With veterinary clinics preparing for a surge in activity during one of the busiest periods of the year, pet owners in Australia are being cautioned to exercise additional care in regard to their pets’ diet during Easter.
Although chocolate bunnies, Easter egg hunts, and hot cross buns will no doubt be eagerly anticipated by many this Easter, these indulgences can be fatal for our beloved pets.
Compare the Market’s General Manager of General Insurance, Adrian Taylor, says that a considerable number of pet parents might not have the financial means to cover the expenses in the case of their furry companion falling sick.
“Easter is a great time for us to spend time with family and enjoy sweet treats, but it can also increase the risk of our cats and dogs needing emergency treatment if they eat something they shouldn’t,” Taylor said.
“We know how hard it can be to resist those adorable puppy dog eyes from beneath the table, but it’s not worth risking your pet’s health.”
Several Easter favorites, such as chocolates and hot cross buns can pose a threat to pets. Taylor stated that the consumption of such foods is a contributing factor in pets requiring emergency care during the Easter period.
“The humble hot cross bun is a favourite in households over Easter, but it’s also a dangerous treat to feed your pet,” Taylor said.
“The traditional versions contain dried grapes, which are extremely toxic to dogs. Even some of the more modern hot cross buns contain ingredients like chocolate, which is also a big no-no for animals.
“People may not realise that dogs can’t break down a certain enzyme found in chocolate, which can cause an array of serious health complications like vomiting, a rapid heart rate, breathing difficulty, diarrhoea and more. It could prove life-threatening depending on how much your pet ingests.”
According to RSPCA Queensland, theobromine can cause a range of problems in domestic animals because it triggers the release of adrenaline, which can lead to a greatly accelerated heart rate and an irregular heartbeat.
Some signs your pet may have ingested chocolate include:
Taylor cautioned that apart from chocolate and hot cross buns, certain seemingly innocuous “treats” can disagree with your pet and lead to a visit to the emergency room during Easter.
“These types of meats can have significant levels of fat and sugar, which can harm your pet. If in doubt, leave it out of your pet’s diet.”
Meanwhile, it’s also important to be aware of other threats to your pets over the Easter period.
“While the worst of the La Niña is likely behind us, we know that ticks remain a huge threat to pets, particularly in those areas that have experienced above-average rainfall and flooding,” Taylor explained.
“This is why staying on top of medication and treatments that protect your pet against ticks is vital.
“Remember that these treatments typically take a few days to kick in, so give yourself plenty of time – especially if you’re taking your pet camping or if you’re planning a lot of outdoor adventures with your animal.”