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What You Don’t Know About Pets and Hearing Aids

By February 23, 2021September 29th, 2021No Comments

I have had pets most of my life. We had a red short-haired Dachshund from when I was born until I was about 8. My Dad was so sad about losing her I had to wait until I was in college before I had my next pet. I have had 3 cats and 2 dogs in the past 35 years. I am so thankful that I had a living being that is so excited to see me at the end of every workday! It hit home what unconditional love is (well, not always with a cat), but I do get my snuggles in! I’m sure many of you have had similar experiences with pets of your own.

The majority of people in the United States have had a pet at some point. Some didn’t have pets until they were older, and others have had pets throughout their lives and cannot imagine living without an animal companion. Dogs keep us active by requiring exercise and care. Cats comfort us when we’re lonely – even their purring has been known to have healing effects. Pets can greatly benefit our health and emotions, and their benefits often become clearer as we age. Yes, pets are wonderful! They truly bless us.

But then the day comes when you can’t find your hearing aid. You search everywhere–in the laundry, under the sofa, even in the trash can. Nothing. You glance at your dog who is laying there in the living room looking up at you with innocent eyes. You notice your hearing aid lying beside him. Shock shoots through your body as you desperately hope that the device is lying there unscathed. But as you approach (and your dog’s tail wags), the truth becomes dreadfully clear– your hearing aid has been chewed up! Do you still love your dog? Of course! But, at that moment, you discover that having a pet can be very costly. The average cost of a hearing aid can run from $1,000-$3,000!

Why do pets damage hearing aids?

At Oro Valley Audiology and Grace Hearing Center, damage caused by pets is the top reason that people file loss and damage claims for their hearing aids. As audiologists, we have heard many patients argue that their dog (or cat) would never chew up their aids only to come in years (or sometimes just months) later with a chewed-up hearing aid.

Why cats and dogs commonly chew up hearing aids isn’t exactly known. In my experience, I have noticed that cats will play with and hide hearing aids. Dogs, on the other hand, will often chew the device beyond repair and sometimes even swallow it.

Two theories for why pets like hearing aids are the aids’ sound and taste. As many know, animals can hear certain frequencies that we cannot. Therefore, when a dog or cat hears a high-pitched sound that we cannot, they might view the device as a fun toy. Secondly, hearing aids smell like your ear wax, and most pets identify that smell as a salty and tasty treat.

How can you prevent this costly accident?

If you have pets, keep your hearing aids on your ears or in their case or charger. Never set your aids on a nightstand, end table, or anywhere else your pet may access. For bigger animals, you may even want to hide your case in a drawer.

What happens if it is chewed up?

Should the worst happen, and your pet chews up your aid, remember that you likely have a 3-year warranty for most aids. This warranty includes one-time “Loss and Damage” coverage. So, if Fido chews up your hearing aid, you can get the device replaced for a small deductible (a few hundred dollars). Hopefully, if this happens to you, you will correct the error of your ways because Loss and Damage coverage can be used only once. If your pet damages your aids again, you will have to pay thousands of dollars for a replacement.

Consider this your warning! Enjoy your pets and take good care of your hearing aids. If the worst should happen, give us a call so we can help you get back to hearing again.

Oro Valley Audiology 520-825-4770

Grace Hearing Center 520-468-9976

Judy Huch, Au. D.

Judy Huch, Au. D.

Dr. Judy Huch has started and participated in several corporations, Oro Valley Audiology (1998), Tanque Verde Audiology (2001), Grace Hearing Center (2016) and Hearing Health and Technology blog (2013). Dr. Huch has been dispensing hearing aids since 1991 and graduated in 1993 from Central Missouri State University with a Master’s in Audiology. She completed her Clinical Doctorate in Audiology in 2007 at AT Still University out of Mesa, AZ. Dr. Huch has been published in several trade journals and textbooks on the topic of patient satisfaction. The goal of her businesses is to provide excellent patient-centered care with technology that matches the individual.

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