THE LIVES of our beloved pets could be inadvertently put at risk this Easter, if we don’t exercise a little seasonal caution.

That’s the message this week from leading animal organisation, Wood Green, The Animals Charity, which has seen cases of cats and dogs suffering after eating chocolate eggs and other Spring-time treats. The charity is keen to highlight that chocolate is in the top 10 of poisoning incidents reported by Veterinary Poison Information Service.

Among the biggest mistakes made by well-meaning pet owners, is allowing dogs and cats to have even just small amounts of chocolate eggs and holiday sweets. Chocolate can be highly toxic when consumed – particularly by dogs – and should NOT be deliberately given to them in any circumstance.

Certain plants exchanged as house gifts at Easter can also be a poisonous threat. The likes of the Easter Lily is highly toxic to a cat and would leave the animal at risk of vomiting and possible kidney failure if swallowed.

Wendy Kruger is a dog welfare and training consultant at Wood Green and notes that the veterinary team often see cases of animals arriving on or around the Easter period.

“It’s a time of year where we as humans get very excited because it’s an extra Bank Holiday, time with the family, and hopefully better weather,” she said.

“This combines with eating lots of nice food like hot cross buns…..and chocolate.

“Every year we see cases where people have offered their pets pieces of a chocolate Easter egg as a kind gesture, but it’s ended up making their dog or cat very poorly. It’s so important for owners to understand that this is something they should avoid at all costs.”

Wendy points out that other Easter season factors can pose risks of potential harm to pets.

These include:

  • More family and friends in and out of the home – this can leave a nervous pet feeling distressed or wanting to isolate. Do ensure you spend time with the animal throughout the holiday season and don’t neglect that the chaos may be causing them angst.
  • An increase in time spent outdoors can mean walks in woods, forests and wildlife areas. Ensure you check your dog after a long walk for any sign of peculiar bites or insects clinging to their coat.
  • If you are going on holiday, don’t assume your pet is ‘perfectly capable’ of fending for itself. Do make formal arrangements with your neighbours, or place your pet in a reputable kennels facility for the duration of your stay. Many pets will wander off after a few days of assuming you aren’t returning to feed them.
  • Recognise that Easter treats like hot cross buns also pose a threat! Raisins, sultanas and currants can, at the most extreme, cause kidney failure in dogs.
  • Place chocolate and other treats out of reach, and likewise small toys that can be found inside eggs. If you suspect your animal has ingested something and is showing signs of being poorly, contact a vet at the earliest opportunity.

Wood Green has a number of events taking place over the Easter weekend, including Field Good Friday on Good Friday, April 3rd. Families can try their hand at chicken agility, ask the experts about keeping certain pets, or take part in an Easter egg painting competition.

For more details, contact 0844 2488181.