Easter can be a fun holiday for your entire family and of course that includes the dog, too! However, because there are a few extra potential hazards and likely sources of stress for our four-legged best friends during this festive day, it’s important that you keep him safe. To have only the happiest of Easters this year, remember these do’s and don’t's:
What to Do:
· Watch out for diet treats. It may seem like a great idea to give Fido sugar-free candies and cookies, but you could actually be poisoning your pet. Xylitol an an artificial sweetener that is harmful to your pooch and can cause a radical drop in your pet’s blood pressure, cause liver damage, and worse, death.
· Keep chocolate bunnies out of reach. Keep Fido away from chocolates, especially the dark ones. These delights contain theobromine which, although harmless to humans, can be lethal to your dog, resulting in increased heart rate, shaking, seizure, and death.
· Avoid grapes and raisins. Health conscious parents often fill plastic eggs with grapes or raisins in place of candies. Although many dogs can eat grapes and raisins without suffering any ill effects, others can end up afflicted with kidney failure and even death after consuming just one. Best to skip these sweets altogether and not find out one way or the other.
· Beware of macadamia nuts. You probably won’t find these in a lot of Easter baskets, but in case you do, immediately put them away. Macadamia nuts have been found out to trigger not only diarrhea and vomiting in dogs, but also hind-leg weakness and fleeting paralysis.
· Include your dog in this special day. If you have kids and surprise them with Easter baskets on Sunday morning, surprise your dog with an Easter surprise, too! She’ll love being included in the fun and, having her own basket of dog-safe toys and treats will keep her occupied and out of your kids’ unsafe goodies.
What Not to Do:
· Don’t allow your dog access to pennies. When planning an Easter egg hunt, many folks fill plastic eggs with loose change. Because some dogs will eat almost anything, make sure that your pup doesn’t ingest any coins as they can cause severe anemia as well as kidney breakdown.
· Don’t leave harmful objects in your dog’s reach. Put away candy foil wrappers, electric cords, and keep Easter displays and baskets beyond your pet’s reach. While the shiny candy wrappers can cause various intestinal problems, electrical cords, when chewed on, can deliver fatal electric shock. The plastic “grass” used to fluff up Easter baskets may look like fun to a dog, but can cause serious problems to your dog if ingested.
· Don’t forget where you hid the Easter eggs. Keep a list of where you hide your eggs. When the egg hunt is over, take a quick count to make sure everything has been found, particularly in and around the yard. While the thought of gobbling up an old hard-boiled egg after it’s been hidden outside for a few days is enough to turn our stomachs, your dog might think he’s hit the doggy lottery! Besides causing an upset stomach and intestinal distress, rotten eggs can cause dangerous food poisoning and a hefty vet bill. Both hard-boiled and plastic eggs can also pose a choking hazard if swallowed whole.
· Don’t share your Easter dinner with the dog. Traditional Easter dinners often include dishes like ham, chicken, turkey, or lamb and a variety of side dishes, casseroles, and desserts that may contain ingredients (like onions, sage, grapes/raisins, nuts, chocolate, and more) that are dangerous for your furkids. They day following big holiday meals, like those served and Thanksgiving and Easter, are the busiest days of the years for veterinarians dealing with dogs that have eaten bones, dogs with pancreatitis from eating too many fatty foods, poisoning by unsafe ingredients, and general upset stomach. If you want to do a little something special for your dog, try a new Easter-themed toy or dog treat instead of a dish from the dinner table.