Stay one step ahead and prepare your pet for the busy Easter bank holiday with our seasonal advice.
Keep your pet safe this season
If you’re one of the many people planning a busy Easter weekend, you’ll need to start preparing your pet as soon as possible. As well as being aware of the risks that certain seasonal treats can pose, you may need to organise their care if you’re going away during the Easter break.
Find out how you can keep your pet safe during the season with our dedicated advice.
Chocolate contains theobromine, a chemical that can be poisonous to cats, dogs and rabbits. Dark chocolate and cooking chocolates have the highest levels of theobromine, although it’s also present in milk chocolate.
Depending on the size of the pet and the amount of chocolate eaten, the effects can vary from vomiting and diarrhoea to seizures, internal bleeding and even heart attacks.
If you think your pet has eaten chocolate, even a small amount, call your vet straight away so that they can advise you over the phone. Don’t try to make your dog sick, as this can be dangerous. Our 24-hour centres are available in an emergency throughout the bank holiday weekend.
Hot cross buns
While many pet owners understand the danger chocolate can pose, hot cross buns are another springtime treat that can be potentially harmful to animals. Raisins, sultanas and currants are all toxic to pets, causing vomiting, diarrhoea and, in some cases, kidney failure. Make sure you keep your pets away from them.
Easter basket fillers
Easter basket fillings such as plastic grass and straw are tempting playthings for pets, particularly cats, but they’re easily swallowed and can lead to digestive issues, resulting in vomiting, bloating and dehydration. Protect your pet from dangers by keeping them away from Easter baskets and other decorations.
Some common bulbs and their flowers are highly toxic to pets, resulting in vomiting, diarrhoea and disorientation. Dangerous bulbs include daffodils, narcissus, tulips, hyacinths, bluebells and lilies.
Dr Gareth Richardson, Head of Clinical Standards at Medivet, says: “Fortunately, serious cases of poisoning caused by dogs eating toxic bulbs or plants are rare, though once spring arrives, we do see dogs with an upset stomach following an unwise garden snack.
"We advise owners to keep an eye on their dog when they’re out in the garden or woodland and, of course, if they are showing signs of being unwell, to contact their Veterinary Surgeon immediately.”
Planning to travel without your pet?
The Easter bank holiday weekend is a peak time for travel, with many of us visiting family and friends around the country or abroad. If you’re planning to travel without your pet, don’t forget to arrange your pet care well in advance.
Spaces in kennels and catteries fill up quickly, so don’t leave it too late to book. If you’re considering hiring a sitter to look after your pet in your absence, read our advice to finding the right pet sitter.
If you're one of the many people planning to spruce up their home this season, don't forget that many cleaning products and equipment can cause problems for your pets.