Easter Dangers for Your Pets

We all love Easter and your pets are no exception, but there are a few Easter dangers for your pet and things that you need to keep away from your pets in order to not have to make a trip to the emergency vet:

Chocolate: Chocolate contains Theobromine which can lead to death in dogs. The type of chocolate, how much they consume and the size of your pet are all factors in how your dog will react. The smaller the dog and the darker the chocolate, the more dangerous. If your dog does ingest chocolate, watch for nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and cardiac arrhythmias. If your dog shows any of these signs, get them to a veterinary clinic as soon as possible. I remember when I was growing up our family Schnauzer ate an entire box of chocolate covered cherries.  This was long before any of us knew that chocolate was toxic so we weren’t too worried.  The dog was sick, but recovered in a few days.  Looking back on that experience, I realized we were VERY lucky.

Plastic eggs: I play a game with my dogs called ‘Find the Easter Eggs’.  They love playing that game, but I have to monitor them very closely to ensure they don’t try to eat the plastic eggs.  If the eggs break, they may actual swallow the plastic which could lead to digestive issues and a trip to the vet to have it removed.

Easter lilies: The biggest danger for cats is Easter Lilies. They are almost always fatal when digested. Even drinking the water or playing in the soil can be harmful. So don’t bring the flowers inside the house if you have a cat. There is no known treatment and it can shut down your cat’s kidneys quickly.

Plastic Easter Grass: This is a hazard for cats and dogs because it can cause a blockage if swallowed. Cats love the way it feels in their paws and they tend to play with it and stick it in their mouth. Dogs usually go straight to eating it if there is candy in it.

Common Easter Foods:  Some holiday foods can cause serious stomach upset or pancreatitis.   Ham, for instance, is very dangerous for cats and dogs. In addition to being high in fat, ham is also very salty.  Pets will climb counters and get into the trash for a taste of that rich holiday meal. Be sure to freeze the carcass, including the bones, and avoid leaving ham sitting on a counter where your pets may be able to reach it. In addition, ham and other meats may come packaged with string wrapped around them. When you remove the string, tie it up in a plastic bag and dispose of it outside in the trash can immediately. Pets may swallow the tasty packaging, which can be disastrous.  Never give your pets alcoholic beverages or table scraps of any kind. Instead, give them their regular food, treats, and lots of love. Never give your pet leftover bones from meals you are making. Ingested bones can splinter and be fatal. Educate visitors and guests on the dangers of giving table scraps to your pets. Many non-pet owners are simply unaware of the risks of giving bones to cats or dogs.

If you are having guests over for the holiday, why not confine your pets to the bedroom or another room in the house where they can be safe and you don’t have to worry about them getting something they shouldn’t have.  This is especially true if there will be children at your house.  My niece and nephew are just the right height for our dogs to be able to reach up and grab whatever food they have in their hands.  They also think it is fun to feed our dogs so our dogs are confined to our bedroom while we have guests over for the holidy