2021 has quickly flown by, and it’s already April, pet parents! With some states on school holidays, this means gearing up for some quality time with our nearest and dearest. And of course, this special downtime includes our beloved animals as well! Whether you’ve got eight, four, three, two, or zero-legged family members, we know you’re going to be planning some fun times. However, to keep our pets safe, there are some specific things to watch out for and be careful of during these holidays. This is where our top tips for pet safety around the Easter holidays come in.
Easter foods that are dangerous to pets
1. Chocolate – It’s common knowledge that our favourite snack can make our pets very sick, but do you know why? Chocolate is toxic to dogs due to the high Theobromine content, which dogs cannot metabolise, and this can cause kidney failure. Also known as chocolate poisoning, the alkaloid chemical found highest in both dark and cooking chocolate is typically found in Easter eggs, cakes and other festive treats. It also has a high caffeine content which raises animal heart rates if consumed in high quantities.
How to tell if your dog has eaten chocolate?
Didn’t see them actually gobble it up with your own eyes? Look out for any of the following signs – vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity (from sugar and caffeine), excess thirst and over-drinking, collapsing or lethargic tiredness, and seizures. The severity of toxicity does depend on your dog’s weight, breed and type of chocolate consumed. Symptoms can take anything from 25 minutes to 12 hours to show up. Call the vet immediately and use this helpful Dog Chocolate Toxicity Calculator tool to help you assess how serious the situation is.
2. Hot Cross Buns – These delectable little soft treats adored by all contains raisins and sultanas – known to cause kidney and liver failure in dogs if eaten too much. Again, if they ingest them and show any of the above-mentioned symptoms, call your vet right away just to be safe!
3. Xylitol – This sweetener is often found in chewing gum, candy, lollies, drinks, cakes and other foods is actually highly toxic to dogs. It can increase a pet’s heart rate, cause liver or kidney failure, or lead to death if eaten in high quantities. Also, as candy pieces and chewing gums are usually small, it could cause a blockage in the airways. If you have a party in your garden or are out in a busy park or public area, this is something to watch out for. If you think your pet has eaten gum or lollies, call your vet straight away.
4. Macadamia Nuts – An Aussie firm favourite on the table as a household snack; we love these little waxy fellas! However, unlike peanuts, macadamia nuts are dangerous for dogs. If any happens to be snapped up, look out for signs of gastrointestinal pain or discomfort. They may also stagger or wobble as they walk (known as ‘Ataxia’). Vomiting, diarrhea and seizures can also happen in minutes or hours later after eating. Walnuts and other rarer nuts like Ginko nuts can also pose problems for a dog’s digestion and cause serious problems. Again, call that vet and make sure you’re playing it safe!
Easter decorations that aren’t safe for pets
It’s tempting to go a little egg-sentric at Easter and decorate the whole house in a colourful display! Especially if you have kids bouncing around like bunnies to entertain! However, go easy on the following decorations as they are easily ingested and choked on by pets at home. And it’s not just dogs, cats, house rabbits, and even guinea pigs will happily nibble at small plastic embellishments, risking choking and digestive blockages that will have you speed dialling your vet. Here are a few things to watch for:
- Fake grass
- Plastic chicks and small plastic toys
- Mini eggs
- Shredded plastic
Easter treats that are totally safe for pets!
Now we know what’s NOT safe for our little furbags; here are some vegan ingredients and recipes that are safe, yummy and actually healthy…
Carob – Similar to chocolate, yet packed full of vital vitamins, carob makes the perfect treat to swap for Easter eggs, chocolate nests or other festive recipes to delight your pets. Many dog friendly recipes do include it, and you can easily find carob in many raw or pre-made products in any pet shop.
Peanut Butter – Safe for our pets and easy to get your paws on. Peanut butter makes a nice addition to a canine cake, or for smearing on an edible dental chew stick for a “well done doggy” reward. However, make sure you check the ingredients to ensure it doesn’t contain Xylitol, as some cheaper brands will add it in. Also, if your dog is on medication, a tiny smidge of peanut butter can be an easy way to help distract them enough to get the tablet in.
Want some Easter pet-friendly recipes for inspiration?
1. Dog chocolate carob treats – Mix healthy carob with coconut oil for doggie safe choccie treats and mould them into your chosen shapes. Whether it’s paw shape or egg shape, they are perfect for little good behaviour rewards.
2. Dog friendly cookies – These delicious peanut butter and pumpkin treats are completely safe for our hounds. Cheap, easy to mix and quick to bake, what’s not to love? Check out the adorable Pomeranian on the recipe video helping his pet parent with the baking, and we know you’ll have just as much fun as they have.
3. Pumpkin pet safe treats – Yummy pumpkin is full of vitamin A which is good for pet eye and immune health, and vitamin K which is vital for healthy blood and bone metabolism. Dig into this recipe where you can shape the treats as you want. They don’t just have to be for Easter as they are delicious for our pets all year round.
For more information about pet health and nutrition and what your little darlings can and can’t eat, listen to our Baxta podcasts. Hosted by TV personality Steve Price and Dr. Simone Maher, this recent episode discusses dog breeds and their personality traits and delves into diet and nutrition as well. Baxta wishes you a spectacular and pet-safe Easter, enjoying playtime and going on adventures with your pets!
Announcing the winners of the Baxta Great Easter Parade!
A big round of applause for everyone who entered the Great Baxta Easter Parade! We loved seeing all the stunning Easter-themed photos.
Congratulations to the top 5 best-dressed pets! Each has won a $50 Visa gift card. Check out the rest of our entries in-app