Easter is a special time for families, but there are a lot of not so obvious dangers that can threaten your pets’ safety. Here are few tips to keep them healthy and happy during the holiday.

No Easter Grass

Dogs and cats love to chew on fake Easter grass. This is a big no, no for our furry friends!  When your pet ingests something stringy like this, there is a high probability it can become fixed around the base of the tongue or stomach, and unable to pass through the intestines. Unfortunately, this can cause damage to the intestinal tract, and may require abdominal surgery to remove.

Keep Chocolate Away From Pets

Everyone knows this but it’s worth repeating, chocolate is toxic to your pet.  “In general, the darker and more bitter the chocolate, the greater the danger. Baker’s chocolate and dark chocolate pose the biggest problem. The chemical toxicity is due to methylxanthines (a relative of caffeine) and results in vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, an abnormal heart rhythm, seizures, and possibly death. “ [i]

Easter Lilies are Toxic to Cats

Regrettably, beautiful Easter lilies are highly toxic to our feline friends. Every part of the plant (including the pollen) is toxic to your cat.  Even the smallest amount ingested can cause severe kidney failure.  Symptoms usually start to become obvious 6 – 12 hours after ingestion (vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy).  More severe symptoms are disorientation, staggering, and seizures.

Sugar Substitute Xylitol is Toxic to Pets

Xylitol has a similar sweetness factor as sugar and sucrose making it irresistible to some pets.  It’s used in many sugar-free products including gum, candy, peanut butter, protein bars.  Candy made with xylitol, is toxic to dogs and cats. If your pet ingests it, problems such as seizures and liver failure can occur.

Don’t Lose The Easter Eggs!

If your dog eats or chews on a fake plastic egg, he may experience intestinal problems.  The chocolate and candy inside fake eggs poses their own health risks (see #2 and #4 above).  Real eggs that have been forgotten during an Easter egg hunt will eventually spoil.  If Fido gets a hold of them a few days later you can expect an upset tummy!

For more information about keeping your pet safe, click here.