plays a key role, as pets, particularly dogs, less than one year old are three times more likely than older pets to make their owners seek out a repair service. Owners also accept that they may have to burden some of the responsibility as 25 percent said that they were using an electronic device when their pet damaged it, suggesting that the pet was jealous or was being neglected. Likewise, 19 percent of owners claimed that a pet damaged a device out of spite as a means of showing their anger. Meanwhile 17 percent of respondents admitted that they have set up a social media account for one of their pets and 18 percent have used a video-calling services such as Skype or FaceTime to speak to a four-legged friend.