Tips for an enjoyable Easter weekend for your pet

It is a great time to be in beautiful British Columbia. A long weekend is approaching. If you have taken some of the springtime pet care precautions, presumably your pet is enjoying good health as well. And because we want to continue the positivity and well-being, let us enjoy the Easter festivities while staying on top of our pets’ health.

With all good things that we enjoy, moderation is the key. We will be enjoying chocolates, Easter eggs, gift baskets, flowers, parties, and most of all Easter dinner. At the same time, we need to be mindful that our furry friends do not indulge as we would. The following suggestions will help ensure a healthy, happy Easter for your pet:

  1. If you are expecting a lot of people (and kids) at your home, it is likely that your pets’ food and treat consumption may be unmonitored. Consider boarding your pet for the day of the party.
  2. Easter lilies are especially toxic to cats. They may also be potentially dangerous to dogs. If you are sending flowers to a friend that has a pet (especially a cat), select a bouquet without lilies.
  3. Chocolate can be especially toxic to pets as it may contain very high concentrations of theobromine and caffeine. Keep gift baskets and chocolates at a high place where dogs and cats cannot reach. A locked cabinet would be an even safer option.
  4. Candies and gum contain the artificial sugar Xylitol. Ingestion of Xylitol in toxic amounts can lead to ill health in pets. This is a good time to educate children on why not to share their candies and chocolates with pets.
  5. Human food can lead to an upset tummy in a large number of pets. While you may treat your pet to special pet-friendly treats or give them their favourite flavoured food, remember to keep your pet away from Easter feast and dessert.
  6. Indoor cats can be prone to getting stressed during parties and may sneak out with many guests visiting and doors being left open. If you are expecting many guests, make sure your cat is confined in a small, secure room where it feels safe.

For all the precautions and restrictions that you put in place, reward yourself and your dog with a long walk or a run on the day after the big dinner. This will likely be great for your health as well and will help you burn some of the extra calories you feasted on. Your cat will probably just be happy to have things getting back to normal and having your sole attention. Asking the kitty to help you with tidying up may be too much to ask though!

By – Dr. Bajwa,
Veterinarian at Hastings Veterinary Hospital, Burnaby