March 31, 2018, by Ryan O’Quinn
While everyone has been busy painting Easter eggs this week, we’ve been hard at work removing all the brown ones from our clients’ yards. We wouldn’t want anyone to inadvertently choose the wrong egg on your hunt tomorrow.
That said, with all the prepping for the big day, just make sure your lil’ four-legged furballs don’t accidentally get into something they’re not supposed to. Depending on how you celebrate or decorate on Easter day, be aware of these items that could be dangerous or potentially fatal to your pets.
First on the list are those beautiful Easter lilies. Beautiful as they may be, the Easter lily is one of the most dangerous flowers you can have around your cats. Along with several of the other lily varietals, it can easily cause kidney failure. They’re toxic and often fatal, even if your cat takes only a small nibble on a petal or two. All parts of the lily plant can be deadly to cats, including the leaves, pollen, flower, and even the water the lilies are stored in. 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.
Easter wouldn’t be Easter without those yummy chocolate bunnies. As most folks are already aware, chocolate is highly toxic to dogs. Dark chocolate and unsweetened, bitter chocolate are the most toxic types because they contain the highest amount of a chemical called theobromine (and also caffeine) that must be avoided. Chocolate can also be toxic to cats, however, they tend to stay away from sweet foods.
Easter Basket Items
Plastic eggs, plastic grass, and foil wrappers may be good basket fillers for kids, but all too often look like a tasty treat to your pets. They can be a choking hazard and should be kept away from dogs and cats. These items can cause serious health problems such as airway or mechanical obstruction, gastroenteritis, even pancreatitis. In some cases, these items must be surgically removed. Be sure baskets are kept off the ground, or pets are kept in another room while baskets are being unwrapped.
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 egg hunt, it can make them very sick. The best thing to do is keep track of the number of eggs hidden and make sure all are accounted for at the end of the hunt.
Candy Containing Xylitol
Xylitol is a sweetener most often found in sugar-free baked goods, sugar-free candy, and sugar-free gum. According to PetMD, Xylitol rapidly releases insulin into a dog’s bloodstream, causing an extreme drop in blood sugar. It has also been known to cause liver failure and death. Dogs are actually the only species reportedly affected by xylitol toxicity. The ingestion of xylitol should be considered a medical emergency, and pet owners should contact an emergency center as soon as possible.
Keep your dog safe this Easter by avoiding human food and/or treats. Spending some extra time playing with him/her, going for a long walk, or just a good cuddle session will make his holiday just as special.