Toxic Foods for your Pet over Easter

Easter is often a time for relaxation, celebration, family (all members) and eating. As a pet parent, there are a few extra things that need to be considered to ensure your pet has a healthy and happy Easter. Over the Easter period it is not uncommon to find chocolate, hot-cross buns and other delicious treats around the house. With family functions, celebrations and the age-old Easter egg hunt it is not hard for these treats to become easily accessed by our furry friends. This article will outline some foods to watch out for over the Easter period.

Chocolate:

Chocolate and pets are a dangerous combination. The danger with chocolate is that animals such as dogs, cats, parrots and even horses can’t successfully metabolise a chemical in chocolate called Theobromine. If you think your pet is suffering from chocolate toxicity these are the symptoms to look out for:

  • Vomiting/Diarrhoea
  • Fast heart rate
  • Hyperactivity (restlessness and muscle twitching)
  • Fast respiratory rate
  • Muscle rigidity
  • Seizures

Safety Tip: If you are holding an Easter egg hunt, make sure that your pet’s are secure, well away from any chocolate scavenging.

Hot-Cross Buns:

An Easter staple, freshly baked hot-cross buns are hard to resist. Most hot-cross buns contain raisins or sultanas, which can be toxic to dogs. Along with grapes, raisins and sultanas can cause acute kidney failure in dogs. If you notice a missing hot-cross bun, the symptoms of toxicity to watch for are:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Decreased urine production
  • Weakness
  • Loss of appetite (typically 24 hours after ingestion)

Safety Tip: Don’t give in to those puppy dog eyes – no sharing of your hot-cross buns with your pet keep them all to yourself!

Fresh flowers:

Fresh blooms are a great addition in your home during the Easter break but ingestion of certain flowers and bulbs are toxic to pets. Lillies are a common flower in households yet can be extremely toxic to pets, especially our feline friends. If you think your pet has ingested a lethal flower(or any part of the plant), some of the symptoms of toxicity include:

  • Vomiting (often containing parts of the flower)
  • Dis-interest in food
  • Depression
  • Change in urination habits – either an increase in urination or not urinating at all.

Other foods to watch out for

Some other foods to keep away from your pet include:

  • Caffeine
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Alcohol & Tobacco
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Mushrooms

If your pet is displaying any of these symptoms or has eaten chocolate or any of the other toxic foods listed, visit your vet or closest emergency centre immediately. There is a window of approximately 15-60 minutes after ingestion that a veterinarian may be able to successfully flush the chocolate from a dog’s stomach.

We wish you a Happy Easter and hope that you enjoy your celebrations.