A survey of over 2,200 British pet owners has revealed that seven in ten homeowners have had to pay for household damage caused by their pets, with dogs the most likely culprit.
The research by www.thomas-sanderson.co.uk found that 76% of dog owners had to pay an average of £90 a year for repairs due to their pet. Using PDSA statistics that say there are 8.9 million dogs in the UK, researchers estimated the overall cost to dog-owning homeowners was £608 million annually in repairs, with cats costing £340 million, and rabbits £46.8 million.
Despite the majority of respondents owning a cat (56%), they came in third as the most destructive (61%), and rabbits, owned by 10% of respondents, came in second with almost three quarters of rabbit owners saying their pet had caused damage.
The most common items our pets choose to destroy included furniture with 82% followed by carpet and flooring (63%) and electrics (53%). A further one in nine said their pet had caused damage to someone else’s property and they had been made to pay for it, with dogs once again being the main culprit (73%).
Commenting on the findings of the study, Richard Petrie, marketing director for www.thomas-sanderson.co.uk, said, “For many of us our pets are akin to our family, and for some people they are the only family they have. It is for this reason that we allow them to get away with so much, including the amount of damage that they cause to our homes.”
Destroying furniture or other household items can be a sign of a number of issues. Many puppies chew when they are teething so it is important to provide them with safe toys or treats to chew instead.
It can also be a sign of boredom or stress in dogs but there are ways to help them. See the RSPCA website for more advice on separation anxiety and ways to help your dog feel more at ease when you leave the house. This could include a special toy they only get when you leave, such as a stuffed kong, and booking a dog sitter.