Easter can be a fun and exciting time for many when we can enjoy a nice break and some much-needed downtime with our pets.
Whether you’re enjoying nice long walks with your dog or tucking into your favourite chocolate egg, as a pet owner it’s important to remember the hazards for pets that can come with Easter time. Digestive upset is a common reason for pet owners to take their pets to the vets and at Easter it can be more prevalent due to the number of yummy treats and chocolate that can be in the home.
Many pet owners see their pet as one of the family and like to include them in the celebrations or festivities. However, some human foods that we enjoy at this time of year and colourful flowers can give our pets sensitive tummies and may lead to an unwanted trip to the vets.
To help keep your pet healthy this Easter, natural animal health company, nutravet highlight some hazards for pet owners to be aware of:
Chocolate contains a powerful stimulant called theobromine that pets can’t cope with, so even the smallest amount is not recommended. Try to keep all chocolate eggs and treats out of reach from your pets and let other family members know not to feed them to your pet. Keep some of your dog or cat’s favourite treat to hand while you are enjoying your Easter egg to ensure they don’t beg or feel left out.
Hot Cross Buns
This yummy treat is synonymous with Easter and can contain raisins, currants or sultanas. These are all foods that are toxic to cats and dogs and could cause tummy upsets and for your pet to feel unwell. Be sure to keep these out of reach from your pet, especially if they are left alone in the house – be sure they are all hidden away.
Colourful grasses are often used to line Easter baskets for Easter egg hunts or decoration. These usually contain plastic materials, which can be harmful to pets if swallowed. Try using alternatives like tissue paper instead to line your basket and keep all decorations out of reach from pets.
Flowers and plants that add some colour to our homes or gardens at this time of year, such as daffodils and lilies can be toxic to our pets. Lilies contains unknown toxins that if ingested by cats can cause tummy upsets, even a small amount can result in kidney failure. Daffodils contain poisonous alkaloids that can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and excessive salivation in pets. The bulbs are the most dangerous part.
All spring bulbs and often what grows out of them are poisonous to pets. Dogs are most likely to be affects as they can be curious when in the garden and root them up, especially when freshly planted in autumn or coming into flower in spring.
Don’t feed your pet any human sweets or sweet treats, especially those that say they are sugar free as they may contain xylitol, which is a synthetic sweetener which is toxic to cats and dogs.
Many of us will sit down to enjoy a roast dinner this Easter, but it’s important to remember not to feed your pet scraps from the dinner table. Scraps of fatty pork or ham can lead to sensitive tummies for our pets. Be sure to make other family members aware they should not feed table scraps to your cat or dog. Give your pet some yummy treats to enjoy whilst you sit down for your dinner to stop them from begging.
If you are worried that your pet may have eaten something they shouldn’t, consult your vet straight away. Your vet will be able to advise the best course of action dependant on what your pet has eaten or ingested.
Korina Stephens RVN, nutravet
For more top tips for pet owners you can visit www.nutravet.co.uk.