back to school

back to school header image

Back-to-school season is an exciting time for the family, but it can be disruptive, distressing and even dangerous for pets. The number one danger during this time of transition is pets eating school supplies not meant for snacking!

Petplan has seen more than one furry friend with scholarly taste end up in detention. A Goldendoodle who gorged on Gorilla Glue required more than $2,000 in veterinary treatment, while a Boxer mix needed surgery after bingeing on books, totaling more than $3,000 in vet bills.

Aside from developing an unusual appetite, signs your pet is feeling stressed can range from bathroom accidents and compulsive licking, to excessive whining, meowing or barking.

To help stressed pets ease back into the school year safely, take notes on these tips from Petplan:

Food for thought: Popular lunchbox favorites can prove perilous for pets. Grapes and raisins (including those baked into cookies!) can cause fatal kidney failure in dogs, while chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea and heart problems. According to Petplan, reimbursement for food poisoning claims averages $480, and some pets need treatment exceeding $4,500! So keep backpacks and lunch bags off the floor, and stow snacks safely and securely.



After-school activities: Pets who suddenly find themselves alone for hours on end may experience separation anxiety or become bored, so give them fun things to do during the day. Select special toys to keep brains engaged, or hide food-stuffed treats around the house. Leave a radio on so the house isn’t completely quiet, and consider doggy day care a few days a week if it fits your family budget. Socializing with other four-legged friends can perk up even the poutiest pooch!



Class is in session! Physical exercise is important, but pets can benefit from mental exercise, as well. Pick a new trick or two to teach your furry friend (yes, that includes cats!), and have the whole family work together on training. If your pet is athletic, consider enrolling in an obedience or agility class. Your pet will enjoy the stimulation of learning something new, and the whole family will benefit from the additional time spent bonding together.