Easter is arriving; here’s how to keep pets safe while you celebrate

Chihuahua's Yum Yum, left, Gumdrop, center, and Lollipop take part in the Easter Parade along New York's Fifth Avenue on Sunday, April 5, 2015. The 2015 Easter Parade bore little resemblance to the first one, which started in the 1880s as a strolling display of what prosperous New Yorkers wore to Fifth Avenue churches. In recent decades, the street gathering has morphed into a sort of costume circus -- including pet dogs. (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg)

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Chihuahua's Yum Yum, left, Gumdrop, center, and Lollipop take part in the Easter Parade along New York's Fifth Avenue on Sunday, April 5, 2015. The 2015 Easter Parade bore little resemblance to the first one, which started in the 1880s as a strolling display of what prosperous New Yorkers wore to Fifth Avenue churches. In recent decades, the street gathering has morphed into a sort of costume circus -- including pet dogs. (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg)

While Easter and the beginning of spring is something to celebrate, many celebratory traditions could be dangerous or even fatal for Fido or Fluffy. The Humane Society of Greater Dayton is reminding the Miami Valley to ensure their Easter and spring celebrations are safe for their pets, as several common foods consumed around Easter can be toxic to animals.

Easter is the busiest day of the year for calls of chocolate intoxication for pets, the Humane Society of Greater Dayton reported. Unattended or hidden Easter baskets often lead to pets finding chocolate or other Easter candy and consuming it while no one is looking. The caffeine in chocolate, along with a chemical called theobromine, can be incredibly toxic to dogs. Darker chocolate contains more caffeine and theobromine and is considered more dangerous.

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Sugar-free candy can contain an artificial sweetener called Xylitol, which is also toxic to dogs. Xylitol can quickly release insulin in a dog’s bloodstream, causing a quick drop in blood sugar that can lead to liver failure or death, the Humane Society reported. If a pet is vomiting, lethargic or having a seizure, contact your vet as your dog may have consumed Xylitol.

Lilies and daylilies are toxic to cats. The Humane Society recommends that cat owners do not keep lilies, as all parts of the flower are incredibly toxic to cats, even the water where the lily is being kept. If your cat shows symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, extreme thirst, or lethargy, contact your veterinarian immediately. If a cat consumes a lily, you should consider it a medical emergency, the Humane Society said.

Basket fillers such as plastic Easter grass can also be harmful to your cat. If a cat chews on the grass and eats it, the grass could lead to obstructions in your cat’s digestive system. The Easter grass can also cause gastroenteritis or pancreatitis. The plastic Easter grass often needs to be removed surgically. If your cat exhibits symptoms such as vomiting, dehydration, diarrhea, weight loss, weakness, a loss of appetite or pain and bloating then you should contact your veterinarian immediately.

The risk of salmonella from raw eggs is also prominent for cats and dogs. Cooked eggs can be a good part of a pet’s diet, the Humane Society reported. A small amount of raw eggs may not hurt your pet, however if your pet is vomiting or has diarrhea, you may want to contact your veterinarian.

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