Dogs are called a man’s best friend for a reason. From their adorable looks to their outstanding dispositions, it’s hard to find a reason to hate dogs without a good reason genuinely. However, there may be instances where your canine companion makes you want to pull your hair out.
Bad dog behavior can leave you frustrated, from peeing on the carpet to incessant furniture chewing. But if you’re a dog lover who’s also a technophile, you may be experiencing a special kind of hell.
Finding a chewed-up MacBook charger cable on the floor is a recurring nightmare for many techy pet owners. This pet-tech problem can show up in other forms: hair in your gadgets, a cracked monitor or screen, or a device with bite marks on it. Apple product owners will mainly wince at the idea since these products don’t come cheap.
Fortunately for you, you can solve this dilemma. With some training, you can help your pet adjust to your devices, leaving you with a happy pooch and a home full of pristine devices.
Tip 1: Protect your charger wires and cables
If you have a puppy in the house, know that one of the first things that can put your pet’s life at risk is your charger wires and cables. Since young dogs love to put anything in their mouths, they will try to chew (and, depending on the electrical output of the cable, get an electric shock or burns, or worse).
There are multiple ways you can stop your pet from accidentally shocking themselves. The first is simply practicing effective cable management and concealing them even while in use, away from your pets’ curious eyes. Next, you can try to wrap the cords in split loom tubing to discourage your furbaby from chewing the cord.
If that doesn’t work, you can spray taste deterrents on cords. The flavors of these sprays differ, but they are supposed to be unappealing to dogs. First, make sure to determine how your pet will react to these products.
Tip 2: Regularly clean your devices and work areas
One of the best things that you can experience when working from home is your furry friend cuddling up to you while you work. However, your devices don’t share that sentiment, as hair and dander can clog vents and damage your Mac or iPhone over time.
Make it a habit to clean your devices and the area you work in, even when you don’t see any hair or dander. Remember that a few minutes of hassle is better than having to buy an entirely new device.
Tip 3: Invest in a phone protector
If you’ve lived with a dog and haven’t experienced your best friend accidentally dropping your device, you’ve been lucky. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t prepare for the worst.
There are plenty of phone protector screens and cases that can secure your phone against most types of blunt damage. Don’t wait until your dog accidentally causes you to drop your phone in the worst possible circumstance.
Tip 4: Provide physical and mental stimulants
One of the most probable reasons your pet loves to chew through your devices is their energy — they haven’t used enough, and it’s making them restless. If you constantly find your pet trying to gnaw through your iPhone’s screen, it’s high time to buy things that can engage them.
Give them safe chew toys that they can gnaw on instead of your device. Buying them fun dog feeders will also stimulate and tire them to even attempt to find your devices. Finally, give them at least 10–15 minutes of attention and game time to engage and bond with them.
Tip 5: Keep your devices out of reach
As a fur parent, you’ll be the first to proclaim that your baby is the smartest pup ever to grace Earth. However, your doggo’s smarts are still no match to height. Ensure that your devices are out of reach when they’re not in use. Place them on a table or a cabinet they cannot easily reach.
Tip 6: Prep your office
While it is ideal for you to have a dedicated room for work free from most forms of distractions (and where you can keep your devices safe and dry), as a fur parent, you won’t be able to help yourself. You will let your furbaby get into the space from time to time, especially when things get a bit stressful for the both of you.
Some pet owners may be able to keep their pets out by either simply closing the door, putting up a pet gate, or keeping them inside a crate for some time. Of course, these solutions won’t work all the time (dogs may jump over pet gates!).
A plausible solution is making your pet comfortable inside your workroom. Whether that means putting their bed there, giving them toys, or leaving them with food and water, you can prep your home office in a way that will distract your pets from those dangling cords and cables that are so fascinating.
Tip 7: Don’t panic when your dog has your device
You may have taken all the necessary precautions to ensure your furbaby doesn’t get to your device. However, don’t underestimate their ability to overcome challenges. There may come a time when your dog will come to you with your gadget triumphantly clutched in its mouth.
You may feel like panicking at this point, but that’s the worst thing you can do for your dog and your device. Don’t scold your dog and assess the amount of damage done to your device. If it got wet with water damage, keep it off. Go to a trusted service center and see if the device or its files can be saved and recovered.
Tip 8: Keep drinks and other liquids covered
Whether you’re a coffee lover who needs a boost of energy to power through work or a green thumb who must water the plants adorning your work area throughout the day, liquids and an overzealous pet can be a dangerous combination.
When they want to play, pets will do everything to get your attention — get giddy, run around in circles, jump on you, and wag their tails. And when these intense motions hit your mug or watering can, the spilled liquid will drench everything in its way — including your gadgets, unfortunately.
It’s best to use a travel container with a cover instead of a mug to keep your coffee or water in if you have dogs that get too excited. When not in use or needed, any containers with liquid should be kept away from your laptop or phone.
Tip 9: Back up, back up, back up
Saving essential files on the cloud or an external drive to serve as backup is just best practice, whether you have a pet at home that may accidentally damage your devices or not. Accidents can happen, and you do not want to lose data, especially if it’s related to work.
Keep your dogs (and gadgets) safe and happy
Living with a dog has its share of blessings and challenges, and techy pet owners will find this especially true. However, the tips provided will hopefully make your pet-friendly home a bit better for you, your furbaby, and your devices.
Silke Putscher is an officer at Macs4u, a Minnesota-based company dedicated to delivering the best value in refurbished Mac computers. She is also an avid animal lover who advocates for the welfare of no-kill and high save rate shelters.