Bark To School: Getting Your Pet Ready For Back-To-School Season

We’re sorry to type this, but summer break is almost over, and it’s almost time for back-to-school season. Life is about to get even busier, somehow. Knowing this, we wanted to offer some helpful advice on how to take care of your Pets and keep them safe even when your attention is (understandably) diverted.

First, let’s get this out of the way:

A Brief List Of Things That Could Be In Your Child’s Lunchbox But Should Not Be In Your Pet’s Mouth

  • Chocolate
  • Onions
  • Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Garlic
  • Tomatoes
  • Apple cores (and apple seeds)
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Cherries, peaches, or other pitted fruits
  • anything with caffeine in it
  • Avocados
  • Mushrooms
  • Grapefruit
  • Uncooked dough (from bread or cookies)
  • Sugarfree candy and gum (with Xylitol)

Things That Probably Aren’t In Your Child’s Lunchbox, But Might Still Travel With Them To School

  • Moldy or expired food
  • Anxiety, depression, or ADHD medications
  • Albuterol inhalers
  • Art materials with a CL label (AP labeled items are usually non-toxic)
  • Cold packs to keep food cold

Your child will, of course, want and need many of these things. We don’t expect you to avoid them entirely. However, we recommend monitoring which items might be in your child’s school-day ecosystem and your Pet’s proximity to them. Give us a call if anything accidentally ends up ingested.

Make sure to prioritize buying non-toxic school supplies, and keep those lunchboxes and backpacks out of reach when they’re not in use!

Don’t Forget To Spend Time With Your Pets

This is an obvious one, but no less important. With everything going on in your life, pushing quality time with your Pets to the bottom of your to-do list can be almost involuntary. Your Pet may have gotten used to people being around all day and won’t understand why that’s changed. A well-planned routine, family walks, or any activity allowing one-on-one time with your Pet can stave off deeper psychological issues like separation anxiety. It’ll be fun for you, too, because your Pet is pretty great.

Know Where Your Pets Are During Pick-Ups And Drop-Offs

With kids coming and going, many swinging gates and doors will be opened. When you know pick-ups and drop-offs are set to happen, take a moment to secure your Pet safely. You don’t want them escaping when you least expect it!

Having a leash or slip-lead handy for high traffic times is an easy solution. We’d also recommend early morning and afternoon exercises with your Pet, as wearing them down will keep them complacent while your family is out of the house. Plus, it gives them something to look forward to, which cuts down on that separation anxiety!

Keep Your Pet Engaged

Anything that keeps your Pet on their toes will help keep them where you want them to be.

The ASPCA recommends stocking up on toys and filling them with treats your Pet will crave, like frozen banana slices or small amounts of peanut butter. Food puzzle bowls are also a great way to engage your Pet throughout the day and are available online and at most Pet retailers. You could even keep it as simple as hiding treats around your home and praising your Pet when they find one. It can be a special game you play!

And speaking of positive reinforcement training …

Think About Sending Your Pet Back To School, Too!

Whether they’re a puppy who has never seen another puppy or an older Pet who needs a little bump in mental and physical engagement, continuing Pet education is a must. Your Hannah Pet Hospital membership includes several training courses for Pets of all ages, and we’d love to get you into one. Reach out to us by phone or stop by and ask to speak to one of our trainers about getting started. Never stop learning! That goes for your Pet, too.