The hidden costs of owning a pet

Published on Friday, July 5, 2013

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The hidden costs of owning a pet

America is a nation of pet lovers. About half the nation’s households include a dog or a cat, and they spend $53 billion yearly on pet expenses, ranging from food to vet bills to toys.

Some go a bit overboard. A whopping $370 million is spent on pet costumes yearly. But even more shocking is the toll our animals take on our electronics budget. American pets have bitten, chewed, licked, and otherwise damaged over eight million electronic devices, amounting to over $3 billion in repair and replacement costs.

Considering that one of every three devices damaged by pets is a smartphone, this could mean up to $800 in replacement costs whenever your animal runs amok.

The risk of pet-related accidents increases the more pets are treated as family members. According to new research from SquareTrade, if you drive with your pet in your lap, you’re over twice as likely to damage your device. And letting a pet sleep in bed with you triples your chances.

Meanwhile, giving your pet too much independence can also increase risk. Two-thirds of pet-related accidents involving devices happened while the pet was unsupervised.

Accidental personalities

Every furry friend comes with its own unique personality, and unique set of dangers.
For example, the SquareTrade study found that 21 percent of accidents happened while the owner was using the device.

A temperamental personality can also be a red flag. Seventeen percent of pet owners believe their animal friend damaged their device because it was angry with them.
And homes with different pet species are more susceptible to mishaps. Those with both a cat and dog are four times more likely to have accidents with electronics compared to homes with one or the other.

Pets all need exercise, training and attention from their owners. But they sometimes find inconvenient ways to show us.


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