Politician's dog goes on destructive rampage

MP's destructive dog

Ruth Davidson, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, took to Twitter to post a photo of her cocker spaniel, and the destruction he managed to inflict after she turned her back for "a SECOND". She can take comfort in the fact that she's not alone. She may, however, be less impressed to hear just how much damage dogs can do.

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Pets cause over £4 billion worth of damage to UK homes each year. Cats apparently do the most damage - at £2.5 billion - largely because of their need to remove the dead outer layer of their claws, by scratching them down handy things like 3-piece suites. Dogs, meanwhile, tend to be chewers. Their main victims are shoes - followed by cushions, carpets and the sofa.

A recent survey by Terry's Fabrics asked people how much damage their pet had done in their lifetime, and 5% of cats and 1% of dogs had apparently inflicted £1,000 worth of harm around the home. Meanwhile 26% of cats and 8% of dogs have done between £601 and £1,000 worth of damage.

What can you do?

To make matters worse, it's difficult to get insurance cover for damage caused by pets. In some cases, if you pay extra for accidental damage, you will be covered, but in many cases pet damage will be excluded when it's a result of chewing or scratching - so you'll need to check the small print before you buy.

Ideally you can help stop dogs from chewing in the first place. Dog behaviouralists say there are lots of reasons why dogs will chew and shred like Davidson's does. In the puppy phase they may be doing it to get rid of excess energy, to get our attention, or just because its quite fun. As they get older, some dogs continue to destroy the home when they are left alone, as they get anxious. Some do it because they are bored and could do with more exercise, and some just develop a habit that they find hard to shift.

Owners will go to great lengths to stop their animal from destroying their surroundings, and invest a small fortune in chewable toys and sprays to help stop them from chewing items of furniture.

However, these are not guaranteed to work.

It means that living with the expense of their destructive tendencies is just part of owning a pet. Is no wonder so many people end up taking to social media to complain about it.

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