Easter is quickly approaching on Sunday, April 16. Besides going to church services and enjoying a ham dinner, the holiday is associated with candy, baskets, hard-boiled eggs, and artificial grass. These things may be delightful for the human members of your family but may pose dangers for your pets. Cats and dogs are naturally curious creatures and can’t always resist the urge to investigate by sniffing, licking, and chewing items not meant for them. To avoid an illness or injury, it’s important to take a few simple precautions this Easter season.
Keep All Food and Treats in a Safe Location
Chocolate, table scraps, and any type of candy that contains xylitol, a sugar substitute, are especially dangerous for pets. Theobromine, the primary ingredient in chocolate, can cause an elevated heart rate, seizures, and hyperactivity in pets. Artificial sweetener, which is present in certain baked goods, gum, and candy, is linked to liver failure and seizures in pets. 
The fat content and spices in table scraps can make your pet seriously ill. He could also choke on bones still present
in meat. Make sure your guests know not to share, no matter how much your pet begs or looks sad. If possible, it’s best to keep your dog or cat in another room until everyone has finished their lunch or dinner. This is also a good idea if your pet tends to get anxious when you have company.
Easter Flowers and Artificial Grass
Cats are naturally drawn to chew on grass and plants and Easter lilies are no exception. Unfortunately, this specific plant can cause lethargy and vomiting. If your cat is a jumper and can get to the plant no matter where you place it, avoid bringing it into the house altogether.
Many people enjoy decorating Easter baskets with artificial grass, but it’s almost impossible for pets to resist chewing on it. It can get caught in your pet’s windpipe and cause choking or severe gastrointestinal distress if swallowed. If you still want to use artificial grass, avoid bringing it out until Easter morning and keep your pet in another room while your children find their baskets.
A Word About Eggs
Both plastic and hard-boiled eggs can pose a danger to your pet. Swallowing parts of a plastic egg can present a choking hazard and cause an upset stomach. It’s also important to make sure that you don’t leave any real hard-boiled eggs behind in the yard during your family’s Easter egg hunt. Because it doesn’t take long for them to spoil, your pet could become extremely ill from eating one.
Emergency Contact Information
Since Easter falls on a Sunday, Battletown Animal Clinic will be closed. In case of an emergency with your pet, contact The Life Centre at 703-777-5755 if you’re in Loudoun County or Valley Veterinary Emergency Service at 540-662-7811 if you’re in Shenandoah Valley. For emergencies during our regular office hours, please contact us at 540-955-2171.
Happy Easter from the entire staff at Battletown Animal Clinic.

Photo Credit: A Dog's Life Photo / Getty Images