How To Protect Your Gadgets From Canine-Related Chewing Crashes
What do you do when your dog mistakes your laptop or tablet for a chew toy? Here’s what you need to do to protect vital digital information from doggy-related mishaps.
Dogs – especially puppies – chew. We humans know this, yet we somehow fall victim to their shark teeth when we don’t pick up after ourselves. Most dog lovers have a list of things destroyed by their young pup: shoes, paperwork, curtains, sofas, baseboards, backpacks and on and on. Most items can be stitched or replaced, but what about your electronics? If your pup gets her paws on something that stores data, what happens to the bytes after the bite?
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David Zimmerman, CEO of LC Technology International, a data recovery, file system utilities and data security technology company, suggests that items be stored in a closed (locked if you have a real ninja-dog) media cabinet. If items have to be left out, make sure they’re high enough that your dog can’t reach them from being up on her hind legs.
While you’re being proactive, hopefully you have a backup system in place for your computer. Cloud storage is inexpensive; in fact, you may already have unused storage space provided by your internet service provider or email client. If not, it’s time to get either a digital account or a hard drive (that you keep up high!), and don’t forget all the other devices you use, like a digital camera, iPad or Kindle.
So, your pup got a hold of your gadget. What next? The first step: Don’t turn on your device. “If your dog chewed on your storage data device, then retrieving it can be difficult, even for an expert recovery service,” says Zimmerman. “Don’t try to use a damaged device as this might further corrupt files or cause a serious malfunction. Contact a reputable recovery firm that has the right tools and software to pull data from even the most mangled equipment.” Same goes for computers zapped by liquid damage—say, your lab’s tail sent your coffee flying all over your Nook or your Newfie’s drool landed right in your laptop’s keyboard. Leave the device powered down, then seek professional help.
Cats aren’t totally innocent either:
Chewing isn’t a dog-only problem. Mischievous cats have been known to see power cords as exciting pieces of string. Keep everything tucked away, if possible. Keep small electronics like digital cameras away from ledges and edges like the fireplace mantle if your sweet cat tends to swat items off of shelves.
With proactive steps like keeping your items up high or secure in a cabinet, plus having backup systems in place, if your pup grabs a hold of an electronic, the cost of replacement will just be the device—not the hundreds of cute pics of the guilty party you had saved on the device.
Maggie Marton is the definition of “crazy dog lady” and an award-winning writer based in Bloomington, Indiana. Obsessed with dogs, she writes for numerous pet-related publications and is active in animal welfare. When she’s not reading about dogs, writing about dogs or walking dogs, she loves to hike and nap—both activities usually with her dogs. Maggie lives with her husband, John; Emmett, a pit mix; Lucas, a shepherd mix; Cooper, a pit mix; and Newt, the lone kitty (who, of course, runs the show). You can find her online at OhMyDogBlog.com.