SAN FRANCISCO, CA – June 10, 2014 – SquareTrade®, the #1rated protection plan trusted by millions of happy customers, today revealed the results of its annual research into Americans and their pets. The study shows that 28 million pet owners have had a pet damage an electronic device, with power cords rating the highest this year for number of incidents.
Smartphones account for almost 30% of damaged devices, with incidents ranging from garden variety — the pet knocked the phone off a table – to ghastly: some phones were vomited or urinated upon.
“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.”
Based on accident reporting, SquareTrade has identified the most common recipes for device disaster:
- Male dogs: Male dogs are 86% more likely than female dogs to damage your devices.
- Anger management: 19% of pet owners believe that their pet damaged the device because it was angry with them.
- Blind jealousy: One in four pet owners (25%) said they were using an electronic item at the time their pet damaged it.
- Puppy playground: Pets less than one year old are three times as likely to damage a device than older pets.
The survey also found that Americans are becoming more and more comfortable with allowing their pets to use modern, electronic conveniences:
- 1 in 6 pet owners (17%) have made a social media account for a pet.
- 1 in 4 is a ‘friend’ or ‘follower’ of pets on social media.
- 18% have ‘spoken’ to a pet over Skype®, FaceTime®, or other online video chatting software.
To improve pet owners device protection, SquareTrade offers the following tips for an accident free household:
- Give your pets the attention, training and exercise they need so they have less interest in your gadgets
- Leave your devices high up and out of reach of curious dogs and cats
- Conceal power cords for devices and chargers under flooring or behind furniture
- Don’t leave your device next to liquids of any sort
- Always use a protective case
 Methodology and Data Sources
SquareTrade’s 2014 Pet Accidents Survey conducted in May 2014 using the world’s largest panel provider, Survey Sampling International. Feedback was collected from 1,012 pet owners with cats and/or dogs. Additional sources: The American Veterinary Medical Association’s 2012 U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook, The Census Bureau’s 2013 population estimates, Gallup’s 2006 Lifestyle Poll published online in an article titled “Americans and Their Pets,” and The Census Bureau’s 2006 pet ownership estimates. Please note: total expenditure estimate created using data sources 1-5.
For more information on SquareTrade, go to www.squaretrade.com.