Easter time is fun for the family but can be dangerous for our pets. With lots of new edible hazards in the house, it’s important for pet owners to take precaution around Easter so prevent any worrying trips to the vet.
Here are six of the most common household hazards that our cats and dogs may be exposed to during the Easter holiday, along with some tips for avoiding them.
The Easter lily is one of the most dangerous flowers you can have around your cats. Along with several of the other varieties of lilies, it will easily put your cat into acute kidney failure. It is often fatal, even if your cat takes only a small nibble on one or two petals. It can also happen when your cat grooms lily pollen off their fur or paws. Given the high risk and the devastating consequences, the safest thing you can do is to keep these lilies out of homes with cats.
Chocolate is another potential threat around Easter-time. Even a small amount of chocolate to some cats and dogs can be devastating. As well as high-fat content, chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine. These two stimulants affect the central nervous system and the heart muscle, as well as urination frequency.
Chocolate poisoning will result in vomiting, diarrhoea, lack of appetite, irritability, rapid heart rate, tremors, and seizures. If ingested in large enough quantities, it can be fatal. If you suspect that your pet has eaten chocolate or is exhibiting any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Raisins, grapes and currants
Raisins, grapes, and currants are common ingredients in hot cross buns, a favourite at Easter time. They can cause acute kidney failure in some dogs. Whilst we still do not know what it is in these fruits that are responsible for this toxicity, we do know that some dogs are susceptible, while others are not. Kidney failure is debilitating, expensive to treat, and often fatal. Keep raisins, grapes and currants, well away from your dogs.
Fresh, hardboiled eggs are not dangerous, but eggs spoil quickly. If days later your pet finds and eats an egg that was undiscovered during the Easter hunt, it can make them very sick.
Tip: Keep track of the number of eggs hidden and make sure all are accounted for at the end of the hunt. This includes chocolate ones and hardboiled decorated eggs.
Another Easter hazard for a curious cat is the artificial “grass” that is often used in Easter baskets and other Easter decorations. This “grass” is often tempting for a playful cat and it can become a linear foreign body if swallowed, requiring surgery to remove the offending object from your cat’s intestinal tract. Left untreated, this type of intestinal foreign body can prove fatal to your cat.
Tip: A better choice? Try using paper, or even real grass!
Those tiny baby chick toys, plastic eggs and bunnies may be good basket stuffers for your kids, but to your pets, they look like a good snack or something fun to play with. Small toys are a choking hazard and should be kept away from cats and dogs. Be sure baskets are kept off the ground, or pets are kept in another room while baskets are being unwrapped.
Tip: Make sure all toys and parts are too big for your pet to fit in their mouth, otherwise keep them away.