How to keep your dog safe at Easter

Our top tips to keep your dog safe and happy during this spring-time season

For families with pets, Easter time can be potentially dangerous, given the amount of chocolate involved, often in the hands of children - so it is really important to keep your pets safe, and not to let them get their paws on anything naughty!

In this article we will look at how you can keep your pet safe and happy around the Easter period, and how to ensure that they don’t eat anything that they shouldn’t whilst everyone’s attention is distracted.

Chocolate poisoning

Although this is a danger that most, if not all, pet owners are aware of, Easter poses a higher risk of your furry friend ingesting chocolate. This is due to a toxin called Theobromine, a chemical found in the plants used in chocolate manufacture. Humans are able to break down Theobromine quickly enough for it not to act as a poison. However, dogs metabolise the chemical much slower, meaning it can have detrimental effects. Chocolate Easter eggs are available in abundance during this time, and keeping a close eye on your pets can be hard when spending time with family. Here are the symptoms to look out for if your pet has chocolate poisoning:

  • Dehydration or excessive thirst
  • Diarrhoea
  • Drooling
  • High temperature and blood pressure
  • Hyperactivity and excitability
  • Vomiting containing blood
  • In severe cases, epileptic-type fits

If you set up an Easter egg hunt for your children in your home or garden, make sure that you make a note of where they are all hidden, and that none are left behind or misplaced after the event.

Dogs may well want to get involved in the running around and excitement that this involves, but only allow this to happen if you are sure that they cannot get to the chocolate eggs on their own, and that no one will share their spoils.

Hot cross buns

Many people aren’t aware that fruits such as raisins and sultanas are even more toxic to dogs and cats than chocolate! If your pet eats even a small quantity of these dried fruits, they can suffer severe kidney failure which may be fatal, so take particular care to keep Hot Cross Buns out of sight and away from curious sniffing noses.

Sweets

Sweets are also a popular Easter-time favourite, especially for those who have scoffed enough chocolate! But some sweets contain a substance called Xylitol, which is an artificial sweetener that is very harmful to dogs and even a small amount can be toxic to them.

If your dog manages to grab some sweets, watch out for these symptoms: vomiting, lethargy, lack of coordination and seizures. If you spot any of these, take them to the vet as soon as possible.

Flowers

Spring time is in full swing and flowers are blooming everywhere, as pretty as they are quite a few spring time favourites can be harmful to your pet.

Daffodils are sprouting everywhere during this time of year, however their bulbs can be toxic to dogs if ingested, so keep an eye out if your dog is digging around flowers, or appears to have turfed up some bulbs.

Lilies are also in season over the Easter break and cats have a tendency to chew on them. Although they are very pretty, these flowers are toxic to cats and can cause vomiting and lethargy. If your cat jumps on every surface in the house, then you’ll need to find a safe spot for these flowers or avoid having them in the house altogether!

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