Easter with Pets: Safety Tips from spcaLA

Los Angeles, CA — With Easter on its way, Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (spcaLA) offers these safety tips for pets to ensure a happy and stress-free holiday. In addition, spcaLA urges the public to thoughtfully consider the lifelong care of an animal before purchasing bunnies or chicks. All too often after the novelty wears off and the animals mature, they are abandoned or dumped at an animal shelter.

“Easter is a time when you may bring different items into your home, like chocolate candies in foil wrappers, poisonous plants, and plastic objects which can be dangerous if ingested by your pet,” said spcaLA Veterinarian, Dr. Brittin Ross. “Keeping these unsafe items out of your pets’ reach is your best bet to keep pets healthy during any holiday season including Easter.”

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Lilies are beautiful flowers, but ingestion of any part of the lily plant, including stems, leaves, petals, pollen and water from the vase are poisonous to dogs and cats. Cats are especially sensitive to lily poisoning and just chewing on one leaf could be fatal. Signs of lily poisoning include salivation, vomiting, lethargy, decreased appetite, and decreased and/or absence of urination. Immediately contact your veterinarian if you think your pet has ingested lilies. Instead of lilies, choose non-toxic plants like daisies or roses.

Easter time brings lots of candy into the household, including chocolate. Chocolate contains methylxanthines (theobromine and caffeine) which are toxic to animals. Dogs are especially susceptible to these ingredients. Signs of chocolate toxicity include restlessness, vomiting, diarrhea, fast heart rate, and seizures. Immediately contact your veterinarian if your pet has ingested chocolate.

Another ingredient toxic to dogs is the sugar-free sweetener, xylitol. Signs your dog has ingested xylitol are vomiting, weakness, lethargy, twitching, incoordination, and seizures.

In addition to candy, Easter baskets contain a number hazards to your pets, namely synthetic grass and plastic eggs and toys. Plastic grass can become entangled around the tongue while the sharp pieces of a chewed plastic egg or toy can cause trauma to the mouth and teeth. Both are dangerous to animals if ingested, causing obstructions in the stomach or intestines that may require surgery. Signs your pet may have ingested these items include vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy, and signs of abdominal pain (a hunched posture). Immediately contact your veterinarian if you think your pet has ingested these items.