Back-to-School Safety Tips for Pets
Each fall, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center sees a surge of back-to-school-related pet poisonings, many of which involve kids’ backpacks and lunchboxes.
Some dogs are very good at unzipping backpacks and lunchboxes and helping themselves to the contents inside. And after a long school day, many kids dump their stuff on the floor when they return home, creating a nearly irresistible target.
Urge your clients to designate an area in their homes for backpacks and lunchboxes so pets can't get them. For really persistent dogs, this may mean keeping these items behind a closed door.
If that’s not possible, encourage caregivers to discard all leftover food and use caution when making choices about what to include in lunchboxes.
Top Lunchbox Toxins
- Gum (which can contain xylitol)
- Grapes and raisins
- Macadamia nuts
- Moldy food
- Cold packs used to keep food cool
- ADHD medications
- Albuterol inhalers
- OTC medications such as NSAIDs and acetaminophen
- Illicit drugs and synthetic marijuana
What’s in That Colored Pencil?
Did you know that all art materials need to be reviewed to determine if they are hazardous by law? 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).
If a product carries an AP seal, it is nontoxic and there are no concerns for toxic effects, though it would still be prudent to assess if the pet is at risk for a foreign body obstruction.
A few art products that are intended for use by adults (and none of the children’s products) may carry a CL seal. Products with CL may present a toxic risk and some may contain heavy metals or other dangers, so additional information will be needed to assess risk.
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Top Toxin Dangers for Pets
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