There’s so much to love about Easter. It’s the start of spring, egg hunts, Easter baskets with gifts, sweets and celebrations with family and friends. Of course, the festive treats of this fun-filled holiday can also present certain hazards to your pet, so do be on your guard!
Easter is a time when many bring different festive items into their homes to aid in the celebrations, like chocolate candy wrapped in foil, small, plastic toys, poisonous plants and synthetic grass to adorn the carefully decorated Easter eggs. Unfortunately, all of these items pose very real health risks to your pet were they to get ahold of them and ingest them.
That’s why you must be mindful of what you bring into your home and what you leave out around the house. So, before you start hiding the eggs and putting up those pastel streamers, take a look at these most common Easter hazards that you should keep in the forefront of your mind:
- Chocolate – Every year, emergency veterinary hospitals see an up-tick in phone calls and visits because pets get ahold of chocolate and other sweet treats. Chocolate, in particular, can cause gastrointestinal upset, pancreatitis, stimulation to the nervous system causing seizures, hyperactivity and tremors as well as elevation in heart rate. And, it’s important for all pet owners to note that not all chocolate is created equal. For example, dark chocolate is the most dangerous for pets. Other ingredients you want to keep out of reach include raisins, xylitol, macadamia nuts and alcohol.
- Synthetic Grass – A popular Easter decoration is the plastic grass that you put in egg and gift baskets. Sure, it’s festive and fun, but it can be dangerous around your pets. If they were to ingest this stringy, plastic material, it could wreak all sorts of havoc on their bodies. Pets can’t absorb this material, and it can become lodged in their gastrointestinal tract. If you think your pet has ingested any of this material, signs of concern include vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, lethargy and decrease in appetite.
- Holiday Plants – While there are many plants that can cause issues for pets, during this Spring holiday, more gifts of Lilies and bulbs are brought into homes. Unfortunately, these beautiful blooms can cause serious concerns for pets, cats in particular. Exposure to these plants can cause gastrointestinal upset and kidney problems.
- Gardening Supplies – With the start of spring and holiday celebrations in the air, it’s a nice time for people to head outdoors to spruce of their yards. This means that potential hazardous materials like fertilizers and herbicides are often out where pets can easily get into them. So, make sure you keep these supplies stored some place where pets can’t get into them, and keep them indoors while you’re applying or working with the products. If your pet does get into any chemicals, call your veterinarian or poison control center immediately.
The best way to ensure that everyone has a happy and safe Easter holiday is to keep any potentially dangerous items out of your pet’s reach. But, in the event that something does happen, be sure you know what signs to look out for if you think they have ingested something toxic, and have those emergency veterinary numbers on-hand.