‘Easter’ may hold different meanings for different people, but one thing everyone has in common is being surrounded by Easter treats at every turn. Visiting your local shop, the supermarket, the petrol station, your friend’s house…That’s right, for everyone out there with a soft spot for the odd treat or two, watch out, Easter is almost here!
However, this time of year may not always be such a ‘treat’ when it comes to your pets. Here is our top 10 list of dangerous foods and plants that could harm your cat or dog this Easter, so make sure to keep these ‘goodies’ well out of reach!
6 DANGEROUS EASTER TREATS
Chocolate Easter Eggs (and any other chocolate)
Chocolate contains theobromine which is poisonous to cats and dogs, as well as caffeine which they cannot metabolise. Enough of the stuff can make your pet extremely ill and in rare cases can be fatal. Dark chocolate and cooking chocolate are the worst offenders as they contain the most amount of theobromine.
Hot Cross Buns
This yummy treat synonymous with Easter can contain raisins, currants, sultanas and grapes, all toxic to cats and dogs. Your pet may experience vomiting and diarrhoea, lethargy, weakness, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, dehydration and issues with passing urine.
Colourful grasses used to line Easter baskets usually contain plastic materials, which can be harmful to pets’ digestive systems if swallowed, usually requiring emergency surgery. Line your baskets with pretty tissue paper instead.
Colourful Egg Dyes
These are typically used to stain Easter eggs to brighten them up, however, if your cat or dog consumes too much of the dye by licking the eggs this can be harmful to them. Avoid the risk by using natural food colourings like beetroot, spinach, and other vegetable juices.
Sweets & Sugar-Free Treats
Human sweets should not be fed to any pet, especially those advertised as sugar-free as they contain the synthetic sweetener, xylitol, which is toxic to cats and dogs.
Bad Eggs & Mould
Rotting, raw or under-cooked eggs can cause serious problems for pets, including salmonella. Likewise, with mouldy food items from rubbish bins, this will not do your pets any good.
4 DANGEROUS EASTER PLANTS
Beautiful but deadly, Easter lilies contain unknown toxins that result in kidney failure when ingested by cats, even in small amounts. Unlike cats, dogs are not affected by these toxins.
Daffodils are bright and cheery and usually mark the start of Spring, but if your pet likes to eat plants, this is one that should definitely go! Daffodils contain poisonous alkaloids that can cause vomiting, excessive salivation, diarrhoea, convulsions, tremors and heart problems. The bulbs are the most dangerous part.
Another popular but dangerous Springtime flower is Cyclamen. This is toxic to cats and dogs, especially the roots. If ingested, this plant can cause increased salivation, vomiting, and diarrhoea, and if enough is consumed, heart seizures and even death.
The flowering Amaryllis is extremely toxic to cats and dogs as it contains Lycorine and other noxious substances, which cause salivation, gastrointestinal abnormalities (vomiting, diarrhoea, decreased appetite, and abdominal pain), lethargy, and tremors.
What to do if you suspect your pet has ingested anything off this list
Step 1 – Prevent your pet from eating any more of it.
Step 2 – Phone your local vet or one that does emergency 24-hour care.
Step 3 – Collect the relevant wrapper, packaging and/or some of the substance itself.
Step 4 – Take your pet to the vets, stay calm, and expect your pet to stay in at least overnight, potentially longer.