Easter Pet Safety with Natalie


With Easter Sunday just days away veterinary assistant Natalie Pagnusat, has some thoughtful tips and advice on enjoying the holiday weekend while keeping the best interest of our animals and pets in mind!

This weekend many people are looking forward to spending some quality time with friends and family. Some families have little ones that are excited to go hunting for Easter eggs and maybe even receive some gifts! However, some presents that people give to their young loved ones are living animals such as bunnies, ducks, and chicks. These cute animals may sound like great gift ideas to many people, but are they really?

Bunnies, chicks, and ducks are huge lifetime commitments that must not be treated as toys. These living creatures should not be looked at as a practice pet of some kind-they require the same daily attention and care as a cat or dog. They are pets that come with a lot of responsibility. These pets can be challenging; rabbits exhibit destructive behavior if not provided with the proper care and chickens and ducks can live up to 10 years!

Instead of bringing home a new pet, consider visiting your local animal shelter (the HSVC is open on Saturday but closed on Sunday). This is a great opportunity to teach young children how to humanely treat animals and the responsibilities of one day becoming a pet parent. If that is not an option, a simple stuffed animal or chocolate version of these animals can always be a great choice.

If you already have pets don't forget to keep all chocolate and candy away from them. Animals may also be attracted to holiday decorations that could wreak havoc on their intestinal system. If your pet does get into any of these items contact your veterinarian immediately.

Following are a few of the items that may put your pets at risk:

• Easter candy: All candies and wrappers, and sugar products, should be kept away from pets as they are potential hazards. Theobromine, a chemical found in most chocolate, is poisonous to pets. If you suspect your pet has ingested any of these items, contact your veterinarian immediately.

• Easter eggs (plastic and real): Plastic eggs can both be a choking hazard and cause serious risk if consumed as they can not be digested. Boiled eggs, especially those still in the shell, can cause an upset stomach or constipation. If you are celebrating with an egg hunt make sure to keep track of how many eggs are used in the hunt and make sure they are collected when the hunt is over.

• Synthetic grass & tinsel: Both synthetic grass and tinsel, when ingested, can become entangled in the intestines and if not caught in time, may be fatal.

• Easter lilies: Lilies, while beautiful, are extremely dangerous to pets, especially cats. Every part of the lily is highly toxic and even eating just one leaf can result in kidney failure and even death.

• Raw dough: Keep any items containing yeast or uncooked dough away from your pets as it can ferment and become poisonous in their stomachs.

Thank you all for your thoughtful consideration and we hope you all have a safe and pleasant holiday weekend!

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