Vet Q&A: How can I keep my pet safe this Easter?

by PDSA Vets | 9 April #VetQ&As

With strict measures still in place to stay at home during the Coronavirus pandemic, and many of us unable to see family and friends, Easter is likely to feel strange this year.

Although there will be fewer family visits this year, with the whole household being restricted owners still need to be extra vigilant against Easter hazards.

 

What are the common Easter hazards to look out for?

The most obvious Easter hazard is chocolate. If you’re planning an egg hunt for the kids, make sure your hiding places are well out of paws’ reach.

Along with chocolate, other Easter goodies are also toxic to our pets. Raisins and sultanas (usually found in hot cross buns this time of year) are dangerous to pets, so make sure any of these treats are securely locked away.

You might also be tempted to give your pet a little treat. ‘Pet chocolate’ can be really high in calories so only give them very small amounts if you do decide to give them any, and cut down their main meal for the day to help them avoid piling on the pounds.

 

How toxic is chocolate?

Chocolate is toxic because the cocoa solids naturally contain theobromine – which doesn’t affect humans, but is poisonous to our four-legged friends. Cocoa powder and high quality dark chocolates, which contain the most cocoa, pose the biggest risk to pets.

If you think your pet has eaten chocolate, it‘s important to call your vet straight away so they can start treatment before any signs appear.

Signs and symptoms of chocolate poisoning to look out for include:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • A tender tummy
  • Restlessness.

If left without treatment, especially at higher doses, more serious signs can also be seen, including: tremors, rapid breathing, seizures, kidney failure and even death.

For more information on chocolate poisoning, check out the information on our Pet Health Hub.

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