The Easter season can be a very joyous one for your pet, but it is just as important to make sure it is a safe one. Central Veterinary Associates offers these tips to keep your pets free from danger while enjoying the holiday’s festivities:
- Keep pets away from the Easter grass — Cats are attracted to string-like objects, especially those that make interesting sounds. Easter grass has that attractive quality and, to cats, it must be eaten. However, it can cause blockage in the stomach. Symptoms include vomiting, straining to defecate and a painful abdomen. If you can see the Easter grass from the mouth or anus, do not pull it out yourself; instead, call a veterinarian immediately.
- Avoid feeding human food to your pets — People love to feed their pets under the table for this holiday season, but they are unknowingly harming their animals. Chocolate contains theobromine, which, for dogs, can result in diarrhea, seizures and death. Chicken, fish and turkey bones can break off and tear through the animal’s intestinal tract.
- Be sure to find all the Easter eggs before your pet does — The Easter egg hunt is a family tradition at most households and, sometimes, pets want to participate. But a piece of a broken eggshell, when ingested, may pierce the inside of their stomachs. Also, your pet may choke on the egg if he or she attempts to swallow it whole.
- Put away cleaning supplies after cleaning up — In the rush to get the house ready for the holidays, pet owners might leave cleaning products within their pet’s reach. Floor cleaner, furniture polish and window cleaner are considered toxins. Be sure to place cleaning products that are not in use away in an area where animals cannot reach them.
- Put away children’s toys after opening them — Like Christmas, Easter is becoming a popular holiday for children to get toys. Pets may think of children’s toys as their own personal chew toys. Small plastic pieces and rubber balls become ingested, causing blockages. These objects would need to be surgically removed.
- Keep holiday plants out of reach — Easter lilies and related plants are highly toxic to cats if ingested. The first signs include vomiting, lethargy and, if left untreated, may lead to renal (kidney) failure or even death. Another spring flower, the daffodil, is also toxic to cats.
- Hold onto your drinks — Coffee and tea contain dangerous components called xanthines, which cause the damage to the dog’s nervous system or gastrointestinal tract and heart muscle stimulation. Animals are also attracted to the sweet smell of alcohol. Each year, hundreds of dogs die after a single bout of alcohol consumption. Keep such drinks out of reach.
- Give your pets some room — When meeting visitors for the first time, pets can be overexcited. Your pet may jump on the visitor or act aggressively by barking or hissing. Some pets may also urinate on the floor. When hosting a party, set up a separate area for your pets with plenty of food and water.
“By taking these necessary precautions, the Easter season will be a happy one for both you and your pet,” said Dr. Aaron Vine, DVM, Vice President, Central Veterinary Associates. “In the event that your pet gets sick, our Valley Stream hospital is open 24 hours a day, including Easter Sunday.”
For more information or to make an appointment, call (516) 825-3066 or visit www.centralvets.com.