Most people know that Halloween can be a dangerous holiday for pets, but what about Easter? Just as much chocolate is given out on Easter as Halloween, but some families are so eager to celebrate that their pets’ safety is neglected. When setting up an Easter egg hunt for the kids or decorating for an Easter dinner get-together, it’s important to keep pets in mind and take basic safety measures to protect them from Easter hazards.
Candy is the most obvious and biggest hazard to pets on Easter. If you’ll be leaving Easter baskets out for your children to discover in the morning, be sure to crate or otherwise confine dogs away from the room where the candy will be left. Cats should also be shut away from the candy, in a room with their food and water dishes. Your pets may complain about being locked up, but if you don’t confine the pets and wake up to your dog or cat halfway through eating a chocolate Easter bunny, you’ll regret not confining them.
As for Easter Egg hunts on the lawn, consider keeping notes on where you hid each candy item. Hard-boiled eggs aren’t dangerous to pets (although they might cause vomiting or diarrhea if your pet eats several), but candy is. If your children don’t find every piece of candy and you haven’t kept a list, you might forget about a particularly well-hidden chocolate egg. Your dog, on the other hand, can use its sense of smell to find even the most cleverly concealed sweet! Either hide all the candy in plain sight, or write down where it’s hidden and double-check to make sure it’s all gone after the kids are finished hunting.
Even if you’re careful to keep track of the candy in your kids’ Easter baskets, the baskets’ other contents might be hazardous to your pets’ health. Watch your children carefully and immediately pick up any tinsel they drop while rooting through their baskets. Tinsel, if eaten, can block a pet’s intestines. Similarly, put the baskets out of pets’ reach once your children have moved on to another activity. The wooden baskets themselves might seem edible to a determined puppy, having taken on some of the smell of the candy stored in them.
Stuffed animals, too, should be kept off the floor and out of pets’ reach. Even if your dog knows better than to chew your children’s existing stuffed animals, if they are give soft toys of their own sometimes, they might mistake the new plush toys for their dog toys. Leave the supervised introduction of new off-limits toys to your dogs for a time when you don’t have sugar-high children excited to get started hunting for Easter eggs!