There is so much to love and enjoy about Easter, the time with family, the food and the egg hunts. It is also one of those times of the year when we bring different things into our homes that we wouldn’t normally have like chocolate, sweets, poisonous plants and plastic objects that can be dangerous to dogs.
The best way to keep our dogs safe during this holiday is to keep these potentially dangerous things out of their reach. But what happens if they do ingest something? Do you know the signs? Here are some things to watch for:
If your house is anything like ours at Easter, chocolate will be available in abundance! Even though the only harm it does for most of us is for our waistlines, chocolate can be extremely toxic for dogs. Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine which is found in plants used in chocolate manufacture. Humans break down the chemical quickly enough for it not to act as a poison but dogs metabolism is much slower. Unsweetened, bitter, dark chocolate are the most toxic because they contain the highest concentration.
Some indicators that your dog has eaten chocolate are muscle stiffness, diarrhea, vomiting, abnormal heart rates, hyperactivity or even seizures. If you suspect your dog has eaten chocolate you should call your vet immediately.
Plastic eggs, foil and toys that you find in Easter baskets can be attractive to dogs who may chew and swallow them. Plastic can cause obstructions in your pets digestive system which may need to be surgically removed. Some signs to look out for if you suspect your dog has eaten any of these things are vomiting, loss of appetite, pain, bloating and diarrhea. If you think your dog has ingested any foreign object call your vet immediately.
Xylitol is a sweetener found in many things including sweets. Xylitol rapidly releases insulin into a dog’s bloodstream causing an extreme drop in blood sugar. It can also lead to liver failure and death. Signs to look out for if you suspect your dog has eaten something containing Xylitol are vomiting, lethargy and seizures. If you suspect your dog has had something containing Xylitol then contact your vet immediately.
Hot Cross Buns
Hot cross buns are a necessity at Easter, especially smothered in butter (or is that just me?) Even though they are a treat for us, we must keep them away from our fur babies because they contain raisins and other dried fruits which can cause kidney failure in dogs.
Typical signs your dog is reacting to eating a hot cross bun is increased thirst and urination but other signs of reduced kidney function can take weeks to show themselves but it is best to get your dog to see a vert as soon as possible.
These are just a few things to watch out for and this list is by no means exhaustive. The best advice we can offer is to keep anything that is out of the norm away from your dog’s reach and enjoy Easter! If you think your dog has gotten his paws on something he shouldn’t have then contact your vet immediately for advice.