Vet Warning: Easter Dangers for Pets

While many of us will be looking forward to spending time with family and friends and indulging in sweet treats over the Easter weekend, the celebrations bring several dangers for our pets that owners should be wary of.  

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. 

“Our Easter range has been designed using pet-safe ingredients to ensure our pets can enjoy the festive celebrations without coming to harm.  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.” 

Dr Karlien Heyrman has shared five of the biggest dangers for pets to watch out for this Easter: 

  • 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.

Tulip, hyacinth, and 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 lick 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 turkey 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. 

If you suspect your pet may have eaten something poisonous, contact your vet immediately and avoid trying to solve the issue without the help of an expert.  

For pet-safe Easter fun, Pets at Home’s Easter range is available in-store and online now and includes an easter egg hunt for dogs and a festive Bake at Home Kit complete with an icing pen, biscuit cutter and baking mix. 

There’s also pet-friendly Easter eggs made from carob for dogs and cats, and dandelion leaves for small animals, meaning that even the smallest family members can get involved in the fun.