Easter is always a lovely break to welcome spring and enjoy some extra time with our family (four-legged members included!). But as with lots of holiday celebrations, the traditions involved can be hazardous for pets, so make sure you have a hassle free, happy holiday period by being aware of these and keeping your cats and dogs away from any dangers. If at any point you suspect your pet might have consumed any of the following, then you should always contact your vet immediately for advice.
Spring brings with it lots of seasonal blooms that add a pop of colour and fragrant smells around the house, but some aren’t so friendly when it comes to your cat! A popular Easter flower, lilies are one of the biggest potential dangers for felines and can be highly toxic on contact or ingestion of any part of the plant (leaf, pollen, and petals). Lily poisoning can be fatal for cats due to kidney failure. Lily pollen deposited on cats’ coats as they brush past the flowers may subsequently become ingested when they groom themselves, resulting in poisoning. This risk of lily poisoning can be reduced by removing the pollen producing anthers from the stalk of the stamen using a vacuum cleaner with a nozzle attachment. For cat owners, lilies are probably one to stay clear of altogether if possible, or in any situations where this can’t be avoided make sure your cat is kept in a different room so they’re not tempted by their inviting appearance.
Daffodils are another flower widely associated with Easter that can also be poisonous for pets as they contain lycorine, an alkaloid with strong emetic properties that can trigger vomiting. It’s therefore best to be cautious with most flowers when it comes to your pet, and in particular any with a strong tendency to shed pollen.
Decorations and wrapping
We all know cats love anything string related, which can mean gift wrapping and ribbons are an all too tempting hazard for our feline friends. Be careful not to leave these sorts of objects lying around or within easy reach of curious paws. Easter seasonal decorations can include the artificial colourful grass often used to decorate baskets. As cats instinctively eat grass to help them regurgitate undigested material in their stomach, this artificial version can appear like the real thing to cats; however, its string like consistency means it can become trapped in their intestines and cause a blockage. Again, the best solution is prevention, so ensure any artificial plants are kept out of sight of your pet.
We all know by now the dangers of chocolate for pets, and most of the holidays mean plentiful amounts given as gifts. Easter is probably the time most associated with the sweet treat with various eggs available in all shapes, sizes and flavours of chocolate. But human chocolate is not suitable for cats or dogs, so it may seem like a nice gesture but you should always resist the temptation to treat pets with even just a small amount. Due to its high cocoa content, dark chocolate in particular is the most dangerous and can be fatal if ingested, with visible symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhoea. If you have kids who are lucky enough to have lots of Easter eggs to munch their way through, then make sure they don’t leave any unfinished pieces lying around for sneaky paws to get hold of. It’s a good idea to make sure your pet doesn’t feel left out by getting them some dog friendly chocolate treats to enjoy over Easter instead, that way they don’t have to miss out on all the fun!