Chocolate Bunnies, Ham, and Photos Too? Oh My!
Although Easter is often a more low-key holiday than Christmas, there are still plenty of hazards for dogs that responsible pet owners need to be aware of. Here is a basketful of helpful reminders to help everyone enjoy a safe and happy holiday.
1. Keep Easter Baskets Out of Reach
Although your dog might enjoy chewing on the basket itself, it’s the contents that are most worrisome. Easter “grass” made from plastic, tinsel, or raffia, are really tempting to tail-waggers, but if ingested, can cause choking, get wrapped around the tongue, or even get caught in the intestines. Small toys are also choking hazards, and if your dog finds the jelly beans and other sugar-loaded edibles, be prepared to clean up the mess.
2. Chocolate Bunnies Are Not Friends
According to the Pet Poison Hotline, calls about dogs that have been poisoned by chocolate increase a whopping 200 percent during Easter week. Dark chocolates are especially toxic since they contain methylxanthines, which is akin to caffeine; ingestion can result in vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythm, seizures and even death. Even if you put milk-chocolate bunnies in the Easter baskets, your dog may get stomach upset if he gets too friendly with it.
3. Hamming It Up is Hazardous
Ham is a super-popular choice for Easter dinners from coast to coast in the United States. Although it’s a good source of protein—and dogs need protein—it’s just about the worst type of meat you can sneak to them under the table. In addition to other unfavorable ingredients, store-bought hams are loaded with sodium, and too much salt is toxic for dogs. Too much sodium can results in vomiting, diarrhea, kidney damage, coma, and more. Certain breeds, like Miniature Schnauzers, are especially susceptible and eating ham can actually be fatal.
4. Lilies Are Lovely—and Lethal
Although Easter lilies aren’t really poisonous for dogs—unless they eat the whole bouquet—other types of lily-related plants can definitely be toxic: lilies of the valley, calla lilies, onion, and garlic too! And if your dog has a little friend of the feline variety, keep in mind that a single lick of an Easter lily can prove very dangerous or lethal to a cat. It’s probably best to decorate with other happy springtime flowers such as tulips and daffodils.
5. You May Want to Skip Those Mall Photos with the Easter Bunny!
It may be tempting to take your dog to get his picture taken, right? After all, he’s way cuter than some of the human kids sitting on the Easter Bunny’s lap. If you have a new dog and/or you’re not sure how they’ll react to the experience, you might want to take your own pictures in a safe environment. A terrified dog can endanger not only himself, but everyone around him too.
The Tip of the Tail
These tips are really just common dog-sense, but a safe, happy, egg-citing, and dog-friendly Easter holiday requires vigilance—which isn’t always easy to maintain when kids are running around and things get a little chaotic. Being dog-aware at all times and preventing possible issues before they happen are a smart strategy.