Like others, children in Maryland are waking up today ready for the first day of school. As the alarm sounds at 6:00AM, sleep-eyed kids are slowly waking up, gathering school supplies and lunchbox goods for the first day on campus. Pets are excited, too; and they may become all too curious as to what kids are shoving in their backpacks. Here are pet safety tips for the new school year:
1. Developing a Routine
Dogs are adjusting to your child's changing wake-up schedule just like you. Although the focus may be on your child during the first couple of weeks of the new year, re-connecting with your dog at the end of a busy week will make puppies feel loved and not neglected. Consider activities where you can bond with your dog including: Trips to the dog park, a weekend hike, or simply throwing a ball in the fenced-in backyard.
2. Choking Hazards
The dog eating your homework is the least of your worries. Dogs can easily choke on school supplies including pens, pencil sharpeners, erasers and marker caps if left unattended. Chewing gum contains xylitol which can be toxic to dogs. Keep out of reach of active dogs that may jump on beds. It's best to zip-up backpacks with these items securely inside away from pups reach.
3. Children Medications
Kids with asthma may be carrying inhalers that should be kept away from animals. Same goes for ADHD medications, and OTC medications such as Tylenol that contain acetaminophen. Even Band-aids are considered to be choking hazards for a dog.
4. Lunchbox Items
Who doesn't love lunchtime? Your dog is no different. If your child brings home leftovers, make sure dogs will not get sick from food that may be laying around such as onions, raisins/grapes, macadamia nuts and chocolate.
5. Avoid Dog Anxiety
As once stated, your dog is adjusting to the household's new schedule; and your dog may be left alone for long periods of time. The house will remain quiet. Your dog may feel nervous and alone. Turn on soft music to soothe nerves and let the sound of voices help them relax.