top of page

Six Dangers For Your Pet This Easter

Easter is a fun time of year, especially for children hoping for a visit from the Easter Bunny. It’s a time of celebration, family, and good food. It’s also a time that veterinarians see an increased number of pets visiting the vet clinic because they are unwell or have eaten things they should not have.

What are the dangers to my pet at easter?Unfortunately, there are many! Not all are obvious, and some can be deadly. By reading this blog and knowing of the potential dangers to your pet, you can be much more prepared this easter to prevent a disaster.


Chocolate is toxic to cats and dogs, and the Easter Holiday has a lot of chocolate involved! Dark chocolate is the most toxic followed by cooking and milk chocolate. Chocolate poisoning in dogs is dose dependent. This means the amount of chocolate needed to cause toxic signs in your dog will vary depending on the type of chocolate ingested, and the weight of your pet.

What should I do if I think my dog has eaten chocolate?

If you think your pet has eaten chocolate there are some good chocolate toxicity calculators online that can help you work out if a toxic dose has been ingested. Alternatively, contact a veterinarian who can advise if the quantity eaten for your dog’s weight is a toxic dose or not.

If your dog has eaten a toxic dose of chocolate, they will need to go to the vet clinic. If the chocolate was eaten recently (within 1-3 hours) the veterinarian may make your pet sick to remove the chocolate from the stomach. If the chocolate was ingested a long time ago, your dog may need to stay at the clinic for treatment such as intravenous fluids and activated charcoal to absorb the toxins.

Usually, the recovery from chocolate toxicity is excellent if treatment is started quickly.

2. Xylitol

Xylitol is an artificial sweetener found in lollies or candies, particularly sugar-free or low-calorie variety treats.

Xylitol stimulates the release of insulin from the pancreas in dogs and causes a rapid drop in blood sugars, resulting in a condition called hypoglycaemia. This can lead to collapse, weakness, and even seizures.

The toxic dose for Xylitol is as little as 0.1g per kilogram of weight so an incredibly small amount of xylitol is needed to cause dangerous effects in the body.

If recently ingested, a veterinarian can treat by making your pet sick, but if eaten a long time ago or signs of toxicity can be seen, your pet will need to stay in the hospital for sugar supplementation and regular blood tests to make sure the blood sugars are within normal ranges.

3. Decorations

Decorations add to the festive feel of any holiday. Bunting, fake grass, eggshells in baskets all add to the holiday cheer.

Cats love all things shiny and also anything on a string. This can

be troublesome if eaten, as long string items like confetti or ribbon from gifts can get stuck in the intestines, needing surgery to be removed.

Dogs will eat pretty much anything, especially puppies! Tinfoil wrapping, wrapping from gifts and Sellotape, you name it they will eat it. Be sure to tidy up often to avoid the need for a surgical operation to remove the non-edible items from your dog’s stomach.

4. Table Scraps

It may be tempting to let your dog join in the fun on Easter Sunday with the BBQ or Sunday Roast. However, foods that contain a high amount of fat, such as pork can cause tummy upsets. Gastroenteritis and pancreatitis are common after eating high fatty foods and can be incredibly painful. Signs of these conditions include:

- Vomiting

- Diarrheoa

- Lethargy

- Inappetence

Dogs accidentally getting into the rubbish bin and eating all the leftover scraps is another common way dogs get gastroenteritis. Make sure your bin has a lockable lid and ideally keep it outside or behind a cupboard door to reduce the chance of your dog getting access.

5. Flowers

Flowers make beautiful table decorations for holidays and are often given as gifts. However, flowers can be toxic to pets, especially cats. Flowers of particular concern are Lilies, which cause acute kidney damage in cats, and can be fatal.

Other flowers to avoid having in your home are daffodils, tulips, and crocuses.

If you do wish to keep flowers in the home, consider artificial flowers instead or look for pet-safe varieties such as sunflowers or roses.

6.Raisins and Grapes

Raisins are found in Hot Cross Buns or fruit loaf, common at Easter and Grapes often feature on a platter to share over the holidays.

Raisins and grapes can cause acute kidney damage to pets, and sometimes this can be non-reversible. The current toxic dose for raisin and grapes in dogs and cats is not currently known, so even if your dog has eaten just one grape, it should be treated as an emergency and vet help sought.

The Easter Holiday is a fun time to spend extra time with your family and fur babies but be aware of the dangers to avoid for a peaceful holiday this year.

Remember that whilst we may love having a big busy household over the holidays, it can be a little stressful for some pets, and all pets will appreciate some downtime or one on one time to chill out and de-stress. If your pet is anxious around new or lots of people consider building them a safe space

away from the main activity of the household with their bed, blankets and quiet for them to relax a little whilst everyone enjoys the season.

53 views0 comments


bottom of page