A trip to any grocery or big box store will reveal that Easter is fast approaching. Plastic eggs, colorful grass, and row upon row of chocolates and sweets fill the shelves as many people gear up for the holiday. Unfortunately, so many of the delights that go along with this day can be hazardous to pets.
Nothing ruins a holiday like a trip to the emergency veterinary clinic! Each year, veterinary hospitals and poison control centers see an increase in calls and visits during Easter weekend. Fortunately, with our Easter pet safety tips, you and your pet can enjoy a fun, safe, uneventful day!
Easter Pet Safety
Every holiday comes with its own set of risks to our furry friends, which is why planning and observation are essential. Make sure your pet doesn’t come into contact with any of the following seasonal items:
- Chocolate – By now, most pet owners know to keep chocolate out of their pet’s paws, but why? Two of the compounds found in chocolate, caffeine and theobromine, are stimulants that are difficult for pets to metabolize. Symptoms of chocolate toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, tremors, seizure, heart arrhythmias, and cardiac arrest.
- Sugar-free treats – Xylitol is a popular sugar substitute commonly added to sugar-free gum, candy, baked goods, and other products. Xylitol is highly toxic to pets and can lead to a dangerous drop in blood sugar, seizure, kidney/liver failure, and even death if not treated promptly. If you know or suspect your pet has eaten something containing xylitol, please call us immediately or bring your pet in to our hospital.
- Easter lilies – Easter lilies are a beautiful hallmark of the season, but if you own a cat, we strongly recommend keeping this particular flower out of your home. Cats have a tendency to nibble on plants, and even a tiny amount (sometimes all it takes is a lick!) can cause GI upset, lethargy, or liver failure in cats. Always check the ASPCA’s list of toxic plants before bringing any live plant into your home.
- Décor – Make sure your pet is indoors before you begin the annual Easter egg hunt. Plastic eggs, real eggs, and artificial grass can cause major problems if ingested. Supervise all Easter day activities, and clean up immediately afterward to prevent a pet emergency.
Don’t Forget About Anxiety!
Easter weekend is often filled with social engagements – egg hunts, family meals, and other gatherings can lead to a lot of guests in your home, which can be hard on pets. If you’re concerned about your companion, consider putting them in a “safe room” that’s quiet and is filled with all their favorite things (toys, bed, food/water, etc.).
The team at Animal Medical Hospital & 24 Hour Urgent Care is equipped to handle a pet emergency on Easter or any other day. Please don’t hesitate to contact our staff with additional questions or concerns regarding your pet. We wish you and your family a safe and happy Easter!