Happy Easter!

I hope that you and your loved one–including your pets–have a happy Easter weekend! As with many holidays, there are a few things to keep in mind so that your pet stays healthy and safe:

  1. Chocolate is highly toxic to pets, as it contains high concentrations of methylxanthines, such as theobromine and caffeine. You can have a chocolate Easter bunny but to your dog or cat, it’s poison. Seek veterinary care immediately.
  2. Plastic grass used to fill Easter baskets and decorations can easily be eaten by curious pets but can cause lots of gastrointestinal problems.
  3. Plastic eggs and toys are tempting targets for a pet to mouth. This can be a bad combination since the pet can choke on an item or get sick from eating candy or chocolate inside.
  4. Foil wrappings, if eaten, can cause obstructions and upset your pet’s digestive system.
  5. Food coloring can cause an adverse medical reaction. Make sure that any dyes you wish to use are non-toxic before you purchase them.
  6. Xylitol, a sweetener which can found in certain candies and foods (including peanut butter), can be lethal to dogs.
  7. Fatty foods, such as ham or lamb, may make your pet have a very upset tummy or even pancreatitis. Don’t let your pet have helpings of your Easter dinner!
  8. Onions, garlic, chives, and leeks (members of the allium family) are toxic to both cats and dogs and may cause hemolytic anemia and gastroenteritis.
  9. Macadamia nuts are toxic to dogs. Symptoms include lethargy, vomiting, wobbliness, tremors, and joint stiffness.
  10. Alcohol is a big no-no for pets of any persuasion. Keep booze well out of pets’ reach!
  11. Lilies, while beautiful, are extremely toxic to cats. This includes several varieties (Easter, Stargazer, and Asiatic) as well all parts of the plant: the leaves, petals, pollen, and water in which cut lilies are placed. A cat chewing on or ingesting a lily may experience kidney failure or even die! Seek veterinary care immediately.

Something Else to Consider: Rabbits

Bunnies are cute, yes. Bunnies can be great pets, yes. But rabbits are not for everyone! I strongly advise people against from getting a rabbit as an Easter present without doing research first and being REALLY sure that a rabbit is the pet you want. Taking care of a rabbit is not the same as taking care of a dog or cat or fish. Keep in mind that rabbits are one of the most abandoned pets in the US.