Blog

Aug. 15, 2018

How To Keep Your Pet Safe Back to School Edition
Back to School Pet Safety

School has started. Daily routines are settling. Soon the neighborhood kids and new school friends will be spending the afternoon at your house. Weekend sleepovers will have your living room filled with sleeping bags and toys. Science projects, art supplies, homework, backpacks, & lunch boxes will fill the house. Brushing up on some pet safety tips could prevent an emergency!
 
Toxic Items 
We are all familiar with the lists that circulate every holiday on items to keep away from your pets. But it is not just holidays when we have to worry about our pets getting into items that can harm them. Did you know that many of the school supplies your kids use every can be harmful to your pet if ingested? Here is a list of items that attract your pets that could be potentially cause choking or a blockage if ingested. According to the ASPCA’s Back to School Safety Tips for Pets, “If a pet gets into a backpack and pulls out art materials, a good place to start in assessing risk is to ask the owners about an ACMI seal. These seals will typically either read AP (approved product) or CL (cautionary label).”
* Fidget Spinners
* Erasers
* Glue (sticks or bottled)
* Loose Change
* Small toys like action figures
* Bouncy balls
* Crayons/Markers/Colored Pencils
* Pencils/Pens 
* Paperclips
* Plastics in lunch bags & backpacks
* Ice Packs
* Chewing Gum
* Grapes & Raisins
If you suspect your pet has ingested a toxic item or may be suffering from an intestinal blockage, contact your veterinarian or local animal emergency clinic! 
Open Doors
Kids are notorious for leaving doors open. Pets are notorious for running out open doors. Having your child’s new friends from school over means going over safety rules, not just for the children but also for the pets. In addition to reminding them to not feed the pet people food or non-edible items, it is equally important to remind them to keep the doors closed and to watch out for Fido & Fluffy before opening a door. Kids are smart. Kids love animals. Being honest with your children and their friends about what could happen to Fluffy if she has access to the pool or that Fido could be hit by a car if they leave the door open could prevent an unnecessary accident. 
Proper Introductions
Dog bites are becoming front page news every day. Your child’s new friends need to be properly introduced and educated on how to greet your pet and where they can pet them to prevent bites and injuries. Be clear and direct that Fido does not like hands near his face or that no one is to get near him when he is eating. Spare Fluffy the stress and make it known that pulling her tail will not be well tolerated and could end up in a scratch or a cat bite. Kids can be sneaky, so it may be necessary to keep the family pet away from the sleepover shenanigans. If you have a pet that does not do well around new people, it may be best to leave them in a quiet room alone for their safety and the children’s safety.