February had barely ended when moms across the world began lamenting the Easter holiday period and all the sugary treats it typically entails for their kids. The time is legitimately a tough time for any parent, with marshmallow eggs around every corner.
It’s easy enough to bypass the Easter sugar high; fill your kid’s baskets with healthy treats or little gifts instead of sugar. But while protecting your little ones from the pitfalls of Easter celebrations another loved one’s health might be left by the wayside. Easter might be a fantastic time to spend with family and friends but could potentially be harmful for your beloved dogs, cats and other small pets.
Most adults know that chocolates and pets just don’t mix, but did you know that there are many parts of the Easter celebrations that could hurt your furry friends if you are not careful?
As mentioned, most of us know of the dangers of chocolates for animals. But there is now another silent danger; many sweeties now contain Xylitol, a sugar substitute that is extremely toxic to dogs. Even just ingesting the sweetener in small amounts can cause a drop in your dog’s blood sugar which could lead to seizures, comas and death. In some cases the dose might even have been large enough to cause permanent liver failure. You should consult your vet immediately in the case of ingestion.
In an attempt to limit sugar intake many moms are replacing candies and chocolates with raisins. This might be a good choice for your children but could be deadly for your beloved pets; some dogs may suffer from acute kidney failure if ingesting raisins. Keep these Easter goodies well out of reach of your pets.
The eggs used for the hunt are likely to be dangerous regardless of the option you choose. The dangers of chocolate eggs to your pets is well known, but plastic eggs filled with a healthier selection of goodies for your kids, or even hardboiled chicken eggs just for the hunt, can cause significant problems for your pets.
Plastic eggs can cause digestive or respiratory issues if ingested, while broken pieces of the egg shells could result in cuts on your pet’s paws or in their mouths. Rather ensure that the hunt takes place somewhere pets don’t frequent and then walk through the area once the festivities have ended to ensure all eggs were found and broken pieces picked up.
Many of the plants used for décor in the home or garden during this time of year can be exceptionally dangerous to your pets. The most commonly used dangerous or poisonous plants for your pets include the beautiful Easter lily, Cyclamen, and Amaryllis.
Easter grass, the streamer-like filler of treat baskets, is dangerous for cats. It attracts them as it seems like a fun toy but if ingested accidently could potentially lead to intestinal complications. While this particular danger is not as severe as some of the other Easter “pet traps” it could rack up a huge vet bill, especially considering the time of year and that you might need to use emergency care.
If planning delicious meats such as pork roast or ham for the feast with family and friends please keep in mind that these delicacies, though tasty for your dogs and cats, are not at all good for them. These meats typically contain too much fat and could leave your beloved pet with some digestive issues.
The high salt content in ham poses an additional threat; it could cause neurological issues if enough is eaten. The string typically holding these cuts of meat together is also something to be concerned about. Pets love to play with, and eat these strings, so please ensure that you dispose of them well enough where they cannot be sniffed out by eager little noses looking for an extra Easter treat.
Over Easter the business in the kitchen is bound to include some baking of yummy buns and breads. While the finished products are not necessarily great for your pets, it’s the uncooked dough that could cause trouble; the dough, with live yeast, could become active in your pet’s stomach, much like it would in the oven.
The active yeast converts the sugars in the dough to carbon dioxide and alcohol. The carbon dioxide expands the stomach to the point of discomfort and blocks the return of blood to the heart, resulting in a state of true shock. The alcohol causes a variety of metabolic problems, or what would more commonly be thought of as ‘alcohol poisoning.’ In some instances, the expanding dough can result in an obstruction of the stomach, which may require surgery.
Remember, over Easter your home will be busy, full of people and exciting, tasty treats that will all contribute towards making your pet extra adventurous when it comes to sneaking snacks and playing with “off-limit” toys.
Make sure to ask your guests to not feed your pets anything off the table, or out the basket for that matter, and get rid of anything else that might be dangerous to your furry loved ones.
Content in this article first appeared on Preventive Vet