March 23, 2016

Top Four Easter Hazards for Pets

Top Four Easter Hazards for Pets

As many families prepare to celebrate Easter this weekend, it’s important to keep in mind that this spring holiday may pose potential hazards for our furry friends. Before you hide eggs in your yard and decorate your home, please read the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center’s (APCC) list of the top four most common Easter dangers:

1. Chocolate. The APCC received an average 37 calls a day regarding pets eating chocolate in 2015. Most of those exposures occurred around holidays: Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's Day and Easter. Chocolate can cause gastrointestinal upset, pancreatitis, stimulation to the nervous system (hyperactivity, tremors and seizures) and elevation in heart rate. Not all chocolate is created equally—the darker the chocolate, the less it takes to cause problems for pets. Other ingredients to keep out of your pet’s reach include raisins, macadamia nuts, xylitol and alcohol.

2. Plastic Easter Grass. While pets cannot absorb plastic Easter grass into their bodies, when consumed, this plastic material can become lodged in the gastrointestinal tract and wreak havoc. Signs for concern include vomiting, diarrhea, decrease in appetite, lethargy, and stomach pain.

3. Plants. Many plants can cause issues for pets, but during this time of year, the APCC sees an uptick in calls about Lilies and bulbs that bloom in spring. Lilies (Lilium sp and Hemerocallis sp) can cause serious concerns for our feline friends. Exposure to any parts of the plant can result in kidney injury and gastrointestinal upset.

4. Fertilizers and Herbicides. Warmer weather brings gardening and yardwork. Many pet parents will use fertilizers and herbicides in their yards, and while these don’t often cause serious problems, it is best to keep pets indoors while applying the products, follow label instructions and wait to let your pet out again until the product has been watered in or the ground is dry.

Please visit our APCC section to find out more about items that could be poisonous to your furry friendsAPCC is your best resource for any animal poison-related emergency—24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you think that your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately.