Canada's Condominium Magazine
The holidays can be a stressful but wonderful time. Families gather together to celebrate the occasion and enjoy one another’s company. Plans are made, and we often travel for the holidays. Whatever your plans, the following tips will ensure the safety and well-being of your furry friends as Easter approaches.
Protect Your Pets from Common Toxins
Keep Pets Away from Sweets, Especially Chocolate
Sweets such as jelly beans, marshmallow peeps, malted milk duds, etc. contain excessive amounts of sugar, and they are all widely popular during the Easter holiday. They can often be left out on the counter or table while attending to children in between filling eggs, or little ones may get distracted and leave them lying around the house.
It is important to be vigilant when you have pets so that they do not find these items and consumer them, as they could be detrimental to their health. All sweets should be stored properly when not being consumed.
Chocolate is especially toxic for animals, and it can be fatal if the animal is not properly treated after consumption. This is primarily due to a caffeine-like chemical called methylxanthine, which cannot be fully metabolized by animals.
“Pets, like kids, love to get into forbidden goodies,” says animal behaviourist Diana Guerrero. “Unfortunately, raiding pets getting into the chocolate supply can face needless suffering – or death.”
Chocolate may cause damage to the liver, though this is difficult to spot. Therefore, it is essential that we familiarize ourselves with the visible symptoms associated with chocolate ingestion in animals, in case any treats are accidentally left within their reach. Symptoms include the following:
- Hyperactivity (more than is typical for the animal)
- Abnormal heartbeat
Toxic Plants and Other Items Which Should Also Be Avoided
Several plants and flowers are toxic to animals as well. Although these plants may be appealing, it is best to avoid them altogether so that there is no risk of injury or death. Guerrero states that animals “love to explore with their mouths and make playthings out of everything, so expect the worst and keep those lovely gifts and treats out of reach.”
Easter lilies such as Tiger, Day, and Asiatic are highly toxic to cats. Ingesting even a few small leaves could cause vomiting, appetite loss, dehydration, seizures, kidney failure, and more. Check with your veterinarian for a complete list of toxic plants for your specific pet(s).
“Other hazards can include alcoholic beverages and wrapping items. Cellophane, ribbons, balloons, and other festive wrappings or decorations can be ingested and cause complications or death,” she warns. “Alcohol, often left out in glasses during celebrations, is another toxic item for pets and should not be given to any critter.”
Small toys and deflated plastic balloons are choking hazards. Unfortunately, they are often left unattended by children, which poses the risk that an animal will attempt to eat these small items. Plastic Easter grass is also dangerous, as it can become lodged in the throat or stomach, and it is impossible to pass through their digestive systems. Ingesting its could cause severe damage to the intestinal tract and require surgery.
Whatever your plans are for the upcoming holiday, be sure that every member of your family has a safe and fun Easter, including your pets. It takes a little extra work and requires you to be alert, but it is worth it to keep everyone safe and prevent a tragedy.