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A+ in Pet Safety: Back to School Preparations for Pet Owners

As the back-to-school season approaches, excitement fills the air for students and parents alike. Amidst the hustle and bustle of preparing for a new academic year, it's essential to remember that this transition can also pose potential hazards for our furry friends. From changes in routine to new risks around the house, here's a guide to help you navigate the dangers of going back to school with pets.

  1. Separation Anxiety: The sudden change from a summer filled with companionship to long hours alone can trigger separation anxiety in pets. Dogs, in particular, are social creatures that thrive on human interaction. The sudden absence of family members can lead to stress, destructive behaviour, and excessive barking. Gradually acclimate your pets to being alone by practising short departures and providing stimulating toys.

  2. Unsupervised Mischief: With kids returning to school, there's a chance that doors and gates could be left open or unlocked, potentially leading to pets escaping. To prevent accidental escapes, ensure that all doors and gates are securely closed. Additionally, curious pets might explore previously off-limits areas during the summer.

  3. Chewing Hazards: School supplies, like pencils, pens, markers, and erasers, can be irresistible chew toys for pets. Ingesting these items can lead to choking hazards, gastrointestinal obstructions, or toxic reactions. Keep all school supplies out of your pet's reach and encourage kids to keep their belongings organized to prevent accidents.

  4. Snack and Food Dangers: With lunchboxes and snacks making a comeback, reminding kids not to share their school snacks with pets is important. Many human foods, such as chocolate, grapes, raisins, and xylitol (found in sugar-free gum), can be toxic to pets. Educate your family about the dangers of feeding pets from the table.

  5. School Supplies and Pets Don't Mix: Craft supplies, like glue sticks, scissors, and string, can be enticing to pets but are potentially hazardous. Ingesting these items can lead to gastrointestinal issues or blockages. Store all school supplies in a safe place and supervise kids when they're using craft materials.

  6. Changes in Routine: Pets thrive on routines, and a sudden shift in the family's schedule can be unsettling. Dogs accustomed to daily walks might experience a lack of exercise, leading to pent-up energy and behavioural problems. Gradually adjust your pet's routine to align with the new school schedule, ensuring they still receive proper exercise and attention.

While the back-to-school season is exciting for families, it's crucial to be aware of the potential dangers it poses to our beloved pets. By being proactive, educating your family members, and making necessary adjustments to your pet's routine, you can ensure that your furry friends stay safe, healthy, and happy during this transitional period.

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