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Happy ‘Doggieween’: Halloween Treats for Dogs Do’s and Don’ts

Halloween can be fun for dogs too, if they’ll let you dress them up. But if they get into the “human” treats, it can mean an emergency trip to the vet. There are treats you can give your pooch, but be wary of the ingredients. Any kind of human Halloween treat, candy, etc. are forbidden for dogs! Lollipop sticks can get stuck in their throat and candy wrappers can cause obstructions.

This is a good time to use that obedience training. Using the command “Leave it,” if you spot your pup sniffing around; this command can be especially helpful if any candy or chocolate lands on the floor. If you see your dog ingest something they shouldn’t have, call your vet or poison control immediately!

Halloween Treat Don’ts

Carefully read the ingredients in all treats you plan on giving to your dog. Sugary, high-fat candy can lead to pancreatitis, and symptoms may not show for about 2-4 days. You may not know it, but raisins and grapes are toxic to dogs too.

The artificial sweetener, xylitol, that is in a lot of “sugar-free” treats can cause sudden drop in blood sugar, subsequent loss of coordination, and seizures if ingested by your dog. Some treats contain white chocolate, which is still chocolate and a big no-no for dogs. Theobromine is the main ingredient in chocolate, which is harmless to humans but toxic to dogs.

Signs of Chocolate Poisoning:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Rapid breathing
  • Increased heart rate
  • Seizures

Should you see any of these signs in your pup take them to your vet straightaway!

Halloween Treat Do’s

All treats for your dog should be only given for training purposes or on special occasions. Don’t let treats replace their meals and don’t let your dog overindulge on the good treats. If your dog has allergies or is on a special hypoallergenic diet, talk to your vet about what you can give them for treat options.

Don’t forget, your dog can have treats that are beneficial to their health. Dogs can get bad breath, plaque, tartar formation, and tooth decay. You can give them dental treats that cleans their teeth, freshens their breath, and controls plaque and tartar.

Don’t forget their coat and skin either! There are treats you can give your pooch that contain Omega-3 fatty-acids, which are good for their skin and coat health.

For pups who prefer really crunchy treats, feel free to give them bite-sized pieces of raw carrots! There are other certain fruits and vegetables you can give your dog too.

Halloween Treat Ideas for Dogs

Not only can you find treats in the store to buy for your pooch, but you can also find many recipes to make homemade dog treats, including online. It can be fun to make treats from scratch and there are some that you can enjoy eating too along with your pooch.

Pumpkin is an okay treat for dogs, but only in small portions. Unless your pup is allergic (which is unlikely, as pumpkin is not a common allergen), baked pumpkin makes a good treat idea. Peanut butter is also a tasty option (again, be sure it’s only given to your dog in small amounts). There are plenty of peanut butter-flavoured treats you can find in the store!

Speaking of treats, it may be handy to keep a bag of dog treats handy during this time of the year. That way, your pup will not miss out on the festivities and they receive treats that are appropriate and safe.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Hastings Veterinary Hospital and a clickable link back to this page.

Tips for an Enjoyable Halloween Night for Pets

Halloween is almost here! Costumes, parties, and plans for the day are likely already in place, including costumes for our furry friends. It is becoming quite popular to dress up your dog and the occasional cat in addition to the traditional partying and trick-or-treating on Halloween night. It is an enjoyable time and being socially inclined, dogs (and the odd cat) are happy to be involved in the fun. New commercials on TV appear to encourage pets go out trick-or-treating with kids!

Again, all fun and enjoyment with the right pet, but remember there are pets (as are humans) that may not be lining up to be part of the dressing up or socialization.

Pet families know their pets the best and it is important to assess how involved your pet may like to be during Halloween, or what the families’ overall plans should be. Addressing the following should help you make this a happy Halloween for the whole family:

  1. Pets can get anxiety from firecrackers (noise phobia) – skipping fireworks or boarding your pet in a safe, quiet kennel for fireworks nights are ideas to consider.
  2. Taking your pet for trick-or-treating may increase their chances of ingesting chocolate or candy, which can be toxic to them. Adult supervision for both your child and your pet is advised.
  3. If trick-or-treating with pets, putting a leash on should help keep them safe.
  4. Strangers can be wary of unknown pets, no matter how friendly your pooch is!
  5. If you are giving out candy to kids or will have many visitors, ensure your pet will not escape with the frequently opening front door.

Once safety for everyone is taken in to account, all you have to decide is if your pet will be a superhero, a hot dog, a prisoner, or will simply skip the dressing up!

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

A Merry Christmas for Pets

It is the festive season—the season of goodwill and reflection alongside the busy schedule of reaching out to family and friends. It is also a time when we can have the pleasure of sharing a little extra time with our pets or companion animals. After all, they have been there for us throughout the year, tough times and good. And they will be by our sides during the coming year as well.

So what can be the perfect gift for our pet during this gift-giving time of the year? I have always had a tough time bringing gifts home for my cat and dog. Dogs crave company and that is all they look forward to while cats take all your efforts for granted! After all, cats are the real homeowners! It is such traits in our pets that would help select the ideal gift or treat for our pets. Sweaters for the cold days, some designer bling (neck collars, leashes, etc.), their favorite treat, or a day devoted to spoiling them are just a few options. Every pet is different as every person is, and knowing what would be best for the individual pet is the key to pet gift-giving. What we can surely count on is that such a gesture would be much appreciated.

Please enjoy this festive season with your pets – but remember to enjoy responsibly:

  1. Do not bring plants toxic to pets into the house.
  2. Party food can be calorie-rich and is not ideal for pets to consume.
  3. Make sure that all pets are accounted for at the end of each day as outdoor cats can suffer from the low temperature if left out for even one night.
  4. Cats may hide by automobile tires for warmth during cold days and it is important to start the engine for a few minutes before driving to warn such a sleeping animal.

Happy holidays!

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

5 Dog Food Myths that Need to be Busted, Pronto

Have you ever given your dog food that you think may be safe for them, only to find out it isn’t? Contrary to popular belief, not everything you feed dogs is good for them, and some things you think are terrible for them may not actually be so. These five dog food myths are common enough, but they need to be busted, pronto, for the sake of keeping your pooch happy, healthy, and safe. 

Beware the Common Myths

“Myths” in this case are exactly what the word implies: untrue stories founded on misconceptions about dogs, their food, and the ways in which various ingredients can affect them.

We love our pets and want to feed them food that will help them grow and live long and happy lives, but there are a lot of conflicting stories about what constitutes a good diet for dogs. Here are the most common issues.

Myth #1 – It’s Okay for Dogs to Free-Feed During the Day

“Free-feeding” is the term used for leaving your dog’s food out during the day for them to casually graze on, rather than giving them food on a schedule. This may seem convenient and easy if you have to leave for work for the day or go to school, but it may not be as convenient to your dog’s overall health.

A dog that free-feeds their food is more than likely to become overweight, leading to all sorts of long-term problems. It also can end up being unsanitary—especially if you tend to feed your dog outside. Unwanted critters such as rodents, bugs, and even stray cats or dogs may smell your pup’s food and come to your home to eat it.

It’s best to feed your dog with the portioned amount they need and on a schedule. A vet can recommend you a schedule and the portions needed based on your pup’s current lifestyle, breed, size, and exercise routine.

Myth #2 – Chocolate is Okay to Give to Dogs

This one’s a very harmful myth and one that should not be believed for a second! Chocolate is actually one of the worst things you can give to a dog. Chocolate contains the ingredients xylitol and theobromine, which are harmless to humans but highly toxic to dogs. Whether it’s around Easter, Halloween, or any other major holiday involving chocolate, always keep it out of their reach.

If at any point you suspect your dog has eaten chocolate, bring them to a veterinarian—even if obvious symptoms haven’t shown up.

Myth #3 – Bones are Okay for Dogs

Yes, dogs love to chew on bones, but it depends on both the bone and your dog. Here’s the general rule: cooked bones, whether they’re from pork, chicken, beef, or other animals, are more dangerous than raw ones because cooking makes them brittle and more likely to break or shred.

Yes, you can buy raw marrowbones from butchers and pet stores and they will be safer, but bones carry no guarantees and might break, even if they’re not too small or not too big and are cooked or raw. More importantly, they can cause your enthusiastic bone-crunching pet to break a tooth or, worst-case scenario, cause a gastrointestinal blockage that would require immediate veterinary attention.

Bones may not harm your pup, but why take a chance? Give him or her something else to chew, such as carrots or chew toys.

Myth #4 – Grains are Bad for Dogs

Actually, grains such as wheat, corn, soy, barley, and rice are not harmful to dogs. They are harmful, however, if your dog has a diagnosed wheat allergy or a food allergy that is triggered by grains. If your dog is not intolerant to wheat, however, then it’s perfectly fine to give your dog food containing other grains. They should not be the only part of your dog’s diet—it’s best that they’re combined with protein, such as chicken.

Myth #5 – Pork is Bad for Dogs

This is only slightly true. Uncooked or raw pork is most definitely bad for dogs—but once it’s cooked thoroughly (minus any rubs or spices), it’s actually as harmless as cooked chicken, beef, or any other meats. Just be sure to trim any additional fat off of the piece of pork you want to feed your dog, and portions must be appropriate for their size. While straight-up pork from loins, chops, etc. is fine, what’s not fine is ham or bacon—both are made of pork, but they are processed and contain higher fat and salt content as well as ingredients that could harm your dog.

The best way to feed your dog is by keeping their needs in mind while choosing dog food, which means their diet will change over time. After all, what is suitable for a puppy (up to one year) differs for an adult dog (one to seven years or so) and a senior dog (seven and up). You may have to alter their diet if he or she develops health problems such as diabetes, obesity, or food allergies.

Your veterinarian will guide you through the mysteries of finding the best dog food for your pup, and can help debunk any other myths you may encounter—and there is bound to be others!

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to the Hastings Veterinary Hospital and a clickable link back to this page.

6 Tips on Caring for Your Dog on Summer Camping Trips

Summer is in full swing now, and you know what that means: it’s time to go camping! If grabbing your tent and venturing out into BC’s beautiful wilderness is high on your must-do list this summer, then you know how much fun dogs will have while they’re with you in the great outdoors.

That being said, caring for your dog while camping is just as important as it is at home. They are perhaps even more prone to accidents while in the outdoors and playing. They’re put at higher risk if somehow there’s an emergency and not a single veterinarian office is in sight.

Summer should be enjoyed by both you and your pooch! Whether you’re going out in an RV or packing along a tent, these tips will ensure you will enjoy your camping trip while caring for your dog this summer.

Tip 1: Do Your Homework

Not every campground in Vancouver or BC accepts dogs, and not every beach is dog-friendly. Many areas are inaccessible to dogs in order to protect the natural wildlife.

You can avoid unwittingly destroying BC’s natural beauty, avoid receiving a penalty fee, and avoid the humiliation of being asked to leave the campground by doing a quick Google search. You can also try contacting the campground owner directly if you’re not sure. Be aware that there may be regulations for dogs even in the more dog-friendly areas, which again are in place for a good reason (for example, preserving the wildlife).

Tip: 2: Pack Properly

Don’t forget your dog in your camping trip’s packing itinerary! As well as food, water, and their food and water bowls, you should try and bring dog-friendly and environmentally-friendly shampoo or dry shampoo or wipes to help wash off the dirt and debris they may roll around in (after all, that’s all there is out in the forest!). Bring along their favourite toys as well as a Frisbee for hours of fun for both of you!

Tip 3: Pest Prevention

Just like anywhere in the city, pests like fleas, mites, and especially ticks can find their way onto your pooch in the wilderness. We highly recommend you come to your veterinarian to receive and apply any oral or topical solutions for pests before you go anywhere on your travels. The best treatment for ticks is prevention!

In the event you find a tick on your pooch, or see any signs and symptoms of an infected bite in your dog, come immediately to the nearest dog hospital for treatment!

Tip 4: Train, Train, and then Train More

Behavioural problems are a biggie for dogs this time of year, as they won’t understand that there are rules of conduct for dogs outside of home for a reason. Teach your pooch the basic commands—“Come”, “Sit”, and “Stay” should always be followed by their name. Keep a sharp eye out for hazards while on your trip, such as broken glass on trails or campfire embers getting too close for comfort. Also be sure they don’t jump onto random passersby if they’re dirty or have been swimming.

Tip 5: Know Your Wild Plants

One of the common dangers of dogs in the wilderness is the plant wildlife, as there are several toxic plants to beware of in BC. These plants are dangerous to both you and your dog, so keep an eye out for them:

  • Poison ivy
  • Holly
  • Thistles
  • Bloodroot
  • Giant hogweed
  • Water hemlock
  • American nightshade
  • Scotch broom
  • Spurge laurel
  • Tansy ragwort

Some of these plants are not only toxic to dogs but also to humans, and can cause some severe allergies!

Tip 6: Breeds

It’s unfortunately true that not all breeds of dogs make for great camping trip companions. There are breeds, specifically the snub-nosed variety of bulldogs and pugs, who are going to require extra attention and care while you’re camping. Why? Because the way their snouts are formed makes it tougher for them to cool off, and they may have more difficulty in breathing and panting.

You need to make sure you’re both hiking and camping in areas that are very shady, if your favourite pooch is a pug or bulldog. Always, always provide them with water and put their bedding in a shaded area so they can cool off or rest.

Keep dogs with dark or black-coloured coats cool and in shaded areas. Keep hairless, short-coated, and light-coloured or white-coated dogs protected from excessive sunlight, as they have less protection from prolonged exposure to the sun.

Basically, any safety tips that apply to you such as protection from the sun and from toxic plants or other dangers will apply to your dog too. By using common sense, you can easily prevent further harm to both of you and above all, have fun on your camping trip! Bon voyage!

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Hastings Veterinary Hospital and a clickable link back to this page.

10 Outdoor Doggie Hazards to Stay Away From

Are you “outdoor aware” and conscious of the many hazards that your dog faces when you take them outside to enjoy the sunny weather in both urban and country settings? Whether you are taking pooch for a stroll in the neighbourhood or for fun in a doggie park, or are taking them with you for a hike in the country or on a camping trip with the family, keep your pet safe from all the dangers that they face in the great outdoors.

You can help ensure your pet’s health and safety by taking them to your veterinarian for regular checkups, keeping his or her vaccinations up to date, and knowing what to do in an emergency.

When you’re both outside, these are the top ten hazards to watch out for:

1. Lost Dog

Have an ID microchip inserted under your pet’s skin, which is a quick and inexpensive procedure from your veterinarian. With this form of ID, you don’t have to worry so much if your playful dog chases after new friends and runs right out of the doggie park, or if you ever become separated and their dog collar is lost. All animal hospitals and shelters check for ID microchips and will notify you when they are found.

2. Heat Jeopardy

Heatstroke is a common and preventable danger faced by your pet when outside, especially in the summer. Make sure he or she is never left alone in a car, which can turn into an oven in less than ten minutes.

See that you have a portable bowl and are carrying water to offer so that he or she doesn’t become dehydrated when outside. Don’t take them across a road or sidewalk on a hot day without checking it with the back of your hand using the five-second rule. If surfaces are too hot for you within that timeframe, it will definitely burn your pup’s paws. When camping, make sure he or she has a shady place to rest under and plenty of water to drink.

The symptoms of heatstroke are:

  • Lethargy
  • Decreased urination
  • Dry gums
  • Refusal to eat
  • Sunken eyes
  • Decreased skin elasticity

If you notice any of these symptoms, take your pooch to a veterinarian for help.

3. Risky Dog Encounters

Not all dogs are friendly or social, and you should check with dog owners or walkers before allowing your pooch to run up and enter another dog’s personal space. In a dog park, keep your pet in sight and be watchful.

4. Ticks, Mites, Bees, Wasps, and Other Critter Problems

Discourage your dog from chasing after bees, wasps, toads, or snakes. Don’t put your faith in nothing but a flea and tick collar to protect your dog from dangerous bites and the diseases carried by insects and critters. Use proper flea and tick prevention meds instead. Consult your veterinarian and make sure your pup has all the protection they need, which may include such things as sprays, pills, and shampoos, plus up-to-date vaccinations.

5. Road, Traffic, and Path Risks

Your dog is safest on a leash when you take them for a walk. Unleashed dogs must be trained in road safety and always obey when you call “Stop!” Some dogs are never very good at doing either.

Sometimes you may find broken shards of glass left behind by the last (irresponsible) people who visited the park, making the walk with your pup even more hazardous! If you see any shards, pick up your dog if they’re small and carry them away, or go down a different path that’s (hopefully) glass-free. The last thing anyone wants for their pooch is to pick broken glass out of their paws or fur, or even worse find they’ve been wounded!

6. Poison Dangers

Dogs love to eat horrible smelling food items and love to poke around in rubbish. Pull them away from garbage and icky, discarded scraps of anything edible, which may upset their stomach or even poison him. Landscape items such as bark chips and weed sprays are toxic to pets.

Keep your dog away and watch for signs warning of recently sprayed grass. Don’t let them chew on the leaves of any plant you can’t identify and know is safe. Just because he or she likes the flavour doesn’t mean it isn’t poisonous. Also toxic is the blue-green algae in ponds, and swimming pool and hot tub chemicals.

7. Ponds, Lakes, and General Water Hazards

Even if your dog is used to playing in water, they can get out of their depth in a pond and panic. Most dogs can swim but watch them carefully and call him or her back, or be prepared to help them if he or she gets into trouble.

8. Storms

Don’t let your pup play outside when thunder and lightning are around. He or she is a target for lightning just like a human, and they may be afraid of thunder. Take them into the house and use music, toys, or playtime to distract them.

9. Barbecue Ashes

Campfires and barbequing are fun, but there is danger when fires die down and the food and people are gone. Wood ashes and barbeque bricks may still be hot and, if your pooch pokes around ashes or knocks over the barbeque, they may suffer severe burns. Keep them away.

10. Sticks

Throwing sticks for your dog to retrieve seems like traditional fun, but there can be danger from the pointy ends or if they break apart and are swallowed. Throw balls or Frisbees instead.

We know this is all scary stuff to read, but the good news is it can all be prevented! Just watch for these hazards that may be encountered whenever you are outdoors with your dog, and practice safety first so the sunny days are full of fun for you and your pet.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Hastings Veterinary Hospital and a clickable link back to this page.

Ask an Expert: Fruits & Vegetables for Dogs

Q: Are fruits and vegetables good for dogs?

A: Dogs are carnivores but their anatomy and feeding habits are those of omnivores.

There is a definite place for fruits and vegetables in providing a balanced dog diet. Most balanced commercial dog foods incorporate fruits and vegetables in them. Fruits and vegetables can also be used as low-calorie snacks for dogs.

It is best to wash and peel fruits, and remove pits before feeding to your dog. Boiling vegetables makes them more digestible.

Remember, some fruits that humans eat may cause toxicity or stomach irritation in dogs – grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, lemons, and avocados to name a few.

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for Moms Who Love Their Pets

Stumped on what to get your mom for Mother’s Day? Don’t have enough money or ideas? Does your mom have a pet she loves as much as you? This year, we encourage you to think outside of the box when it comes to Mother’s Day gifts, especially if there’s a fur baby in her life as well! With that in mind, here are some great Mother’s Day gift ideas for moms who love their pets that we have to offer.

Pet-friendly flower bouquets

Flowers are considered the go-to gift for Mother’s Day. However, there are several flowers that are considered too toxic for pets and they can cause all sorts of problems if they’re nibbled at in great quantities.

With that in mind, try to find flower bouquets for mom that consist of any of the following: roses, orchids (bromeliads), African daisies, African violets, Christmas cactus – all of these are considered to be “pet-friendly” as far as plants go. Substitute Baby’s Breath in the bouquet, which is toxic to pets, for ferns instead which are non-toxic. Peruvian lilies (Alstroemeria) are less dangerous than tiger lilies and Easter lilies for cats, but they should still be kept out of their reach. That goes for all flowers and bouquets given to mom.

If at any point you suspect pets may have ingested anything toxic from this sort of gift, call your veterinarian right away for immediate poisoning treatment.

Homemade dog treats for mom

Spare mom the trouble of finding dog treats by getting or even making them yourself! There are lots of ideas on the Internet that may turn your mom’s pup’s crank such as peanut butter bites or cinnamon-flavoured biscuits. If mom’s run out of her pooch’s favourite treats, consider giving her a refill of dog treats along with a mom-friendly gift of treats as well, such as her favourite snacks and foods in a basket.

Tools/toys that are in need of repair/fixing

If your mom has had no time or money to repair or replace a tool related to her favourite pet, this may be the perfect time to lend her a hand.Maybe her pet’s favourite bed is showing wear and tear, or the grooming brush has been lost, or her pet’s favourite toy had to be thrown out for various reasons. These would all be acceptable gift ideas for moms who have no time or money to find new tools.

Handmade arts and crafts with paw prints

Switch up from buying a card at the store by making one yourself – with a little extra kitty or puppy love included! Try to make the card and add their paw print as a signature to the next handmade card you make.

If you’re not at all artistic, try making paw print crafts such as salt dough moulds, stepping stones, wall hangings, and so on. Mom’s pet may likely be less than happy to have stuff on their paws, so make these crafts outside where washing off any of the materials used to get their paw prints is done with less hassle when cleaning up afterwards. You can also try making a framed photo collection of their paw prints; perhaps there are some snow prints you managed to snap a photo of that your mom doesn’t have?

Pet service offers

Maybe you want to take mom out to brunch but can’t bear to leave your pets behind, or maybe they’re looking a bit on the shaggy side. So what can you do? Find service of course! Offer to take mom’s dog to a groomer if they’re a long-hair, or groom them yourself if you feel confident enough, or help out by playing with them while mom’s busy gardening or taking time out to pamper herself. You can also offer to take mom’s pet to the veterinarian office for grooming and nail trimming and pair it with a spa service for mom – especially if neither of you feel confident enough to do so.

If you both have to leave, try being the one to hire a pet-sitter if the place you want to check out is absolutely not pet-friendly, or if it’s just mom leaving be the pet-sitter yourself. You can also check out our other blog post of dog-friendly places where you can take your mom out for the afternoon of Mother’s Day without leaving Fido out of the picture!

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Hastings Veterinary Hospital and a clickable link back to this page.

Why You Should Never Feed Your Dog Easter Chocolate

Have you ever thought about celebrating Easter with your favourite pooch? You may be thinking it’s a good idea to feed them a chocolate Easter egg – after all, if you can eat it, so can your dog, right? Unfortunately, that’s not at all true. While Easter eggs and candies are always a welcome gift from the Easter bunny no matter what your age, even a small amount of chocolate can be toxic to your dog.

Did you know? There is a Serious Problem in Feeding Chocolate to Dogs

Not all dog owners are aware of the dangers of ingesting chocolate, but the risks involved are serious. It is not just that the colorful foil or plastic wrapping can cause problems, or that sweets can cause obesity, but also the chocolate itself is poisonous to dogs.

  • Chocolate contains a compound called “theobromine,” which humans can tolerate but dogs can’t.
  • Theobromine is a stimulant that affects the nervous system and heart muscles, and increases urination.
  • Because a dog can’t metabolize theobromine effectively, it builds up in his or her system until it reaches a toxic level and the dog will become ill.
  • White chocolate contains the least amount of theobromine, and the darker the chocolate, the more it contains. Baking chocolate contains the most theobromine and is therefore the most dangerous.

Watch for These Signs

If there is Easter chocolate in the house and your pet is able to reach it, watch for the following signs that he or she may have found and eaten some:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive drooling

If your dog shows any of these symptoms and you know there has been chocolate within their reach, hurry to your veterinarian for help. If you slightly suspect your dog ate chocolate, make sure you bring your pet also, even before the symptoms start.

Keep Your Best Friend Safe 

No one wants to make an emergency trip to the veterinarian during such a family-fun celebration. Keep your pets safe and remember that they are attracted to colorful and interesting food and decorative items just as people are:

  • Never feed chocolate intended for people to your dog.
  • Keep Easter chocolate and other candy out of sight and reach of pets. Even non-chocolate candy such as jellybeans, candy, or marshmallows can cause gastrointestinal problems for animals. Some artificial sweeteners such as xylitol are especially dangerous to dogs and may be used in Easter candy intended for people on sugar-free diets.
  • Easter grass and candy wraps must also be kept out of reach of your dog as some of these items can cause them to choke. As well, if the plastic component of grass used in decorative baskets or foil wrapping on candy becomes lodged in your pet’s intestine, it could cause a blockage or even a perforation requiring surgery.

Share this fun holiday with your dog by keeping the chocolate and other human-intended goodies and decorations away from him or her, and provide safe doggie treats instead. Now that’s good dog care!

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Hastings Veterinary Hospital and a clickable link back to this page.

Good Pet Treats to Offer During Easter Weekend

If you can’t give your pets Easter chocolate or candy, then what can you give them? If this is something you’re wondering, don’t worry – there is a way you can help get your favourite dog and cat (or both!) to join in the family celebrations during Easter without compromising their health and while practicing good cat care and dog care.

If you have children, you will probably prepare baskets filled with goodies from the Easter bunny. So, there is no reason you can’t prepare baskets for your pooch and your kitty at the same time! Yes, there are treats available for your pets when they start eyeballing those brightly coloured eggs and candies.

Cat Treat Ideas While Sharing Easter Fun

What kitty doesn’t want a basket of treats on Easter morning? You know your little pet will be delighted. Watch him or her as they explore the items you have prepared for them, and plan to play some games with them, too.

Cat treats are always welcome:

  • A few gourmet kitty treats for the fussy cat
  • A few low-calorie treats for the overweight cat
  • Cat grass – Another healthy option

Include some pastel-coloured toys in keeping with the season:

  • Feathered birds and feathered chicks
  • Plush toys stuffed with catnip
  • A cat ball with a bell inside
  • Cat teasers

Use your imagination and have fun choosing the perfect treats and toys at the pet store where all the Easter-appropriate items will be on display at this time of year.

Good Dog Treat Ideas for Easter Fun

Will your pooch want a basket of treats on Easter morning? Of course they will! Have fun in the pet store or gourmet pet treat store picking out treats and a couple of toys, too.

They’ll love the Easter treats:

  • Raw carrots, a classic
  • Duck or egg or bone-shaped cookies with small amounts of raw, unsalted peanut butter – which almost all dogs love to eat!
  • Cookies flavoured with cinnamon
  • Cookies shaped and coloured like carrots

You can’t go wrong with a new toy or two:

  • A new squeaky toy, appropriately Easter-themed
  • A new ball

How to Keep Your Pets Safe When Picking Treats

It is recommended that you stick to commercial dog and cat food treats (other than carrots for dogs) because there are so many regular human food items that are dangerous to pets. To ensure their safety, you would need an extensive list of foods to avoid if you decided to give homemade or human treats to animals. For example, raisins, alcohol, and chocolate are toxic to dogs. Candy, gum, and sweets for people who are on diets may contain xylitol, which is another product deadly for pets. Many fresh fruits and vegetables are harmful, too.

Remember when choosing toys, avoid anything that is, or could become, a choking hazard such as a toy small enough to be swallowed or with moving parts that could break off into small pieces or expose sharp edges.

Collect and discard wrappings used for children’s candy before your pet has a chance to pounce and chew on or swallow them and, of course, keep all human treats out of their reach.

Some flowers and plants should be kept away from animals, too. If you have a cat, avoid all lilies—Easter, Tiger, Day, etc.—because they are toxic to felines, and chewing on a flower or leaf, or drinking some of the water in the bowl or planter is dangerous. Substitute orchids, gerberas or violets (and remember this point when giving flowers to friends who have cats!).

By all means, plan to include the family pets in your Easter fun! But don’t forget, providing good cat care and dog care also means to make sure the Easter bunny wisely chooses only the safest treats and toys for them.

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