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Easter for pets is a special event, just like it is for humans. There are so many new colors in the house, baskets with goodies on the table, and these little oval shaped balls lying on the ground and throughout the house. Your human family members aren't the only ones who love to celebrate the holidays: your cats and dogs do, too! Maybe they'll be lucky and get their own pet Easter baskets, and if so, there are a few things you should know to keep your pets safe even when all you want to do is spoil them.
How to Keep Pets Safe on Easter
When you're decorating your home for Easter, double-check to be sure that the plants you display are safe for your pets. If anyone brings you an Easter lily for a gift, keep it somewhere your animals have zero access to. In an article for Pet Poison Helpline, Ahna Brutlag, DVM, MS says, "All parts of the Easter lily plant are poisonous — the petals, the leaves, the stem and even the pollen. Cats that ingest as few as one or two leaves, or even a small amount of pollen while grooming their fur, can suffer severe kidney failure."
That fake, decorative grass you put in the bottom of your children's Easter baskets poses a significant threat to your animals. Why? Well, both cats and dogs are curious creatures, and it's likely they'll play with and eventually ingest a few strands. When that happens, the decorative grass may have trouble moving through your pet's intestines or cause issues to the intestinal tract. After your kids open their baskets, make sure to throw the Easter grass out, and vacuum the carpet if necessary.
Everyone knows that chocolate is bad for both dogs and cats, so of course you wouldn't put them in the pet Easter baskets. If there is chocolate of any sort in your children's baskets, your animals may accidentally ingest it, and you wouldn't want that to happen. The Pet Poison Helpline states that calls about dogs ingesting chocolate increase by nearly 200 percent during the week of Easter, so be prepared and keep the sweets in a place your animals cannot reach. It's also a good idea to supervise any young children so that they don't give chocolate to your pets, or accidentally let them eat it when your kids aren't paying attention.
If you're worried that your cat or dog ingested part of an Easter lily, decorative grass, chocolate, or anything else that concerns you, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Safe Easter Fun for Cats and Dogs
Easter for pets should be fun, which is why you should include your furry friends in your traditions. If you regularly make Easter baskets for your children, surprise your dog or cat with one, too. Skip the Easter grass, so there are no intestinal complications, but include healthy treats and a new toy. Instead of a basket, consider putting these gifts in a new dog or cat bed they can relax in later.
Don't let the fun stop here. If an Easter egg hunt is a family tradition, get your pets in on the fun. Hide cat treats and encourage your children to help your cat find them throughout the house. Another option is to fill two or three empty eggs with catnip and watch as your cat swats them all over. Have your dog join you in your outdoor egg hunt. Fill some puzzle toys with dog treats or a few pieces of his kibble. Or, get him a new toy he can play with. It will be funny to see if any of your family members find the dog treats before your pup does. Just remember to parcel out any found treats so your dog doesn't have too many at once.
Easter time can be fun for both your family and your pets, as long as you keep them away from anything that could harm them, and include them in your annual traditions.
Erin Ollila is a pet enthusiast who believes in the power of words and how a message can inform and even transform its intended audience. Her writing can be found all over the internet and in print. Reach out to her on Twitter @ReinventingErin or learn more about her at http://erinollila.com.