Spring has sprung and Easter’s in the air. While this time of year holds religious significance for many, it also poses the promise of the Easter Bunny, baskets, and egg hunts for kids.
But some of the festivities and associated accouterments could be harmful, even fatal, to your pet. They’re listed below, as are tips for ensuring Easter’s happy and healthy for the whole family.
1. Chocolate: Most dog and cat owners know chocolate is dangerous to their pets, but it never hurts to be reminded. Also, it never hurts to remind those you live with, or those who may be visiting, not to feed your animals chocolate, too.
• Tip: Like you would at any other time of year, simply keep chocolate out of your pet’s reach. With young children who may not understand the importance of the “no chocolate for pets” rule, or who may forget, supervision is key. (Besides, if they’re prone to overindulgence, it might help them avoid a tummy ache later also.)
2. Easter lily: They’re seasonal and beautiful, but they’re extremely poisonous, especially to cats. Within only a couple of hours after eating them vomiting, lethargy, and loss of appetite can follow. Kidney failure resulting in death will occur in 36-72 hours if not promptly treated by a vet beforehand.
• Tip: As much as these may brighten up your home and create a festive atmosphere, the real things are just too dangerous for your cat. If you really want them, buy fake.
• Other types of lilies are also dangerous: Tiger lily, Rubrum, Japanese show lily, day lily. (These are the most commonly found lilies in homes. I recommend not taking chances. No lilies should be allowed in a home with cats.)
3. Plastic Grass: Alluring to cats maybe more so than dogs, but it’s not digestible by either and can damage their intestines.
4. Eggs (both real and plastic): Like fake grass, plastic eggs, if chewed and swallowed, can cause a lot of intestinal distress for your pet. Similarly, real eggs are fine if fresh (and hard boiled). One the other hand, say you hide real eggs for a hunt, the kids don’t find them all, but a few days later Fido does. Just as people would get sick eating several day old unrefrigerated eggs, so will your pet.
• Tip: Supervise any play with plastic eggs. If using real eggs in a hunt, know how many were hidden and keep track to make sure they’re all found.
Note About Live Baby Animals in Easter Baskets:
As enticing as it might be to put a cute little live baby chicky, bunny, ducky, kitty, or puppy in a basket, avoid the temptation. Spring is the time of year for baby animals, and there are an abundance of them around, but remember babies need care. They’re tender and fragile and growing.
The fact that they’re growing is especially important to keep in mind. Once their baby cuteness has worn off, lots of times so does their appeal. Then they wind up neglected, abandoned in the woods to fend for themselves (where they can’t and end up as food for other things), or shipped off to shelters.
Unless you’re planning on keeping that baby for the long haul -meaning the duration of its life- don’t put it in an Easter basket! Stick to the stuffed and chocolate varieties instead.