The Bunny Hop might be a fun dance, but it could mean something much different to your pets. Though Easter season is often a symbol of joy, and the start to Spring, it can also prove to be a sad one for pet owners who don’t follow pet safety precautions. That’s why Central Veterinary Associates offers these tips to keep your pets out of harm’s way during the holiday.
- Steer clear of Easter grass: Cats are attracted to string-like objects, especially those that make interesting sounds and can be easily ingested. Easter grass covers all of these areas, but 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.
- 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.
- Find all of the Easter eggs: The Easter egg hunt is a family tradition at most households and, sometimes, pets want to participate. But your pet may choke on the egg if he or she attempts to swallow it whole and a piece of a broken eggshell may pierce the inside of their stomachs. Plastic eggs filled with goodies are equally harmful as the candies and small toys inside can be dangerous to pets as well.
- Clean up the toys: Like other gift-giving holidays, it is becoming increasingly popular for children to receive toys on Easter, but pets sometimes mistake these as their own personal chew toys. Small plastic pieces and rubber balls become ingested, causing blockages, and would need to be surgically removed.
- 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.
- 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.
- Put away cleaning supplies: In the rush to get the house ready for the holidays, or after the guests leave, families might mistakenly 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.
- Give your pets some room: Some pets may become overexcited when meeting visitors for the first time. They may jump on the visitor or act aggressively by barking or hissing. Some pets might 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, you should have a happy and peaceful Easter for both you and your pet,” says Dr. John Charos, President/CEO, Central Veterinary Associates “In the event that your pet gets sick, our Valley Stream hospital is open everyday, including on Easter Sunday.”
CVA keeps its hospital in Valley Stream open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, even in the event of a natural disaster. For more information or to make an appointment, call 1 (888) 4CVA-PET (428-2738).