Hoppy Easter! We’re just a couple of days away from holiday egg hunts, all the chocolate we could hope for, sugary treats, and a scrumptious dinner. We’ll all have a blast … but what about our dogs? As you plan for the upcoming holiday, there are a few things us pet parents should keep in mind. Read on for seven ways to keep your dogs safe this Easter!
1. Keep The Chocolate Away
If you have a dog then you probably already know that chocolate is a no-no. But, do you know why? The answer is theobromine and caffeine. Those are the two compounds in chocolate that stimulate our dogs’ nervous systems, which can cause serious symptoms. The amount of theobromine varies with the type of chocolate — the darker and more bitter the chocolate, the more dangerous it is to dogs. Still, your dogs should stay clear of ALL chocolate.
While the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center receives calls about dogs consuming chocolate on a daily basis, numbers spike on holidays such as Easter, Halloween, Valentine’s Day, and Christmas. If you think your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, contact your vet immediately and/or call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center – (888) 426-4435.
2. Watch Candy & Other Treats
Along with chocolate, Easter baskets are usually filled with jelly beans and other sweets that should be kept far away from Fido. In some cases, Easter candy may contain xylitol, a sugar substitute that’s toxic to dogs (even in very small amounts). If your pooch consumes xylitol, it could lead to a steep drop in blood sugar, liver damage, and even death. Think that your dog has eaten xylitol? It’s critical to see a vet or an animal ER immediately. In as little as 30-60 minutes, the effects of xylitol can be deadly.
3. Avoid Easter Basket Grass
As a kid, I remember waking up on Easter morning and rushing over to a basket full of goodies and fun grass-like cellophane strands. While the fake grass is a nice touch, some dogs may be tempted to take a big bite, chew it up, and swallow it down. To avoid little cellophane strands from floating and getting all over your floor and perhaps into your dog’s mouth, use tissue paper instead. It’s easier to manage and eventually toss in the trash once your kiddos are done unwrapping their goodies!
4. Watch Other Goodies In Easter Baskets
Along with yummy treats, Easter baskets are often filled with small plush toys, silly putty, slime, paint, stickers, games, etc. If you have a curious canine, he may feel tempted to grab and chew on some of these holiday goodies. To avoid a choking risk, be mindful of where these Easter basket prizes land.
5. Watch Out For Plastic Easter Eggs
If your dog is a natural gobbler who views nearly everything as a personal chew toy? You’ll want to be extra careful with those plastic Easter eggs … especially if you’re planning on stuffing them with chocolate and treats and then hiding them around your house/yard. If your dog winds up eating a fake plastic egg, it can cause intestinal problems.
For your at-home Easter egg hunt, keep track of the number of eggs you hide in your yard and where they are. That way, once the kids are done hunting, you can double-check your hiding spots so no plastic eggs are left behind!
6. Don’t Share Certain Dinner Foods
Holiday meals are often filled with fatty meats, seasonings, and other ingredients that aren’t safe for our pups. So, it’s best to avoid sharing.
Instead, prepare your pooch his own special meal. In my cookbook, Proud Dog Chef: Tail Wagging Good Treat Recipes, I share a recipe for Doggy Deviled Eggs. They’re perfect for the upcoming holiday! Don’t have a physical copy? You can get the recipe right now by downloading the Kindle e-book version.
7. Absolutely No Alcohol
Inside, I include an entire list of yes/no foods that dogs can and cannot eat. The first thing listed under my “No” list is alcohol. No amount of alcohol is safe for canines and you should never leave an unattended glass of wine, beer, or liquor around your four-legged family member. A drunk you may be hilarious, but a drunk dog is just dangerous!