Us humans love Easter for a number reasons, the long weekend being one, the large amount of chocolate another. However, with all this chocolate being poisonous to your dog or cat, it's important to keep it out of their reach. Here Ellie (part of our Vet technical team) talks the possible Easter eating emergencies for your pet.
Be Prepared for Easter with your Dog and Cat
With Easter approaching, many people will be preparing for a weekend of family, food and festivities, but ensuring your furry friends are safe is just as important. There are a number of different potential poisons your pets may be exposed to at this time of year, and ensuring you identify them in advance will minimise the chance of an Easter emergency.
Watch out for Chocolate
Chocolate is rife at Easter, and whilst we will enjoy it (perhaps a little too much!), it can be very dangerous if eaten by your pet. Chocolate contains an ingredient called theobromine which is toxic to most animals, and can result in changes to blood pressure, the cardiovascular/circulatory system and possibly escalate to causing seizures. The severity of the poisoning will depend on the amount, quality and type of chocolate eaten. In general, the darker the chocolate is in colour, the more theobromine it will contain.
Milk or white chocolate will potentially be less toxic than dark chocolate, but it is always better to be safe than sorry, so contacting your vet as soon as you realise will have a potentially much better outcome. The most common route of treatment is inducing vomiting. This rule generally applies for anything a dog has eaten that they shouldn’t have – your dog will be given an injection which causes them to vomit, and, in turn, hopefully bring up whatever it is they’ve eaten!
Dogs and cats don’t do well with grapes
Grapes, raisins, currents and sultanas are all toxic to dogs and cats, so be careful if you are leaving hot cross buns out on the kitchen counter. Again, the severity of this poisoning is down to the quantity eaten, and the size of the dog. If a large amount is ingested, as well as stomach pain, it can cause kidney problems, which can sometimes be delayed for up to three days. However, if you are in any doubt, it’s better to be safe than sorry, and take your pet to see your vet.
Whilst onion and garlic are not Easter-specific foods, in large quantities, they too can be toxic to cats and dogs, so if you are making stuffing to have with your roast, be careful to ensure your pet does not manage to snaffle any. If you are at all concerned, it’s always best to contact your vet to ensure your dog or cat is safe and well.
We hope this blog has helped highlight a few foods to watch out for this Easter, and you can enjoy spending it with your family and furry friends!
If you have any more questions about Easter emergencies or want to share reasons why you and your pet love Easter please leave comments below or get involved over on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.