By Jim Donovan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — We’ve all heard the joke: My dog ate my homework. But these days, you might be more concerned with your smart phone.
He may look sweet and innocent, but when it comes to electronics, Oision is public enemy number one. His owner, Ginger McDevitt, says, “I think Oisin is a chewaholic, and for some reason, he prefers crunchy things like kindles, digital cameras, cell phones.”
He’s not the only pooch with this problem. YouTube is filled with videos of pets treating phones and other electronics like toys. CNET’s Brian Bennett says, “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.”
According to one survey, pets are damaging more than 8-million tech devices each year at a cost of $3 billion. Even if your gadget is under warranty, physical damage caused by you or your four legged best friend is usually not covered, and even a little pet slobber can destroy a device. Bennett says, “Moisture can get into the screen, get into the little vents or little speaker grills. Anything like that is not covered by the manufacturer warranty.”
The biggest offenders are small puppies who like to chew on anything they can find, which could be dangerous or even fatal for them. Chewing on cords can cause electric shocks and chewing on batteries can lead to serious burns. Veterinarian Duffy Jones says, “They vibrate, they 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.”
As for Oisin? McDevitt admits, “He has not kicked the habit yet. I warn everyone who comes into my house not to leave anything easily accessible.”
Some manufacturers are taking steps to make their phones somewhat pet resistant, with Kevlar backings and scratch proof screens. Some also have moisture protection.
If your dog is a chewer, it’s something you may want to consider next time you upgrade or buy a new cell phone.