It’s nearly Easter – Easter egg hunts, sweets and relaxation all bring together a fun filled time for the family, but if you have pets, there are a few extra things you might want to think about if you want to keep them happy, healthy, and safe.

Easter is a time when you may bring different items into your home, like chocolate, sweets in foil wrappers, poisonous plants, and plastic objects, like eggs, toys, and synthetic grass, which can be dangerous if ingested by your pet.

It can happen to even the best pet owners. You turn around for one second and the dog is eating the chocolate that the kids have left on the table or he has found a chocolate egg that was left under the bush after the Easter egg hunt.  Your beautiful bunch of Day lilies you thought were safely out of reach of the children has been discovered by your normally sleepy cat, who is now very happy to knock the flowers off and play with them.

Pets are curious, keeping potentially dangerous items out of their reach is the best way to ensure their safety during the holiday. Here are 5 common items that could harm your pets:


1. Chocolate

Problem: Dark chocolate is more toxic than milk or white chocolate especially in large quantities.

Signs that your pet ingested chocolate can include hyperactivity, diarrhoea, vomiting, elevated or abnormal heart rates, or even seizures. Chocolate ingestion can be an emergency, so pet owners should contact their veterinarian immediately if they suspect their cat or dog has consumed chocolate.

2. Lilies

Problem: True lilies, tiger and daylilies can cause acute kidney failure in cats. All parts of the lily plant can be deadly to them including the leaves, pollen, flower, and even the water the lilies are stored in.

Prompt treatment after ingestion is needed to save a cat. Ingestion can cause lethargy, vomiting, diarrhoea, dehydration, extreme thirst, seizures, and death. The ingestion of lilies is a medical emergency for cats, and time is of the essence to save a cat’s life.

3. Plastic toys and Grass

Problem: The plastic Easter eggs, toys and grass are popular fillers for Easter baskets, but they may also attract pets who can chew and swallow them. The result can be obstruction in your pet’s intestines which could lead to surgery to resolve.

Signs that your pet may have ingested any of the above may exhibit vomiting, dehydration, weakness, diarrhoea, weight loss, loss of appetite, pain, or bloating.

4. Table Food

Problem: Onions, garlic, macadamia nuts, grapes and raisins are common toxic foods pets ingest, these may cause stomach upset or lead to pancreatitis.

Signs of ingestion of these foods may not develop for several days, but when they do, your pet could exhibit nausea, drooling, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, pale gums and increased heart and breathing rates.

5. Fertilisers

Problem: Easter often brings the final summer fertilising of the garden, leading to animals possibly ingesting these products. Fertilisers can contain poisonous amounts of nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium and iron. Pets love the salty taste and may ingest while the products are being sprayed or when sprinkled on the lawns.

Signs of ingestion include drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea, difficulty in breathing and dark coloured gums.

Have fun this Easter with your family and friends, but be vigilant were your pets are concerned. Keep your vet’s number handy and easily accessible at all times. If your pet is showing any of the above symptoms, or you notice a change in your pet’s behaviour, do not wait to seek medical attention from your veterinarian.

By spending some extra time playing with your animals, going for a longer walk, or just a good cuddle session will make the Easter holidays just as special for them as it is for you.

Happy Easter!