Backpack Adventures

posted: by: Dawn, RVT Tags: "Clinic Specials" "News" 

It’s back-to-school time!  Mornings consist of rushing to dress, eat breakfast, and grab books and backpacks in a mad dash to the bus stop.  Afternoons consist of lugging that backpack with all its homework home and dropping it wherever to get a snack, watch tv, or dash off to practice.  Did you know that a backpack can be dangerous for your pets?!


Pets enjoy the adventure or snooping in and around backpacks.  Kids will put anything and everything in their backpacks.  Of course there are the common items of books, papers, pencils, pens, and erasers.  Chewing or eating pieces of these aren’t overly troublesome as long as they pass through (don’t become stuck in the stomach or intestines).  You could expect mild GI upset if the dog happens to eat your child’s homework.


Other things kids carry that can be harmful to your pets include gum or hard candy (which contains xylitol that will cause low blood sugar and liver damage), over-the-counter pain relievers such as Motrin or Tylenol (will cause liver damage), Albuterol inhalers, and ADHD medications (which are usually amphetamines).  Unfortunately, you may also find illegal drugs in a kid’s backpack, which are harmful to pets.


Then there’s the uneaten lunch, or forgotten moldy leftovers.  Grapes, raisins, chocolate, macadamia nuts, and spoiled foods are all dangerous to pets.


Cats enjoy crawling into small, dark spaces.  Pocket pets will do the same.  Dogs will sniff out and chew or eat almost anything.  The best thing to do is to keep backpacks out of reach of pets, either in a coat closet or closed off bedroom.  Know what is in your child’s backpack, especially if your child carries medication.  If you even suspect your pet may have chewed or eaten something harmful, call your veterinarian immediately.  The sooner your pet receives treatment, even before he shows signs, the better the chances of recovery.


Suburban Animal Clinic is located in West Columbus off I-70 near I-270. Suburban Animal Clinic serves Galloway, Hilltop, West Side, Georgesville, West Jefferson, Grove CityGrandviewUpper Arlington (including OSU Campus area), Hilliard and Dublin.