For some, Easter is an incredibly important, rather serious religious holiday. However, Easter is also a time for family gatherings, egg hunts, and revelry on the same level as all other significant holidays. It’s finally spring, after all!

The pastel colors, glazed ham, bonnets, baby birds, and bunnies notwithstanding, Easter pet safety should remain in the forefront of every pet owner’s mind. The Pet Experts at Naperville Animal Hospital have the following tips to protect your pet – and guarantee a good time is had by all.

Is Trouble Hopping By?

Primarily, Easter pet safety hinges on restricting access to certain foods or treats. Before we dive into that, a word of caution.

An exciting season, spring provides lots of opportunities to catch a whiff of something intriguing. Please make sure your pet’s microchip is up to date, his or her tags are in good shape, and your fences/gates are in good working order.

Bits and Bobs

Easter baskets are festive, but the stringy, shiny, plastic grasses typically found within them are highly dangerous to a curious pet. Responsible for intestinal obstructions, this decorative grass is no laughing matter. Either forego it altogether or place wheat grass or catnip in your Easter baskets this year. Your pet will definitely thank you!

Speaking of Greenery

On the topic of plants, please do not bring home or display toxic lily plants. They’re an Easter mainstay, but lilies can lead to serious medical conditions, such as kidney failure or even death.

Many other springtime flowers present similar problems to pets who attempt to taste the blooms or leaves. Please check out this list before exposing your pet to a botanical poison, and keep our pet emergency hotline number close at hand.

Easter Pet Safety No-No’s

Chocolate and xylitol will be in abundance this season. From the famous Cadbury eggs to baked goods artificially sweetened with xylitol, your pet is no match for their sheer numbers. Theobromine and caffeine found in dark and milk chocolate are responsible for sending pets into a toxic overload. While it depends on how much is consumed and the size of your pet, your best bet is to make sure access to these Easter treats is strictly prohibited. Of course, accidents happen (especially for opportunistic animals), and it’s a good idea to know what to look for:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Accelerated heart rate
  • Panting
  • Hyperactivity
  • Restlessness
  • Increased urination
  • Muscle spasms
  • Seizures

Please do not delay seeking emergency care if you know (or suspect) your pet has ingested chocolate. Likewise, Easter pet safety includes restricting even small amounts of xylitol, as it can be lethal to dogs.

What Can You Do?

Now that we’ve reviewed all the things you shouldn’t do, it’s important to know that you can still enjoy the holiday together with your pet. Just keep a close eye on him or her, take pictures of all the happy moments, and offer a nutritious meal while you’re enjoying your Easter buffet (remember: no table scraps, fatty foods, or hard boiled eggs!).

Please contact The Pet Experts at Naperville Animal Hospital if you have any questions or concerns about Easter pet safety. Happy spring to you and yours!