Make sure you hop into Easter safely with your furry friends

As families gear up for egg hunts and indulging in chocolate and other easter treats, itʼs essential to remember to take extra precautions to ensure you have a safe Easter with your pets and make sure they don’t ingest anything harmful. With a sprinkle of creativity and a dash of caution, you and your pets can enjoy a wonderful time this Easter.

Petstock Vet General Manager Dr Sasha Nefedova shares her top tips to ensure a safe and joyful Easter for your furry friends as you prepare for the festivities.

Mind the chocolate and hot cross buns for a safe Easter with your pets

Chocolate and hot cross buns are synonymous with Easter. In 2023, Aussies spent over $3.6 billion on Easter-centric food [1] and with no signs of spending slowing down, it’s crucial to keep all of your purchases securely out of reach of curious pets.

Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, which are toxic to dogs and cats, and can lead to symptoms ranging from vomiting and diarrhoea, to seizures and even death. Dogs in particular can take 6-12 hours before they show signs of ingestion, so if you know they have consumed chocolate, donʼt wait, and contact your local vet immediately. If you can, make sure to tell your vet what kind of chocolate was consumed, as the level of toxicity depends on the cocoa content of the chocolate that is eaten; baking chocolate, for example, presents the biggest risk to animals, and dark chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate or white chocolate, which is the least likely to cause problems.

If you are planning an Easter egg hunt, ensure a safe Easter with your pets and keep your furry loved ones away from all the action and create a map with where youʼve hidden all the goodies, so you can collect any le over Easter eggs that arenʼt found before they are sniffed out by pets or wildlife.

Just because your dog canʼt eat chocolate, doesnʼt mean they have to miss out on the fun! Opt for pet-friendly treats like the KAZOO Easter Bunny cookies or dog-friendly Hot Cross Buns.

Quiet time is key

Easter gatherings can be overwhelming for pets, with potential anxiety-inducing stimulants like lots of noise, additional people coming and going from your house, and excitement as children run around hunting for eggs. With over 40% of pets suffering different levels of anxiety at one-time [2], it’s important to ensure our animals are not further stressed by changes in their home environment. Signs of anxiety can include panting and pacing (even when it’s not hot), shivering, running away and/or cowering in the corner of a house, digging, escaping the yard, destroying furniture, self-harm, including excessive licking or chewing or a general inability to settle.

The best way to balance this, particularly if youʼre hosting at home, is to designate a quiet and comfortable space where pets can retreat if they feel stressed or anxious. Make sure you let any guests know about the space, so they avoid it if possible too. Provide plenty of water, toys, and a cosy bed to help them feel safe and secure.

If your pet has a history of anxiety, it might be best to consider speaking with your vet about additional support you can offer. You might like to consider non-drowsy calming chews that are clinically proven to calm and relax dogs such as the Zylkene chews, a supplement, or using a calming diffuser mimicking natural pheromones.

Take it easy with the decorations

If you are holding an Easter dinner at your place, you might be looking into decorations, flowers and even party favours to complete the Easter theme, but remember, there might be some Easter-themed decorations that could do more harm than good.

While Easter lilies are beautiful centrepieces on the dining table, these plants are poisonous for both canines and felines. If your pet does consume lilies, they could meet with symptoms like vomiting, lethargy, loss of appetite, and in some cats, kidney failure if left untreated. Even if your cat does not consume lilies, they could still groom lily pollen from their fur or paws which would still lead to the symptoms mentioned above.

Additionally, any table runners or decorations that are made of synthetic materials, if hanging down from your table, may pique the interest of your pet as a new play toy, and they may chew or ingest them.

So ensure when decorating you ensure that anything to add to the styling is out of reach from your pets, just like you would with children.

Find some great Easter recipes for a safe Easter with your pets

Easter travel

If you plan on travelling with your loved ones and pets over the Easter long weekend, ensure your pets vaccinations are current, theyʼre wearing up to date ID tags, and their microchip information is current. Itʼs also a good idea if youʼre travelling by car to pack a first-aid kit, plenty of water to prevent dehydration, dog sunscreen and a towel which can also be used as a bandage if required.

And if youʼre heading away and leaving your pet at home, be sure to leave the details of your regular vet with your pet sitter, as well as advising them of any medications or nutritional needs of your pet.

This Easter, let’s hop into the festivities with our furry friends by our side, ensuring a safe Easter with your pets and happiness every step of the way. For more tips on Easter pet safety and all things pet care, visit the Petstock website or chat with a friendly team member at your nearest store.