Easter is a time of joy and celebration for many families, but it can also pose serious risks for our furry friends. From chocolate eggs to lilies, many common Easter items can be toxic or harmful to pets, leading to emergency visits to the vet.

Dr Karlien Heyrman, Head of Pets at Pets at Home, said:

Easter is a big family celebration for many, and a time for sharing gifts with loved ones to show them just how special they are. Of course, we don’t want our pets to miss out on that, but many of the treats we enjoy as humans can be very dangerous to our furry friends – especially chocolate eggs.”

Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, both of which can be toxic to pets, so it’s important to keep it well away from them.”

Our Easter range has been designed using pet-safe ingredients to ensure our pets can enjoy the festive celebrations without coming to harm. We’ve also reduced the amount of sugar in our eggs by 30% from last year’s range. It is worth remembering that, just like with any other treat, Easter goodies should be given in moderation as part of your pet’s daily calorie intake and as a reward for good behaviour.”

To help pet owners keep their companions safe and healthy this Easter, Dr Karlien Heyrman has shared five of the biggest dangers to watch out for:

1. Chocolate eggs

Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, both of which can be toxic to our pets, so it’s important to keep it well away from them at all times. Dark chocolate is especially dangerous as it usually contains more theobromine.

Try to be extra vigilant over the Easter period when there is likely more chocolate around than usual.

2. Hot cross buns

Hot cross buns are an Easter staple, but they can be dangerous for our canine companions. 

Raisins, which are a common ingredient in the sweet buns, can cause kidney failure in dogs, so any treats containing these need to be kept safely out of reach and hidden away in cupboards or on high shelves.

3. Easter bouquets

They may look pretty, but some of our favourite spring flowers are highly poisonous to pets, so be careful if you’re buying new blooms for the house.

Tulips, hyacinth, daffodil flowers and bulbs are highly toxic for dogs and cats, so be sure to keep a close eye on your furry friend, especially if they are known to dig in the garden.

Lilies are highly toxic for cats, so much so that they shouldn’t even go near the water the flowers have been standing in. Cats who brush against lilies can also get pollen on their fur and suffer poisoning when they clean themselves.

4. Small plastic toys

Be mindful of small toys which are often found in children’s Easter eggs and plastic eggs, both of which could be a choking hazard for pets.

If you are planning to hide plastic or chocolate eggs outside, make sure to keep your pooch inside until they have all been found, and keep any small toys well out of reach.

5. Your traditional roast dinner

As a rule, it’s always best to avoid giving pets human treats, including scraps from your plate, as these are often very high in calories and can even be toxic to cats and dogs.

Although it may be tempting to involve them when you sit down to a roast dinner on Easter Sunday, avoid giving your dog any cooked lamb or chicken bones. Small bones can splinter off and cause serious issues like getting stuck in your pet’s intestines, so never allow your pet to chew on them. Fatty pieces of meat can also cause stomach issues in dogs.

Date: 03/04/2024