EASTER – a time of delicious chocolatey celebration. But what about your fur buddies?
Easter presents some hidden hazards for our dogs and cats.
For many of us, Easter is a time to relax and take a well-deserved break from work or studies. The weather may be a little cooler as Autumn sets in. Families and friends gather in celebratory style for fun and food and lets not forget… plenty of Easter eggs!
Unfortunately, Easter also sees veterinary clinics become quite busy with emergency cases.
Here are 4 easy steps to making Easter a safe and enjoyable holiday for your fur buddy.
1. Keep goodies out of reach
Chocolate is usually in abundance during Easter. It is also one of the major causes of veterinary emergency calls.
As most of us know, chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats, even in small quantities. Dark chocolate is more toxic than milk chocolate but the processed fat in all chocolate can cause an upset stomach and even pancreatitis.
To avoid an emergency trip to the vet during Easter, never leave chocolate unattended where your Fido can sneak it away.
Another danger to look out for during Easter is xylitol, an artificial sweetener often found in sugar-free candy. While xylitol is perfectly safe for people, it can cause severe hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) and even death in dogs. If you think your pet has eaten xylitol, take him to your vet or an emergency animal hospital immediately.
Since cats generally don’t have a sweet tooth, they are less in danger of xylitol poisoning. Nevertheless, many pet owners choose to have a xylitol-free home all year round.
Please avoid sharing your hot cross buns with your fur buddies. Raisins are a huge no-no and are toxic to pets.
Remember to discourage well-meaning guests from sneaking treats to your furry friend. Pet-free people are often unaware of the dangers involved in feeding human candy to pets.
2. Beware of the Easter basket
Easter baskets are lovely gift ideas for children and adults alike.
If you are a pet owner, however, you need to be aware of the hazards that an Easter basket might contain for your pet.
Small plastic objects, like eggs, toys and filler materials like synthetic Easter grass, are easily swallowed and likely to cause a dangerous digestive obstruction, which may lead to expensive emergency surgery.
A pet who has ingested one of the above items may exhibit vomiting, weakness, diarrhoea, pain or bloating.
Contact your veterinarian if you notice these signs!
Safer Easter basket ingredients may include:
- Shredded recycled paper is a pet-safe and eco-friendly alternative to synthetic grass.
- If you choose to use plastic eggs for your basket and egg hunt, use large-sized eggs that your dog cannot swallow whole.
As always in the case of foreign body ingestion, it’s easier to prevent than to treat.
3. Say no to lilies!
Lilies are beautiful, fragrant and festive…and deadly to your cat!
The variety of lily determines whether it is a relatively harmless or potentially deadly plant, but most varieties of the Lilium species are highly toxic to cats, including the pretty Easter lily, Lilium longiflorum.
Even small ingestions of this plant, such as 1-2 petals, licking pollen from fur or paws, or drinking water from the vase can result in severe, acute kidney failure and death.
If you suspect that your cat has eaten some lily component seek urgent veterinary attention.
Dogs are not affected by lilies quite as drastically as cats, but can develop gastrointestinal irritation with vomiting and diarrhoea from chewing on them.
Other popular Easter flowers, such as daffodils and tulips, may also be toxic to pets.
These are especially tempting to kittens or puppies at home that might be tempted to dig up bulbs. It’s best to avoid having these plants in your home or garden.
4. Set your pet up for success
When planning for a safe and enjoyable Easter for your pet, most important is sticking to your ordinary daily routine as much as possible, especially if you’re a dog owner.
Destructive behaviour, such as digging up plants, raiding the kitchen or chewing inappropriate items is usually brought on by boredom or anxiety and can be prevented by keeping your pet well-stimulated.
If you are planning to have family and friends over for Easter, take your dog for a long, vigorous walk in the morning, before your guests arrive (we are sure both you and your fur buddy will enjoy it!). A dog that is well exercised and tired will be better behaved around young children and around people who are unaccustomed to dogs.
Another tip is to feed a small meal before your company arrives. A full tummy will make your dog less inclined to beg at the dinner table.
If there is too much action going on during your Easter party, a cat might be happier having a quiet place where they can get away from it all. If your guests are staying for the weekend, consider creating a safe kitty haven, with food and water bowls, litter box, toys etc., where your cat can escape to.
We wish you and your fur buddy a safe and happy Easter holiday!
The article was brought to us with the help of PlaqueOff Animal, Sweden