Trouble, Spot: 7 Ways to Pet-Proof Your Gear Page 2


Temptation 3: Your TV Screen If your pet is the type to try to make a new friend whenever she sees another critter onscreen, you'd best invest in a screen protector. Anyone can just drape some thick material over a TV when it's not in use, but that's just so Grandma Ethel. What you really want is a durable, transparent material you can stick right in front of your screen. Plenty of manufacturers, like NuShield and Mighty Shield, are ready to help you out, but take promises like "will not alter picture quality" with a grain or two of salt.

The better solution is to buy a TV with a screen that can withstand attacks from furry fellas in the first place. Panasonic - in an attempt to immunize its latest series of plasma TVs against flying Wiimotes - have screens rated to take a 1-joule impact without a nick. Best of all, you could go with a front projector and a screen that retracts when not in use.

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Want to protect your home theater system from a wild child too? Check out: • The Custom Installer: Your Home Theater's Newest Addition

Temptation 4: The Remote Control As your remote controls start to multiply with your equipment, your coffee table will start to look like a buffet table full of chew toys to Fido. The win-win solution here is to replace his potential snacks with a single universal remote, but be careful which one you go with. Remotes with lots of noticeable, glow-in-the-dark buttons made of rubber are probably not the best choice. Logitech's Harmony line has some good alternatives, whose plastic construction isn't very friendly to canines' . . . canines.

For All Your Trouble Done everything you can to keep the little guys away from your gear, and still finding bite marks where they shouldn't be? Try a spray bittering agent, which you can apply to the apparent "tasty zone" until your pet learns that wires aren't something you eat. Brands like Nature's Miracle or Bitter Break are common and affordable. The nasty smell might keep you away as well, though, so be sure to sample before you buy.