NATIONWIDE — It's the start of the school year, which means children could bring home leftover food and other items that may be poisonous to your dog.

  • Food, items toxic to dogs can be stowed in backpacks, lunchboxes
  • Veterinarians offer safety tips for dogs, list of food toxins

BluePearl Pet Hospitals is offering some tips for parents to ensure your furry family member stays healthy. 

Each fall, vets from the company say they notice a surge of back to school-related pet poisonings and injuries, many of which involve kids' backpacks and lunchboxes.

Dogs could make their way into backpacks and lunchboxes and help themselves to the contents inside. When kids come home and drop their stuff on the floor, goodies can make for an irrisistable target for dogs. 

Vets recommend that pet owners designate a specific area in their homes for backpacks and lunchboxes that's well out of reach of pets. For persistent dogs, this may mean putting items behind a closed door. If possible, you should discard leftover food before the child gets home. 

Here are some common lunchbox and backpack toxins and dangers pet owners should be aware of: 

Lunchbox toxins:

  • Gum (which can contain xylitol)
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Onions
  • Moldy food
  • Cold packs used to keep food cool

Backpack toxins/dangers:

  • Pencils and arts and crafts
  • Small toys
  • ADHD medications
  • Albuterol inhalers
  • OTC medications such as NSAIDs and acetaminophen
  • Homemade slime
  • Hand sanitizer 

Follow these tips to ensure a safe and happy pet this school year.