The snow is melting, the flowers are blooming…time to wish all of our friends a Happy Easter…
…and a Happy Passover!
Most responsible pet owners know that pets and chocolate don’t mix. But there are a few other Easter related pet hazards that dog and cat owners should know about. Here’s a quick rundown on the most common Easter items that could harm your pet.
Chocolate is toxic to our pets and should always be kept away from curious or hungry dogs, cats, and other animals. Why is chocolate so dangerous? Besides caffeine, chocolate contains another stimulant called theobromine. These substances can cause rapid heart rate, agitation, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea in pets.
The popular Easter lily poses a serous health risk to cats. Other types of lilies you may bring into your home at Easter are also toxic. These include tiger and stargazer lilies. While the exact toxin in lilies hasn’t been identified, a cat that ingests even a small bite of any part of a lily plant (leaf, flower, stem, pollen) can develop severe, sometimes fatal, kidney failure.
Those thin strands of plastic grass used to line Easter baskets can pose a health risk to pets. If ingested by dogs, cats, or other animals, they can become lodged in your pet’s gastrointestinal tract and cause an obstruction. Surgery may be required to remove the blockage and repair intestinal damage.
In addition to chocolate, it’s important to keep an eye on your pets as you prepare Easter dinner and serve it at the table. Remember that common human foods can be harmful to pets. Here’s a partial list:
You can refer to the Pet Poison Helpline’s complete list of pet toxins for more information.
Dogs Trust today launched an awareness campaign after conducting a survey which revealed that more than 10% of pet dogs given chocolate intended for humans became ill.
Nearly a quarter of these required urgent veterinary treatment, and around 8% died as a result of eating the confectionary.
The new Chocs Away! awareness drive aims to highlight the tragic consequences of feeding dogs chocolate intended for humans this Easter.
In statement, the charity highlighted lack of awareness amongst dog owners, reporting 39% of dogs who ate human chocolate were given the treat by their owners and 61% found it themselves in the home.
Veterinary director for Dogs, Paula Boyden, said: “Apart from the risks of obesity and the obvious dangers of eating the foil wrapping, the biggest risk of eating human chocolate is poisoning, resulting in an emergency dash to the vet and sadly even death.
“Chocolate contains theobromine, which, although tolerated by humans, is extremely toxic to man’s best friend. The darker the chocolate, the greater the amount of theobromine. Toxic doses vary according to the size of dog and cocoa solid content of the chocolate.
“As a rough guide, Dogs Trust estimates that 50g of plain chocolate could be enough to kill a small dog, such as a Yorkshire Terrier, while just 400g could be enough to kill an average size dog.”
In its statement, the charity issued the following points of advice: