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Easter Safety for Dogs and Cats

April 15, 2014

Easter is only a few days away. Whether or not you’re celebrating with family and friends, there are various pet hazards to be aware of this time of year. Learn more below from a San Jose veterinarian.


One of the most common hazards around Easter is chocolate, which is highly toxic to pets. All varieties of chocolate contain theobromine and caffeine, both of which cause serious symptoms in cats and dogs. If you suspect your pet has eaten chocolate or see vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, or collapse, call your veterinarian immediately to have your pet treated.

Candy and Gum

Many candies and gums are sweetened with xylitol, an artificial sugar that has toxic properties for our four-legged friends. Even a few sticks of gum can induce vomiting, diarrhea, and even seizures. Keep these products stored where your pet can’t reach them.

Easter Baskets

Not only do Easter baskets probably contain the aforementioned chocolate, candy, and gum, they use plastic grass as a liner. The grass might seem harmless enough, but to many pets, the fluttering strands can look like a fun toy. They aren’t safe to play with, though, because they can easily get lodged in the intestinal tract, requiring veterinary attention. Don’t leave Easter baskets where pets can get near them—the results could be disastrous!

Holiday Dinner

When you’re sitting down to a holiday meal with your family, don’t let your pet partake in too much human food. Fatty table scraps can cause upset stomach, and a variety of human foods can poison pets: onions, garlic, avocado, grapes, raisins, salty foods, and more. Ask your veterinary professional for a complete list of harmful human food to be aware of.

Egg Hunts

Some pets might view the eggs of your egg hunt as a fun Easter snack. Not only are they a choking hazard, the sharp edges of the shells could cut a pet. Plastic eggs aren’t entirely safe, either; they probably contain chocolate or candy morsels, and a pet could easily break them apart, presenting a choking hazard. It’s safest to keep pets indoors while you go on your egg hunt.

Consult your San Jose veterinarian to learn about more potential pet hazards around this time of year. Knowing what to be aware of is the first step in keeping your pet safe and sound!