Dr. Emily Martinson, Au.D., Ph.D.
Cats and dogs provide convenient excuses for all kinds of unfortunate situations. From the fourth grader who claims that their dog chewed his homework, to the college student who says her cat scratched the couch, pets can be blamed for a lot. If you wear hearing aids, however, cats and dogs can be a real danger to your devices. Cats and dogs are drawn to hearing aids for two reasons: sound and taste. Let’s talk about sound first.
Hearing aids put out a sound that is very high pitched, higher than what humans can hear. Cats and dogs, however, can hear it and go into “search and destroy” mode. Unfortunately, what sounds like a chew toy to them is actually a very complicated miniature computer that you need to hear! Pets are also drawn to the taste of hearing aids. Hearing aids attract earwax, which tastes salty to pets, especially dogs. They see hearing aids as a tasty treat, and can chew right through the device, causing permanent damage. To keep your hearing aids safe from pets, make sure that if you are around a cat or dog the devices are safely worn in your ears. If you need to take them out, however, be sure to put them securely in a case or drying jar, and store them in a place where your pet cannot get to them.