Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Back-to-School Pet Safety

*This post originally appeared on Barking from the Bayou August 14, 2014. A few updates have been made. 
Bentley: “Hey Pierre, it’s time our annual back-to-school safety post. We are at our local school so we can share some important information with you. It’s close enough to walk from home and that sure beats riding the school bus.  Mom even packed us a lunch.”
Pierre: “This is a great classroom. I’m going to sit up front, so I can be the teacher’s pet. We are learning about School Supply Safety today. It looks pretty interesting so far.  What kind of safety concerns can we find in a classroom?  I mean other than bullies, slamming our paws in lockers, falling out of my chair, and algebra?”
Bentley: “Why is algebra a safety concern?”
Pierre: “I heard Mom say that Algebra kicked her butt.  I am steering clear of that ruffian. Just look for me in the reading circle during recess.”
Bentley: “Ummm, Okie dokie. Maybe we can examine a couple of the kid’s lunch boxes and backpacks for safety hazards. There is the Lost and Found box. Go rummage around and find something we can use. We are going to talk about the dangerous things that pets can get into this time of year. School kids are very sometimes messy. It’s amazing what trouble a dog can find in their stuff besides uneaten homework.”
Pierre: “I found an old backpack in the Lost & Found. The weight alone could cause me a severe injury.  It’s a good thing that I’ve been working out or I may have gotten a hernia just from lifting this bag! Let’s dump it; I smell some kind of fruit candy.”
Bentley: “Good sniff job; but it’s not what you think.  *unzipping backpack  You smell this box of scented markers. If you eat one, it can make you very, very sick.  Trust me; they don’t taste good. They are like the vanilla extract of school supplies. Your nose thinks it smells tasty, but it really makes you gag and spit.  The main difference is that marker spit is really colorful!”
Pierre: *Hee Hee! “The spit would be cool, but I’m not a fan of gagging. You know if it got on my white fur, it’d stain. Okay, cross the delicious smelling markers from the taste test. What else do you see?”
Bentley: “Holy moly! Is that a breakfast cheese Danish? It is covered with green fur. Let’s eat it. Hurry, I hear Mom’s footsteps!”
Me: “Bentley! Put that down this instant. Ugh! That could have made you sick as…well, a dog. It’s important that all leftover food be emptied from lunchboxes or backpacks. Old food can cause stomach problems like vomiting and diarrhea. The bags and wrappers can also pose a choking hazard. You can’t have those raisins either. Gross, those ARE raisins, aren’t they?”
Bentley: “I’m not sure, lemme try it, and I’ll tell you. Ha! You almost gave them to me! Raisins are bad for dogs!”
Pierre: “Check it out, Mom! I used paperclips and built myself some braces. *Cheesy grin Do they make me look like a 6th grader?”
Me: “Yeah, you look really mature. Here, let me get those off your teeth. Paperclips are another school supply danger. They can cut your gums, or you could swallow them. If you managed not to choke, your insides would be in jeopardy.” *Removing faux braces
Bentley: “Aww, you won’t let us put anything in our mouths. What about these pens and pencils? Surely, no harm can come from chewing on a pencil. If I accidentally swallow one, I’ll just eat an eraser and they would cancel each other. Let me show you.”
Pierre: “If Bentley gets to eat a pencil, then I get to eat one too.  No wait, I want to eat a pen.”
Me: “Neither of you is eating a pencil. Those little splinters can become lodged in your mouth and esophagus. Erasers are definitely not digestible. I’ll put these out of your reach. No pens either, especially not the caps. What else is in there?”
Bentley: “There’s some small stuff at the bottom. *Snuffles head into bag SCORE! I call dibs on the money.  There must be at least 58¢ down here. Finders keepers, losers weepers. *Shifts into reverse and backs out with a mouth full of coins. Mhrmph.”
Me: “Spit that nasty money out of your mouth!  *Bentley spits and sputters out coins  It’s important that dogs never put coins in their mouths. Coins come in a variety of sizes, but any of them can cause choking. Some coins can even lead to zinc poisoning. If you eat coins and they don’t come out the other end after a day or two, you’d need to be x-rayed. That would not be fun.”
Pierre: “What about this glue stick? I’ve heard that little kids eat paste. This is just in an easy-to-lick dispenser.”
Bentley: “The idea of you gluing your mouth closed is kinda funny, but don’t lick that. It says on the tube Do Not Eat…that probably means licking too. Look, it’s a jumbo pack of gum. Pierre, do you know how to blow a bubble?”
Me: “Sorry. You can’t have gum either. Several sugarless gums contain xylitol. Even a little bit can cause a life-threatening drop in blood sugar. In large amounts, it can cause liver failure. That’s really scary.”
Bentley: “I guess that it is a good thing we went through this backpack. There are lots of things in here could hurt dogs and cats. It’s important they are kept zipped and out of reach.”
Pierre: “Just in case; it’s a great idea to have your vet’s number handy and Poison Control. The Pet Poison Helpline is available 24/7 at 1-800-213-6680. A fee of $39 per incident applies.  ASPCA Poison Helpline is also 24/7 at 1-888-426-4435. They charge a fee of $65. You can check to see if there is an Animal Poison number in your area that is free.”
Me: “There are more items to be aware of like scissors, electronics, crayons, and rubber bands. Library books and textbooks are expensive. They need to be kept away from pets.”
Bentley: “If your pet and children have spent their summer days playing, the start of school could leave your pet bored. Be sure to leave your dog in a secure area with toys, water, and a place to rest. Extra after school playtime is recommended for pets and children.
Pierre: “We wish all of the furless kids in Blogville a super school year. A few precautions can help keep your pet safe.”
Bentley: “Don’t forget to kiss your dog or cat good-bye before you leave for school each day! School Supply Safety Class is dismissed.”
We hope that you join us for the worldwide Pet Parade blog hop hosted by Dash Kitten and co-hosts Basil & the B Team and me! You can share a wordless or wordy post or tweet to be shared on social media. Show us your holiday photos!! All DOGS, CATS and any other pet blog is welcome. If you want eyes on your post, 
don’t let the Pet Parade pass you by!
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  1. sandwich with green fur? count us in!!! yay!

  2. Great post. Entertaining and informative at the same time :)

    Purrs xx
    Athena and Marie

  3. Great post and we love you sitting at your school desk, Pierre!

  4. Wow, we did NOT know all those things. Got to have 9 yr old grandboy read this post, even tho he
    is very good about emptying his backpack the minute he gets home and keeping ALL away from Dougie Dog, you never know when one little thing can cause trouble ...
    GREAT POST, Thank You!

  5. We look forward to the kids going back to school, restoring the peace and quiet in our neighborhood. Not much danger here from school.

  6. You two wise ones sure covered lots of good information!

  7. Terrific information! I knew that coins can be very bad for our doggy friends, but never considered the sweet smells from markers and glue too.

  8. Traditional School starts here on Monday...800 buses will be on the roadways in our county....
    some new drivers with new routes we are considering staying home all day.
    Hugs Cecilia

  9. Great post ! What a fun way to spread impawtant information ! Purrs

  10. We always bark at the kids going to and from school. We didn't realise how dangerous they really were. Sometimes on our walks--because we live near FIVE schools, we find sandwiches, chip packets and other dropped stuff. But we're not allowed to eat them...

  11. Who knew so many school supplies could be dangerous to us pets. Thanks for the info!

  12. Wow, school backpacks are definitely not a place for dogs! Great post!!

  13. What a great post, with so much must know info! Thank you, Bentley, Pierre and Mom!

  14. you guy always have the best safety advice
    Mabel & Hilda


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