If you have pets at home, you may need to be vigilant about some threats to their health related to your upcoming Easter festivities. Keep Fido and Fluffy safe with some of these facts in mind:
Toxic Easter flowers:
- Colorful tulips can spruce up your home for spring, and are common Easter gifts. Tulips can actually harm your pet, but it’s the bulb that’s the poisonous part for cats and dogs (many people will save the bulb after the plant starts to wilt, for future planting). If your dog or cat eats a tulip bulb, he or she could suffer from central nervous system depression, excessive drooling or gastrointestinal problems.
- The lily of the valley is the chief symbolic flower of the Easter season. Because it’s one of the first flowers to bloom in the spring, Christians identify this white lily with Christ’s resurrection. This flower is very prominent in the bible, relating to themes like royalty, purity and rebirth. Because of these symbolic meanings, lily of the valley plants, also known as Easter lilies, can often be found in homes in the early spring. However, you may want to rethink bringing one of these plants into your home if you have a cat. Similarly, a lily of the valley is not a good gift for friends or family members with a cat in the household. This plant is extremely toxic to our feline friends. Ingesting parts of the lily could cause serious kidney damage in cats.
One great alternative to these traditional Easter flowers may be lamb’s tail, a non-toxic plant with bushy pinkish-purple blooms and a cute springtime name!
Plastic Easter Grass:
- Your cat may consider colorful Easter grass to be an irresistible temptation. However, long, stringy Easter grass, like its Christmas counterpart, tinsel, poses a real danger to your cat or dog. When pets swallow long, stringy material that is difficult to digest, the strings can basically get tangled up in their insides, causing severe abdominal pain and potentially even more dire conditions.
There are many alternatives to Easter grass. Cushion baskets with an edible solution – dyed coconut flakes. Put dried coconut flakes in a paper bag along with a few drops of cheery-hued food coloring. Shake the bag until the flakes are coated with the color. You can even use a dark, leafy green like romaine or kale to line your baskets. This kind of Easter grass will be safer for pets, and you won’t be contributing to waste associated with plastic manufacturing.
- Most dog owners know that dogs shouldn’t eat chocolate, but do you know why? Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine. Consuming large amounts of theobromine can be toxic to members of several species including dogs, cats and humans and can even lead to seizures, pancreatitis or death. Dogs metabolize this alkaloid at a slower rate, meaning that it stays in their bodies longer and can cause greater harm. Interestingly, it takes a smaller dose of theobromine to poison cats, but cats generally don’t have much of a taste for chocolate.
Watch out for baskets left on the floor and stray chocolate hidden during an Easter scavenger hunt and keep these treats away from Fido!
Enjoy your Easter season and help your four-legged friends do the same!