How to Keep your Pets Safe at Easter

By: BVECCS Admin

On: March 9, 2018

easter safety tips for pets

Easter Safety Tips For Pets

You only have to look around the supermarkets lately to realise that Easter is fast approaching again this year. However, it is important that we consider the things we can do to safeguard our pet’s health and safety over this Easter long weekend and this can be done by following our Easter safety tips for pets.

Unfortunately, many of the treats lining the shelves can be hazardous if it should get into the wrong “paws” and can result in a visit to the emergency vet.

The keys to having a pet safe Easter are awareness and supervision.


This yummy treat for us humans is our most frequent source of emergency vet visits over the Easter break. Let’s face it, these bunnies and eggs are pretty tempting and dogs have been known to steal them from under beds, from low benches or tables, Easter baskets and of course on the traditional Easter egg hunts.

Chocolate contains two compounds – Theobromine and Caffeine which will cause problems for dogs and cats if ingested and can cause restlessness, excitement, vomiting, diarrhoea, increased heart rate, high blood pressure, tremors and seizures.

The more concentrated the chocolate, the more of these compounds are present and the greater the hazard. Dark chocolate and cooking chocolate are extremely toxic in very small amounts.

Although it is toxic to both cats and dogs, dogs are most likely candidates given they tend to scavage and seek it out.

While most people are aware of the risks, young children may not be and may need to be warned not to share with the family pet.

To avoid accidental consumption, ensure you keep your pets secure in a separate room during Easter Egg hunts and keep track to ensure all eggs have been found. Also, take care where the Easter bunny should leave eggs around the house. If enough chocolate is ingested, it can be fatal but this is rare with treatment.

If you think your pet has ingested some chocolate or is showing any signs, then please call us for advice. With very early attention, many pets avoid developing the more serious signs.

We will ask how much is suspected of being ingested, the size of your pet and the type of chocolate. We can calculate quickly if your pet has had a potentially dangerous dose and provide advise if you need to have an emergency visit.

We can safely induce vomiting and administer activated charcoal if a toxic dose has been eaten.

keep pets safe at easter

Avoid Easter Lillies

Easter Lillies and other members of this plant family ( including Daylilies, Tiger lilies and Stargazer lilies) are extremely toxic to cats. All parts of the plant including the stem, leaves, petals, stamens and pollen are poisonous to cats even in minute amounts. If a cat should chew on the plant or get some pollen on their coat and then groom it off, this has proven enough to cause harm.

Lilies if ingested cause damage to the cat’s kidneys and the first sign of exposure is usually vomiting and lethargy. It is treatable if we catch it very early, but the safest course of action is to ensure no lilies are brought into your home by asking for lily free floral arrangements and avoid sending any as gifts to households with cats.

Hot Cross Buns (Sultanas and Raisins)

Sultanas and raisins are toxic to dogs and can cause acute kidney failure. Although most people are aware of the chocolate danger, many are not aware of the risk with sultanas and raisins. Again, it is wise to ensure the children know not to share their food with the family dog and make sure the treats are stored safely away in a dog-proof area.

Sugar-free Foods That Contain Xylitol (Common Sugar Substitute)

Be aware that some of the ‘more healthy’ options for us contain a sugar substitute called Xylitol. Although it is safe for us to consume, even tiny amounts are very toxic to dogs. The most common source is sugar-free gum but can be in other products. If any ingestion is suspected, then time is critical to get to a vet clinic as this toxin causes low blood sugar and liver failure.

Macadamia Nuts

These tasty treats are toxic to dogs and can cause vomiting and wobbliness. This is very treatable and usually not life-threatening, but even a few nuts can cause signs so please take care.

Toys, Chocolate Wrappers and Fake Grass

We have seen cases of gut obstruction from pets ingesting Easter toys, chocolate wrappers or fake plastic grass sometimes found in Easter baskets. Be aware to remove these items from the environment where pets are and ensure the bins are pet proof.
If ingestion is witnessed, contact us straight away as it may be safer for us to induce vomiting and remove the foreign material while it is still in the stomach before it makes its way into the intestines.


While this can be a very enjoyable social weekend for us with visitors, BBQs and Easter egg hunts, please be aware that some dogs and cats will find this fairly stressful.

Ideally, if you are concerned about this for your pet, plan ahead and keep them in a separate ‘safe’ quiet room in the house particularly when guests, children and other pets are arriving. Most pets will want plenty of opportunities to ‘chill’ away from hustle and bustle

At BVECCS (after hours vet at Albany Creek) we are open and fully staffed 24/7 over the Easter period and can advise if you and your pet need to be seen. We’d like to take the opportunity to wish all our clients a safe and enjoyable Easter break.


Contact Us Today