Paws up, who’s ‘egg-cited’ about the bank holiday weekend? We are! In all the excitement it’s important to remember that there are lots of potential dangers to pets at Easter, so here are our top tips for keeping your furry friends safe:
- Keep track of where any chocolate eggs are hidden
- Store hot cross buns away (or even better, eat them!)
- Check with gift givers that presents are pet-friendly
- Re-gift bouquets which contain lilies to friends without pets
Hide your Easter eggs from pets
Chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats
If you are planning on doing an Easter egg hunt make sure your pets don’t find them first. Keep a list of where chocolate eggs have been hidden and mark them off when they are found.Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine which is toxic to dogs and cats. Different types of chocolate contain varying amounts of theobromine. It only takes a small amount to cause signs of toxicity in dogs. Even if your dog only eats a tiny amount, it may cause signs of gastrointestinal upset such as vomiting and diarrhoea. Signs of chocolate toxicity are usually seen 2-4 hours after eating chocolate. If the concentration of theobromine is high, other signs may be seen such as restlessness, seizures or loss of consciousness.
Hot cross buns! Hot cross buns!
Delicious for people but no good for pups
We normally eat hot cross buns around Easter, however, these contain dried fruits such as raisins, sultanas and currants; all of which are toxic to dogs. If your dog eats even a small quantity of these they can suffer severe kidney failure which may be fatal.
Each dog’s response to these fruits can be different. Some pets can consume large quantities of these fruits and demonstrate no signs of toxicity while others may show severe signs after eating small amounts. Signs of poisoning include vomiting and or diarrhoea a few hours after ingestion, a decrease in your pet’s appetite as well as lethargy and weakness.
Wrapped gifts can conceal potential dangers
Keep gifts hidden away from pets, especially if you don’t know what they contain
Another Easter tradition is giving each other gifts. Unfortunately, wrapped gifts can conceal potential dangers or even be dangerous themselves. Cats and dogs may eat small objects if they are lying around. These objects then pass down the oesophagus to the stomach and intestine where they may become stuck cause obstruction. Signs include vomiting, loss of appetite and depression. These signs are caused by blockage of the movement of food along the digestive tract or in serious situations perforation of the digestive tract which results in peritonitis.
Sometimes the wrapping itself can be dangerous. Some pets, in particular cats, have been known to eat string and ribbons that are used to wrap presents. These then can also become foreign bodies which can cause complications in the digestive tract such as perforation of the digestive system
Pretty lilies can be pretty problematic for pets
Keep Easter lilies locked away from pets
As part of their Easter celebrations, friends and family may give each other lilies. Lilies can be toxic to cats, though some varieties of lily are also toxic to dogs. All parts of the lily plant can cause toxicity if ingested. Airborne pollen from lily plants can also be harmful. Lilies cause damage to the kidneys and this can result in acute kidney injury and ultimately kidney failure. Signs of lily poisoning include excessive salivation, vomiting, depression and increased urination; these can all be serious and result in irreversible damage to the kidneys or even death.
What to do in an emergency
Get to a vet if you suspect your pet has been poisoned
Toxicity is incredibly serious and can sometimes result in death, so it is critical you speak to a vet. If you’re concerned that your pet may have consumed any of the above you should get in contact with your vet immediately, as acting fast in these situations cannot be emphasised enough. If your pet has eaten something they shouldn’t have done, but isn’t showing any signs of illness you can get advice on how to proceed from an experienced PawSquad online vet 24/7.