We’ve been called out to repair many an household item in the past, but perhaps Plastic Surgeon is missing a trick, and should be setting up a specialist pet damage team to repair damage by pets, for protection-plan provider, SquareTrade, has just released its annual SquareTrade 2013 Pets Accidents Survey, which revealed that the average pet owner has to spend £274 on fixing devices and household appliances because of damage caused by animals. Which equates to £3.5 billion worth of damage across the UK, with mans’ best friend being the worst offender: sometimes a catastrophe, more often a dog-astrophe.
Apparently, almost a fifth of pets destroy gadgets by vomiting or urinating on them (a bile stain on your blogger’s oak floor – repaired by Plastic Surgeon – comes to mind, courtesy of my dog: he rushed in from the garden to be ill). Dogs are Number 1 on the accidental vandal’s list, followed by cats, rabbits and, believe it or not, parrots ….
Chewing or biting household appliances caused 60% of the damage, while more than 20 per cent of pets broke devices in the past year by knocking them down the toilet or spilling drinks on them.
Almost a fifth of pets destroyed items by being careless with their bodily fluids, while 5 per cent of animals had buried household items, causing them to break. One woman surveyed said her parrot had broken her headphones by gnawing through the cable.
The survey involved interviewing 1,263 pet owners in the UK about the type of pet they had as well as the sort of damage their furry friends had caused. The owners were also asked to elaborate on why they think their pet had caused the damage or acted badly: more than a third of owners (38 per cent) put their pet’s destructive behaviour down to boredom, while 27 per cent believed they wanted attention.
In 15 per cent of cases, the owners said their pet had broken something because they were jealous of another pet. While 2 per cent thought it was because their pet was depressed.
Interestingly, a survey undertaken by Confused.com found that a fifth of pet owners have experienced significant damage to their homes in the past 12 months and 29 leading insurance brands refuse to cover damage caused by pets.
SquareTrade, meanwhile, often tests new devices to see which gadgets are the most sturdy; and has even hired a dog called Barley as a ‘pet tester.’
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