Keep your dog safe this Easter

Easter brings lots of tasty treats for humans – chocolate, hot cross buns and Sunday dinner with the family. But these tasty treats can be potentially life-threatening for our dogs. So we’ve put together this helpful Easter-themed list of poisonous food and plants for your dogs.

Chocolate Eggs
Chocolate contains the chemical ‘Theobromine’, which is toxic to dogs. Depending on the size of your dog, even very small amounts can cause serious issues. For most larger dogs, a small amount might just give them an upset stomach. But we believe it is never worth the risk, so if any chocolate is consumed by your dog, contact your vet immediately for advice.

Theobromine is metabolised quickly by humans, but more slowly in dogs; causing a build-up of toxic levels which can result in: convulsions, seizures, heart issues (irregular beat or heart attack), and internal bleeding. Severe hyperactivity is one of the tell-tale signs of poisoning from chocolate.

Hot Cross Buns
The smell of hot cross buns cooking sparks memories of Easter for us humans. But it’s not such a pretty picture for our dogs as the raisins in these buns can be fatal to them. The consumption of grapes and raisins has been well documented as toxic for dogs, resulting in renal failure (kidney disease). If your dog consumes any number of raisins (or grapes) it’s definitely worth calling your vets.

Bulbs and Flowers
Daffodils are a commonplace centrepiece for any Easter weekend dining table. While they look pretty and cheerful to us, they can cause vomiting and diarrhoea, plus potential heart issues for our dogs. It’s worth keeping all flowers in a place your dog/s (and cats) cannot access them. AND be extra careful if you’ve got a digger, as the bulb of Daffodils is the most toxic part.

Sunday Roast
Enjoying a Sunday Dinner with the family is a wonderful part of Easter weekend. But if you are a meat-eating family, don’t be tempted to share your dinner with your dog. The skin of meats is high in fat, which can cause upset stomachs and potentially lead to pancreatitis if over-consumed. Be aware that while raw bones are generally safe for dogs (depending on how they chew them), cooked bones are a BIG no-no! Cooked bones become brittle and can potentially splinter in your dog’s stomach, causing injuries.

You might wonder why our dogs are eating these things if they are meant to have such powerful noses and foraging abilities. Can they not smell that they will be at risk in eating them? Well, a lot of the dog’s potential knowledge (in its sense of smell) is due to its evolutionary history. So if your dogs breed stems from a country where the growing of grapes or cocoa beans may not have been commonplace (the UK for example), then your dog may not know those items are toxic. Plus, in the case of chocolate, most bars will be full of sugars and vanilla, which can be both appealing to dogs and hides the smell of the powerful toxin.