For the love of you pet: Keep a close eye on your pet during Easter holiday

By John Beck
March 21, 2013 at midnight
Updated March 20, 2013 at 10:21 p.m.

We have young kids and a young dog, is there anything we should be concerned with when we hunt Easter eggs this year?

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 kids 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 eat enough to be toxic, a change in diet can sure upset their stomachs.

Small changes in your pets diet can cause loose stool that can sometimes be bloody, vomiting or a combination of the two. Keep in mind that chocolate is not good for your pet and can even be deadly if a lot is consumed.

If your pet eats a bite-sized milk chocolate candy bar, there usually isn't too much cause for concern. The big culprits are dark chocolate, baker's chocolate and large amounts of chocolate (whole bags).

Make sure the fake grass that you use as filler in the Easter baskets is not strewn throughout. 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 Lilly's 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. Most pets like to un-stuff them and spread it all over the house. Keep an eye on your pet to make sure they aren't trying to eat the stuffing which can be a choking hazard or intestinal blockage. The glass or button eyes and plastic nose can also be harmful if swallowed.

Remember to just 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



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