As Eater approaches, it is important for pet owners to remember that chocolate is toxic to dogs and Lilies can be very toxic to cats.
Chocolate toxicity in dogs is well understood and dose related. The darker the chocolate, the higher the concentration and the more toxic it is. Also, the smaller the dog is, the more likely they will have had access to/eaten a toxic amount. Signs can range from mild GI upset all the way to seizures and death. To be safe, please keep ALL chocolate well out of reach of all pets! If you think your dog has eaten chocolate, please contact your veterinarian ASAP.
Lily toxicity on the other hand is not well understood. We don’t know why but even a small piece of a leaf or flower from a Lily can cause severe illness and even death from kidney failure. In some cases, it appears that even getting a little bit of pollen on their fur (which the cat licks off) can cause problems. To be safe, do not have Lilies in the house if you have a cat! Early signs of toxicity include drooling, nausea, and vomiting – early treatment leads to a better prognosis so if you think your cat has been exposed lease contact your veterinarian ASAP.
Other potential hazards to be on the lookout for when it comes to pets and a holiday celebration are:
Xylitol: A sugar substitute found in many sugar free gums and candy and even some peanut butters. In dogs, Xylitol causes a massive release of insulin leading to life threatening drops in blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Tip – be aware of guests purses, pack sacks etc. left on the floor or in reach of nosy dogs!
Marijuana (THC) containing products: Dogs have more cannabinoid receptors than people and have a tendency to ‘wolf down’ whatever they come across – accidently giving themselves a massive (and potentially dangerous) overdose. Edibles are particularly attractive to dogs and they can cause a double whammy for the pet if they contain chocolate!
Garbage Gut: A catch all term for gastrointestinal upset caused by eating too much and/or unfamiliar food items, wrappers etc. Mild cases can result in discomfort, vomiting and diarrhea but more severe cases can result in serious problems like pancreatitis and intestinal blockages.
A little prevention can go a long way – lets all have a safe and Happy Easter with our pets 😊