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It seems that Fido is using the remote control almost as much as his owner. The next time you wonder, "Where's the remote?" don't be surprised if your dog has buried it or chewed it beyond recognition. Similar in size and shape to their favorite bone, a remote control has the added flavor of its master's scent, making it an irresistible treat.

"Dogs are devouring remote controls," remarked Kenneth Cimetta, Customer Service Director for RemoteHound.com, a company selling original replacement remote controls via the Internet. "My dog ate the remote" is second only to "I lost it" as the most common reason given by customers when ordering a replacement remote. "There are over four hundred million remote controls in the U.S.-- an average of four remotes per household," continued Cimetta, "combine that with fifty-two million canines living in U.S. households and it?s easy to see why the remote is going to the dogs."

Apparently no one has found a solution either, judging by the number of phone calls and e-mails that RemoteHound.com receives concerning this problem. From foul-tasting industrial-strength no-chew sprays to homemade bitter-tasting concoctions, nothing seems to do the trick. Gina Spadafori, syndicated pet care columnist says in her best selling book Dogs For Dummies, "All dogs chew, it's part of the genetic blueprint of the dog. . . . Forget about trying to train your dog to leave the remote alone. Training yourself to put it out of harm's way when it's not in your hand is far easier."

Cimetta agrees, but adds, "We hear it all the time. People hide the remote from their dog and then they can't find it themselves."

"Everyday we get lots of crazy calls and e-mails from dog owners," Cimetta chuckles, "including the customer who ordered several of our least-expensive remotes with no concern for make or model. She figured she would buy her four dogs their own remotes and then maybe they would leave her remote alone. Who knows? Maybe the idea actually worked. Another customer insisted their Chihuahua would only attack their Emerson-brand remotes but would leave the other remotes alone. We even had one customer who swore their dog was just trying to change the channel!"

Dogs are not the only pets getting into the act. "It's not unusual for us to hear about birds and even rabbits destroying a remote," continued Cimetta. "Birds love to peck at it and rabbits seem to have a special affection for the rubber keypad buttons. Surprisingly, we rarely hear from cat owners."

Once pet owners' remotes are destroyed, they discover that it was more than just a modern convenience. Cimetta explains, "Many of today's consumer electronics are simply useless without the original remote control. Most universal remotes just can't get the job done--they don't operate such key features as full menu and programming functions, which are necessary on most of today's sophisticated electronic equipment."

Like everyone, RemoteHound.com hasn't found the answer to prevent Fido from slobbering on the remote. Though as Cimetta says, "We are not really looking for a solution. We figure why bite the hand that feeds us?"

Is your dog a Remote Hound? Send in a photo and the story about their appetite for remote controls and they'll post it on their web site. While your there you can find a replacement for your old slobbered remote and maybe even win a free t-shirt for the best story and picture.
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