Easter dos and don'ts
Pets are part of the family, and we love to include them in our celebrations. However, make sure to be extra vigilant over Easter - many of its traditional foods, flowers and decorations can be very harmful if ingested!
Here are a few tips to keep your pet safe...
Chocolate is poisonous to dogs because it contains theobromine, a compound related to caffeine. Depending on the type of chocolate eaten, the quantity, and the body weight of the dog, its effect may vary - and in some cases it can lead to death. Likewise, the traditional cross buns can be dangerous, as raisins and currants are also toxic to dogs.
So keep all the human chocolate and buns well out of your pet's reach, and think of getting them some doggie chocolate instead - without theobromine!
Or you can try making your own treats - here are some recipes:
Carob Mini Easter Eggs
You will need
Mini Easter egg mould
300g carob drops
First melt the carob drops in a bowl over a very low heat. Then choose a saucepan and a mixing bowl. The saucepan needs to have a diameter that is slightly smaller than the mixing bowl. Fill a third of the saucepan with water and sit the bowl on top of the saucepan and heat the water. Then put the carob drops into the mixing bowl.
Once the water is boiling, turn off the heat and allow the carob to melt. Then stir until it is ready to be poured into the moulds. Once the moulds have been filled, tap the mould on the worktop to ensure they are level and place in the fridge until set. You can then stick two egg halves together using peanut butter or cream cheese.
Fruity Easter Egg Treats
You will need:
½ punnet raspberries
½ punnet strawberries
Mini Easter Egg mould
Blend the fruit in a mixer until it is smooth. Then pour into the egg mould until half full. Freeze for 30 minutes to an hour until completely frozen and pour plain yoghurt onto the frozen mixture until full. Finally, freeze for another 2 hours until ready to serve.
Doggie Easter Eggs
You will need:
140g of xylitol-free peanut butter
140g of coconut oil
Optional extras for crunch: apple chunks, carrot pieces
Tip: you could also use a small ice cube tray
Add the xylitol-free peanut butter and coconut oil to a microwave-safe bowl, then microwave for 45 seconds or until completely melted. Stir the mixture to get rid of any lumps, then pour it into the egg mould or ice cube tray until nearly full. Add any optional extras into the moulds now as a crunchy surprise for your pooch! Put the moulds or trays in the fridge for 2 hours or until the eggs have hardened. When your eggs have solidified, take one out and give it to your dog as a treat or make them their own Easter egg hunt!
Once you have your dog-friendly treats and chocolate at the ready, a doggie Easter hunt is ideal to make your dogs put their noses to use and have some fun! However, first ensure no children had their own Easter hunt in the same spot you chose, and have a good look for any real chocolate eggs that may have been left behind. Better safe than sorry!
No bones about it!
If you're planning a barbeque, please remember that the hot coals, skewers and cooked bones pose a danger to your pet as well! It's easy to get distracted while minding the grill, but please make sure you keep any food meant for humans, and any leftovers, well out of your dog's reach.
A pretty vase of spring flowers may seem an unlikely ticket to the emergency vets, but Easter blooms such as daffodils and tulips are poisonous to pets! Here are some to avoid...
While daffodils can make a lovely decorating piece, they are toxic to dogs and can lead to vomiting, diarrhoea and drooling. Some dogs love digging holes, whether that’s in your own garden or on a walk, and this is when they can come in contact with a daffodil bulb. If you love the plant, consider fencing them off to keep them safely out of reach from your dog.
Although adding a pop of colour to your spring garden can be tempting, it’s best to leave azaleas out of the mix. These plants can be toxic to dogs if ingested and cause mild problems such as vomiting, diarrhoea and weakness. Keeping these out of reach of curious paws may be sufficient to protect your canine companion.
The bluebell may be a beautiful addition to your flower beds but this springtime favourite is dangerous to have around if you have a nosey puppy. When ingested they can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy and disorientation in dogs as they contain glycosides.
Tulips and Hyacinths
While tulips and hyacinths are two of the world’s most popular spring flowers, they are considered toxic to most animals, including dogs, cats and horses, so if you have any pets it’s important to keep them out of reach inside your home or garden. When ingested the plant can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and drooling.
If your dog eats a large amount of the plant bulb, they may experience changes in heart rate and respiration, which then you will need to seek veterinary attention.
Prairie Lily, Lily of the Valley, Peace Lily, and Calla Lily
Consumption of lily tubers is known to be toxic for both dogs and cats, so it’s safe to keep these out of your pets’ reach and be extra cautious when out walking. While not all lilies are toxic to pets, the majority can cause an upset tummy and other uncomfortable reactions.