Easter Cautions for Pets

By Joe Musielak, DVM

As many of you know Easter is just around the corner. This means family gatherings, children, Easter Ham (or your favorite large, heavy meal) and chocolate at every turn.

As enjoyable as this time of year can be for those who celebrate it can also be a stressful time. Every family wants the holiday to be just “PERFECT” and sometimes the details can get away from us.

Most of us are severely tempted by the mouthwatering feasts prepared for this holiday. Your pets share very much in the temptation and if your back is turned for an instant they will gobble down as much unattended food as they can get away with.  We see large dogs every Easter that have nabbed the raw or freshly cooked ham from the kitchen and run off with it. We also see smaller dogs and cats that have run off with smaller portions of the feast.  We hear the story every year about how Rover climbed up on the kitchen table and cleaned the table while Mom or Dad were answering the door for guests.

These binge eating episodes can cause symptoms as mild as a minor intestinal upset to pancreatitis, diarrhea, vomiting and in the case of some foods like chocolate severe illness resulting in death.

Another thing to consider is when you hide Easter Eggs or chocolates for the kids that your dog has a much better nose for finding hidden treats and may find the treats faster than your child.

It’s also important to let guests know if you do not want them to be offering treats to your pet. The guests go home at the end of the holiday the ramifications for your pet may last much longer.

One final thing to consider is that those lovely Easter Lilies are highly toxic so be certain to keep them out of reach of the pets.