My Dog Chewed Up the Controller—Now What?

Learn what to do if your dog decided to turn one of your remote controls into his or her newest chew toy.

By Deirdre Mundorf | Published Jan 30, 2024 9:33 PM

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A dog, a Golden Retriever, is gnawing on TV remotes and phones.The dog is a rodent.

Photo: istockphoto.com

We all love our dogs. However, they often do things that baffle our minds and leave pet parents feeling frustrated, such as deciding that one of the family’s remote controllers looks like a great chew toy. If this just happened to you, start by making sure that your dog is OK and that your pet didn’t ingest anything that could potentially harm them.

Then, shift your focus to addressing the problem they created. Whether you’re dealing with a broken heated blanket remote, the controller for your LED lights, or the TV remote, the solution might be simpler than you think. Remote replacement is sometimes an option, as are several work-arounds.

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TV Remote 

Family wathching tv and using high speed internet device, Canada

Photo: istockphoto.com

If your dog chewed on the TV remote, all is not lost. You have a few options that should still allow you to watch all your favorite shows and movies.

    1. Purchase a universal remote control: Universal remotes like this GE Universal Remote Control, are designed to work with different television brands and models. They’ll require only a few minutes of your time to program them to work with your television. You can also find remotes specifically made for various television brands, like this Voice Replacement for Samsung Smart TV Remote at Amazon. As a bonus, most universal remotes can also be programmed for use with a cable box and smart-home devices, so you can cut back on the number of remotes you’ll need to keep away from your dog.
    2. Download an app to your smartphone: Depending on the model of your smartphone and your television, you might be able to control the TV using a mobile app. Search for “remote control app” plus your television brand to see what is available. Just remember, your phone’s Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection could impact the TV’s performance.
    3. Contact the company for a replacement: Consider reaching out to your television manufacturer (or your cable or satellite company) to request a new remote.

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Heated Blanket Controller

man with an electric blanket and reading a book on a sofa

Photo: istockphoto.com

Electric blankets (and similar devices, such as electric heating pads and heated mattress pads) typically feature a controller that is attached to a cord connected to the fabric. If your dog chews up the controller, you may be worried that you’ll have to purchase an entirely new blanket, which can be expensive. Fortunately, you can often purchase a replacement from the manufacturer. The replacement piece should include the entire cord, so if your dog frayed the wire on that too, you won’t need to worry. The cord plugs into the blanket, so you can unplug the existing one to help ensure the replacement you purchase is compatible.

Ceiling Fan Remote

This photograph represent a remote control for an air conditioner

Photo: istockphoto.com

A chewed up remote for a lamp or ceiling fan is another item you can typically replace, eliminating the need to purchase a new fixture.

  1. Purchase a replacement remote: If the chewed remote or switch isn’t connected to the device via a cord, you can purchase a replacement from the manufacturer. There are also universal remotes for different brands, like the Hampton Bay Universal Smart Wi-Fi 4-Speed Ceiling Fan Remote, which also allows you to control your device through an app or virtual assistant.
  2. Replace the switch on a lamp cord yourself: While it might seem like more of an undertaking, it is possible to replace a switch that is connected to a lamp cord.
    • After unplugging the lamp, examine the cord to see whether it is marked SPT-1 or SPT-2. This will help you determine the appropriate size switch to purchase.
    • Remove the chewed-up switch, ideally without cutting the wires.
    • Next, strip off about ¼ inch of the wire coating on both wires (or only the hot wire if there is only one screw in the new switch).
    • Attach the wires to the appropriate screw. The hot wire attaches to the brass screw, and if there is a silver screw, it is for the neutral wire.
    • Close the switch cover, plug in the lamp, and test it out.
  3. Hire a professional to replace a switch on a cord for you: While replacing a switch is a DIY project for some, you can also consider hiring a qualified professional if you don’t feel comfortable tackling the job or don’t have the time to do so.

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LED Light Strip Remote

Hand holding a LED strip remote control on a white background, LED lights on and blue color of RGB LED strip pressing the remote control of the RGB LED lights

Photo: istockphoto.com

LED light strips make it possible to illuminate shelves, picture frames, stairways, and other areas in the home. With the remote control, you can change the color of the lights to set the mood and create a custom look. If your dog chewed up that remote, all hope is not lost. Here are a few things you can try:

  • Download a mobile app: If your strip lights are Wi-Fi or Bluetooth enabled, then they are one of many home devices that you can control from your phone. Look for the brand of the lights and download the corresponding app. Once downloaded and paired, test it out to see how it works. If you’re unsure of the brand, go back to the website or store where you purchased it, and the brand should be listed on your order receipt.
  • Purchase a replacement remote: If the strip lights you have aren’t Wi-Fi or Bluetooth compatible, or you simply want a physical remote control, you might be able to purchase a replacement from the manufacturer. Check their website, or contact customer service if you cannot find what you’re looking for.