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Destructive pets cause more than £9.2 billion worth of damage to UK homes during their lifetime, a study has revealed. Researchers found almost half of the nation’s 30 million pet owners have been left with a bill averaging £658 to replace or repair parts of their home destroyed by their beloved pet.
Cleaning bills and replacing lost or ‘stolen’ items also add to the massive bill.
Almost one in five pet owners even admitted they have come close to re-homing their pet because of the damage they caused around the home.
Sarah Endersby, Veterinary Advisor at Ceva Animal Health, which commissioned the research, said:
”All pet owners would agree that as much as they love their animals, the odd bit of damage is inevitable regardless of whether you own a dog, cat, rabbit or guinea pigs.
”Having said that, having to fork out £658 sounds a huge amount of money and many incidents probably could be avoided if you train your pets correctly and make preventative measures.
”It’s incredibly sad if people are genuinely considering re-homing their animals because of the damage they cause.
”Owning a pet is a huge decision to make and if you have expensive ornaments and are overly house proud, pets may not be for you.
”Using a scratching post or a deterrent scratching spray for your cat and laying down off-cuts of carpet where pets walk could all help reduce the wear and tear on your carpets and furniture.”
The study of 2,000 pet owners found 47% have had to clean up the mess left by pets at some point, with the cost of replacing broken or ruined furniture averaging £258.
Fixing and repairing items accounts for another £177 while cleaning, including hiring professionals, costs more than £167.
Even replacing lost (or swallowed) items accounts for another £55.94.
Researchers also found that while dogs and cats are to blame for the majority of the damage, even rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters get into their fair share of trouble with one in twenty saying they were behind the damage in the home.
Carpets are the most common victim, with 63% saying their pets have scratched or chewed the flooring.
Almost half had been faced with damage to their chairs, while another 43% have had to fix or replace chewed or scratched sofas.
One quarter of pet owners have even had damage caused to their plants, lawn and garden items and another 23% have had books, magazines and newspapers shredded by their little animals.
Chewed cables, scratched curtains and shredded toilet rolls are other things pet owners are left to clear up.
Researchers also found that while two thirds say the trail of destruction eases once the young pets get older, one in twenty have to put up with it throughout their pet’s life.
Another one in ten have to face that whenever there are changes to their pet’s life, such as a house move, damage can re-occur.
Sadly, it’s not just our own homes that are being damaged- more than one in ten even admitted their pet has ruined someone else’s property, and for 27% of people, things have gotten so bad they have even had times when they regretted getting their pet.
Sarah Endersby, from Veterinary Advisor at Ceva Animal Health, added:
”The sheer cost of damage incurred by pets is not surprising.
”Pets are unable to tell us when they are stressed or anxious and therefore resort to things like sofa scratching, chewing cables or shredding papers.
”However, if an owner is finding their pet difficult to handle, there are products available to help clam and soothe the animal such as Adaptil or Feliway sprays and diffusers which contain natural pheromones.
”For dogs, many puppies damage the home when scared or worried so behaviour training and socialisation when they are very small is crucial and can prevent problems in the long-term.”
BREAKDOWN OF COST
|Stolen food/lost items||£55.94|