I hope that you and your loved one–including your pets–have a happy Easter weekend! As with many holidays, there are a few things to keep in mind so that your pet stays healthy and safe:
- Chocolate is highly toxic to pets, as it contains high concentrations of methylxanthines, such as theobromine and caffeine. You can have a chocolate Easter bunny but to your dog or cat, it’s poison. Seek veterinary care immediately.
- Plastic grass used to fill Easter baskets and decorations can easily be eaten by curious pets but can cause lots of gastrointestinal problems.
- Plastic eggs and toys are tempting targets for a pet to mouth. This can be a bad combination since the pet can choke on an item or get sick from eating candy or chocolate inside.
- Foil wrappings, if eaten, can cause obstructions and upset your pet’s digestive system.
- Food coloring can cause an adverse medical reaction. Make sure that any dyes you wish to use are non-toxic before you purchase them.
- Xylitol, a sweetener which can found in certain candies and foods (including peanut butter), can be lethal to dogs.
- Fatty foods, such as ham or lamb, may make your pet have a very upset tummy or even pancreatitis. Don’t let your pet have helpings of your Easter dinner!
- Onions, garlic, chives, and leeks (members of the allium family) are toxic to both cats and dogs and may cause hemolytic anemia and gastroenteritis.
- Macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs. Symptoms include lethargy, vomiting, wobbliness, tremors, and joint stiffness.
- Alcohol is a big no-no for pets of any persuasion. Keep booze well out of pets’ reach!
- Lilies, while beautiful, are extremely toxic to cats. This includes several varieties (Easter, Stargazer, and Asiatic) as well all parts of the plant: the leaves, petals, pollen, and water in which cut lilies are placed. A cat chewing on or ingesting a lily may experience kidney failure or even die! Seek veterinary care immediately.
Something Else to Consider: Rabbits
Bunnies are cute, yes. Bunnies can be great pets, yes. But rabbits are not for everyone! I strongly advise people against from getting a rabbit as an Easter present without doing research first and being REALLY sure that a rabbit is the pet you want. Taking care of a rabbit is not the same as taking care of a dog or cat or fish. Keep in mind that rabbits are one of the most abandoned pets in the US.