Back to School Safety Tips for Your Pet
Each year, the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) reports an upward trend in the number of pet emergencies during the first few weeks of a new school year. Here are some tips to keep in mind that can help keep your pets healthy and safe during back-to-school time.
1. Keep backpacks and lunchboxes out of reach
Backpacks and lunchboxes should always be stored out of your pet's reach. Items that can be found in a lunchbox that are hazardous to pets include gum (containing Xylitol), chocolate, grapes, raisins, cold packs, inhalers and various other medications.
2. Prevent ingestion of toxic school supplies
Ingestion of playdough, clay, paint, and salt dough can pose a serious risk to your pet's health. Science project supplies including baking soda for erupting volcanos or homemade slime can often include ingredients that are toxic to our pets if ingested. This list includes but is not limited to laundry detergents, glitter and small toys, high amounts of salt, borax, and essential oils.
3. Ease the transition of schedule changes
When school starts, we are often away from home more than we were during the summer months. Leaving your dog in a secured room or crate with his or her favorite busy toy can help keep them safe while discouraging destruction due to boredom or anxiety. Leaving your cat their favorite toys or a window perch can help keep them occupied while you're out and about. Always remember to have fresh water available for your pets. Regular exercise and quality time spent with your pets in the morning and evening can help alleviate unwanted behaviors from schedule changes. If you feel your pet is showing signs of severe separation anxiety, seek help from your regular veterinarian.
As always, if your pet is experiencing an emergency or you have any concerns at all, contact your regular veterinarian or local emergency clinic immediately.
Emergency Veterinary Clinic of Tualatin
8250 SW Tonka St
Tualatin, OR 97052