Q: I teach after-school art classes in my home, and I often leave my pupils’ creations out to dry overnight. I am adopting a new puppy, Matisse, and I want him to be able to join my students while they’re working on their projects. Are there any precautions I should take?
A: Yes, some art supplies are toxic if they are ingested, inhaled or contact the skin, so you should crate Matisse when you can’t supervise him.
Prevent him from chewing on paint brushes and other tools. If wood, modeling clay, fabric, plastic or foam gets lodged in his stomach or intestines, he may need surgery.
Don’t let Matisse touch wet paint, lick ceramic glaze or inhale solvents. Don’t feed or water him in your art room, and don’t let your students pet him until they’ve washed their hands. If he gets something on his coat, clean it with pet shampoo or liquid dishwashing soap, not a solvent.
With proper oversight, Matisse should remain safe – and he may even become an inspiring muse to some of your students.
Editor’s Note: The ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center is available all day, every day.
Lee Pickett, V.M.D. practices companion animal medicine. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.