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For the love of your pet: Keep an eye on your Easter treats and your pets

April 21, 2011 at midnight
Updated April 20, 2011 at 11:21 p.m.


By John Beck

Do you have any safety tips regarding Easter and your pets?

Easter is a wonderful holiday to spend with your two-legged family, but also your four-legged family. We always keep an eye on what the kiddos are eating and getting their hands into, but you also need to watch your pets.

It is always a good idea to "ask the Easter Bunny" how many eggs he hid in the yard. After the kids are done hunting, they almost always count to see who has the most. Add up their totals to make sure they found them all. This will keep your pet or your neighbor's pet from finding one later and possibly consuming the egg itself or its contents. Watch that no one is leaving any candy, chocolate or table scraps where your pet can help themselves. Even if they do not consume enough to be toxic, a change in diet can sure upset their stomachs. Then you'll be stuck dealing with loose stool and throw up.

Make sure the fake grass that you use as filler in the Easter baskets is not strewn about. It can be tempting for your pets to play with and possibly consume this plastic, green filler. This can bundle up and cause a blockage in the intestine that may require surgery to remove.

Easter Lilies are very pretty and make a quick, easy way to decorate for the holiday. Make sure you keep them on a high countertop, away from your cat and dog's reach. Wipe up the pollen that falls from their stamen. An animal might be tempted to lick it off the tabletop. This pollen can be toxic when ingested.

If you are hunting for real eggs, those need to be counted, too. A lot of people dye boiled eggs and hide them. If you leave a boiled egg behind, it will become rotten. All these boiled eggs are tempting treats for your pets.

Stuffed animals are great gifts for children, but can be a real hazard for your pets. The stuffing will provide a few minutes of entertainment to your pet, but can also provide a choking hazard or intestinal blockage. The glass or button eyes and plastic nose can also be harmful if swallowed.

Remember to keep an eye on not only the kids, but also the pets this Easter weekend.

Dr. John Beck has a veterinary practice at Hillcrest Animal Hospital in Victoria. Submit questions to Dr. Beck at drjohnbeck@hotmail.com.

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