easter safety
It’s hard to believe that it’s almost time for Easter 2017. Whether you decorate your home in the days leading up to April 16 or just on Easter Sunday, it’s important to do so with your pet in mind. Chocolate, jelly beans, plastic eggs, and artificial grass are just some of the things associated with Easter that can be dangerous for your pet.

Don’t Give Pets Food or Candy Meant for Humans

It only takes a second for your pet to get into an Easter basket full of candy when you have your attention on something else. Chocolate, which contains theobromine, can give your dog or cat a seizure. The sweet treat can also increase heart rate and cause hyperactivity. Xylitol, an artificial sweetener found in many candies and some baked goods, can cause seizures as well. Liver failure is another common outcome of ingesting xylitol.

Table scraps aren’t appropriate for pets either. They may have a high fat content, excess spices, or contain bones that present a choking hazard. Even so, your guests may be tempted to share if your dog or cat looks up at them with sad eyes. You can avoid this by keeping your pet in a separate room until all food has been put away. We also recommend separating your pet from guests if she tends to get anxious around company. Her behavior could be unpredictable, especially around children she doesn’t know.

Other Easter Hazards

Easter lilies are beautiful plants and it’s common for people to have them in their home this time of year. However, this plant is especially toxic for cats. Avoid bringing an Easter lily into your home if you have a cat since they tend to chew on grass and plants. Even if you put the plant on a high shelf you assume he can’t reach, he may find a way to get at it.

Plastic grass used to decorate Easter baskets can be dangerous for pets if swallowed. Not only does it present a choking hazard, it can cause severe stomach upset. If you just can’t picture an Easter basket without artificial grass, make sure your pet isn’t in the room when your kids receive their baskets. You should also instruct them to keep the basket in their room with the door closed until all treats are gone.

Plastic eggs are another hazard to consider. Their odd shape won’t stop your pet from investigating and the hard plastic could get lodged in her throat or abdominal tract. Hard-boiled eggs aren’t safe for dogs and cats either. If you’re hiding either type for an Easter egg hunt, make sure you pick up anything the kids didn’t find.

Emergency Contact Information

Chaska Valley Veterinary Clinic will be closed on Easter Sunday. If you experience an emergency with your pet, please call Affiliated Emergency Veterinary Clinic located in Eden Prairie. The telephone number is 952-942-8272. You can also reach the Pet Poison Helpline 24 hours a day at 1-800-213-6680. For emergencies during our regular business hours, call us at 952-448-2936.

Our staff would like to wish you and your family a very happy Easter.

Photo Credit: Stephanie Zieber / Getty Images

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