During this time of year it can be easy to treat your pet to a bit of your Easter egg or chocolate bunny, but can pets eat chocolate? There are many things that dogs and cats can’t eat, chocolate included! Here are 3 tips that might help you, your family and your pet all have a happy and safe Easter celebration.
1) Easter Eggsplination
Chocolate is toxic to dogs and the increase in chocolate available at this time of year means even more care should be taken to prevent your dog consuming it! It is important to educate your children not to feed your dog chocolate. In addition, curious canines will sniff out the remnants of chocolate in foil wrapping due to their fantastic sense of smell. Explaining this to your children will help keep chocolate and empty packets out of reach!
TIP: Chocolate poisoning is most frequently seen by vets around Easter time when families hide chocolate eggs in the garden for the children. If you are hosting an Easter Egg hunt this year – make sure the dog doesn’t join in! Ensure you know where each egg is hidden and make sure they are all recovered… by your children, not the dog! If your dog wants to play too, why not get the kids to set up a dog treat hunt?
Hot Cross Blunder
Many people aren’t aware that vine fruits such as raisins and sultanas are even more toxic to dogs than chocolate! If your dog eats even a small quantity of these dried fruits (and grapes), they can suffer severe kidney failure which may be fatal. You shouldn’t share any of your scraps with your pet but take particular care to keep Hot Cross Buns out of sight and keep them clear from curious sniffing noses.
TIP: If you can’t resist giving your pet a little Easter treat, give them something safe and pet friendly – a new toy or a long walk is a great alternative way to treat your dog.
Dog friendly fruit and vegetables:
- Green beans
- Sweet potatoes
Introducing new foods into your pet’s diet may cause stomach upsets, so be cautious and only introduce small pieces, one new fruit or vegetable at a time.
Symptoms of chocolate poisoning in dogs include:
- Dehydration or excessive thirst
- High temperature and blood pressure
- Hyperactivity and excitability
- Vomiting containing blood
- In severe cases, epileptic-type fits
If your dog is displaying any of these symptoms then take them to your local vet immediately. Find your nearest Vetsure Vet.
As well as chocolate – onions, garlic, macadamia nuts, grapes, and raisins are common toxic foods that pets ingest. When you are tucking into your Easter meals this year, resist feeding your cat scraps. Cats can develop weight problems just like people do, so their little tummies will thank you for it.
TIP: If you can’t resist giving your pet a little Easter treat, why not give your cat a pamper and give them a groom with a brush or comb. This will help keep your pet’s hair in good condition by removing dirt, spreading natural oils throughout their coat, preventing tangles and keeping their skin clean and irritant-free. A great alternative way to treat your cat.
2) Flower power
Weather permitting, you may be spending the long weekend out in the garden. After all, Spring has sprung and it is the perfect time to clear up your garden in preparation for Summer! Be aware that some bulbs can be poisonous if your dog eats them. Be especially cautious if they like to dig! Daffodils and tulip bulbs can be poisonous so make sure they are kept out of harm’s way and ensure they are buried deeply enough your dog won’t find them.
For any keen gardeners out there is it also worth noting that fertilizers can also be harmful to your dog. Avoid the following fertilizers –
- Blood meal: contains nitrogen which can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and even inflammation of your pet’s pancreas.
- Bone meal: contains animal bones ground down to powder. This powder is very attractive to many dogs but is harmful if ingested.
- Rose and plant fertilizers: can contain disulfoton or another type of organophosphate. This can be fatal for dogs.
TIP: don’t leave your dog unattended in your garden. If your dog has access to your back garden – make sure you’re enjoying the garden too.
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!
TIP: Keep in mind that you might not see your cat ingest the lily. If you think there is even a slight chance that your cat has got to the lilies, seek the advice of a vet and tell them of your suspicions.
Symptoms that your cat has ingested the plant include:
- Lack of appetite
- Increased thirst and urination, then, decreased urination
If your cat is displaying any of these symptoms then take them to your local vet immediately. Find your nearest Vetsure Vet.
Safe (non-toxic) houseplants for pets include:
- African violet
- Air plants
- Ferns (Maidenhair, Boston, and Bird’s Nest)
- Prayer Plant
- Spider Plant
- Zebra Plant
3) The Easter Bunny
When the Easter Bunny pays your household a visit this year – be aware of the hazards this brings!
Cats often chew or eat Easter grass that can be found inside Easter baskets or decorations. If ingested this may cause complications and obstructions which can require surgery. Grass is not the only thing found in Easter baskets – stuffed toys for kids are also common place. Ensure your cat doesn’t claim these as their own!
What else can be hidden in those baskets? Chocolate! It is well known that Chocolate is toxic to dogs, but did you know it is also toxic to cats – in some cases even fatal!
TIP: Keep all the treats from the Easter Bunny out of sight from your furry friend. Why not keep your cat occupied with a pet friendly puzzle toy.
Cats and dogs aren’t always cheap to look after, especially if something goes wrong, which is why insurance has now become a necessity for most owners. You can find out more about the benefits of our Dog Insurance policies, Cat Insurance policies or get a quote online alternatively please feel free to give us a call on 0800 050 2022 – we’d be happy to help wherever possible.