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    • 11 Apr, 2019

    Be Pet Aware this Easter

    Easter is fast approaching, and that means our homes are filling up with sweet and savoury goodies, flowers and all things Easter. But what are the hidden dangers for our pets?

    Nothing says Easter like hot-cross buns, chocolate eggs and plenty more sweets (sugary or sugar free). However, if our pets get their paws on human goodies, the consequences can be severe, and potentially fatal.

    To have a happy and safe Easter this year, make sure you give your pet safe, pet-friendly treats.

    Many Easter goods will be extremely dangerous for pets to eat, not least of all chocolates, raisins, garlic and even daffodils!


    We all know that chocolate is bad for pets, but did you know that the toxic component is called ‘theobromine’? Dogs process theobromine very slowly, meaning that toxic levels of it build up inside them. Ingesting chocolate can cause severe reactions, and can be life threatening.

    Symptoms in dogs include:

    • muscle tremors
    • seizures
    • irregular heartbeats
    • internal bleeding
    • heart attack

    Different chocolates have different levels of theobromine. Cocoa, dark chocolate and cooking chocolate contain the highest amounts.

    Symptoms in cats include:

    • vomiting
    • diarrhoea
    • muscle rigidity
    • increased body temperature
    • rapid breathing

    Found in many Easter treats, like hot-cross buns, raisins are very harmful to dogs and cats. They can cause acute kidney failure, which can occur within 24 hours of ingestion. Symptoms include:

    • vomiting
    • diarrhoea
    • lethargy

    Going sugar free this Easter? The commonly used artificial sweetener called xylitol is extremely harmful to dogs and can be lethal. Symptoms can occur as soon as 30 minutes after ingestion, but can be delayed by hours, and even days. Symptoms include:

    • vomiting
    • lethargy
    • lack of coordination
    If you are concerned that your pet has eaten anything poisonous or toxic, call your vet immediately or contact an emergency vet clinic.

    We often think it is ok to feed left-over meals to our pets, but if you are cooking with onions or garlic, as with many other basic ingredients, these could have a damaging, potentially life threatening, impact on your pet!

    Garlic contains chemicals that damage red blood cells in cats and dogs. The affected blood cells can rupture or lose their ability to carry oxygen effectively. Both raw and cooked garlic have the same effect on cats and dogs!


    These flowers, often given at Easter, contain lycorine, an alkaloid which induces vomiting. Ingestion of daffodils can cause severe vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain.

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