EASTER is just around the corner and we are super excited.
Cooka just loves egg-hunts, decorating the house with baskets and spring blossoms, baking special Easter-treats and colourful picnics in the wild.
But we must always be aware that there are some dangers around this much fun.
Chocolate is just everywhere when Easter comes around! That means that our fur-kids – especially those sweet-toothed ones, are more likely to be tempted. Chocolate, especially the darker kind is a delicious and healthy treat for us, but highly toxic for dogs, due to Theobromine, a bitter alkaloid found in the cocoa plant. Dogs metabolise theobromine very slowly and can succumb to theobromine poisoning from as little as 50 grams of milk chocolate for a smaller dog and around 400 grams for an average-sized dog. However, if you are a true cocoa-connoisseur and you favour the healthier and more bitter kind of chocolate, than the danger for your pets is even higher, as the concentration of theobromine in dark chocolates is up to 10 times that of milk chocolate!
Symptoms of Theobromine poisoning include muscle stiffness, tremors, vomiting, heart arrhythmias and fitting. The poisoning can take between 4 – 24hrs for signs to appear.
If you think your doggie has eaten chocolate, we’d recommend you take him/her to your vet immediately. We also recommend to use the ‘chocolate poisoning calculator’ http://veterinaryclinic.com/chocolate/calc.html
Sweets are another a popular Easter favourite, especially for the kids! But some sweets contain Xylitol, which is an artificial sweetener. It’s very harmful to dogs and even a small amount can be toxic. If your dog manages to steal some sweets, watch out for symptoms like vomiting, lethargy, lack of coordination and seizures and take him/her immediately to your vet.
Easter baskets are all the fun for kids, as they can be filled with toys, eggs and sweet treats. But our fur-kids might get nosy and like to share the fun too, which can be dangerous. Small toys and filler material like plastic grass (also appealing to cats as it’s fun to play with it) are easily swallowed by our pets and can cause digestive obstruction.
Symptoms of digestive obstruction include persistent vomiting, bloating, weakness and dehydration. If you think your fur-child has swallowed an Easter basket item, get in contact with your vet as soon as possible.
At Cooka’s we use real grass or hay as basket fillers. It is less dangerous for our pets and better for mother Nature.
Easter bread and cake made with raisins
Many countries have their own version of Easter cake or Easter bread, but almost all of the recipes contain raisins, which can be VERY dangerous to dogs, as it can provoke acute kidney failure. Vomiting and diarrhea are the initial signs of grape/raisin toxicity, beginning about 6-12 hours after ingestion. This is followed by general lack of energy, weakness, dehydration, thirst, and failure to produce an adequate amount of urine. Fatal kidney dysfunction will develop in 1-3 days. However, if vomiting is induced 15-20 minutes after ingestion this can help to reduce absorption and limit the severity of the symptoms.
Once kidney dysfunction is present intensive fluid treatment will be necessary to save your dog’s life. Large doses may end up being fatal even with treatment.
How to make a dog vomit in an emergency: hydrogen peroxide. Please speak to your vet to learn more.
A few years ago, Mocca stole a huge bunch of grapes and ate all of them. When we realised that all the grapes were gone and looking at her little guilty face, we took her immediately to the vet where she was given a medicine to vomit. Poor baby had to stay there all night, but thanks to our pawsome vet, she was safe.
An Easter egg hunt around the garden is just great fun, however, make sure that the kids have found all their hidden baskets, as otherwise those little fur-noses will sniff up these treasures in no time.
And how about eggs? Some vets warn about the dangers of salmonella, but that means the same for us humans. If you want to share an Easter eggs with your pup, make sure to use fresh and preferably organic eggs. Don’t let your doggies munch on coloured eggs, unless they are painted with natural dues, like beetroot or spirulina.
At Cooka’s we make a special egg-hunt just for the fur-kids. We load a hay-filled basket with yummy treats – individually wrapped in baking paper (they just love to unwrap treats) and boiled eggs and watch the fun as they sniff excitedly around the lawn.
Yes, they can be dangerous too!
Lilies – not dangerous for dogs, but extremely toxic to cats. Every part of the lily is dangerous, even the water it’s sitting in! It causes kidney failure and can be fatal if treatment isn’t given quickly. Some of the signs your cat may be suffering from lily poisoning are dehydration, extreme thirst, vomiting, diarrhoea, seizures and even death.
Daffodil – You know it’s spring when the daffodils start popping up! But unfortunately they’re poisonous to dogs if they decide to take a chomp out of one! Dogs can suffer from vomiting, lethargy and even fits if they eat the bulb or flower.
Amaryllis – Another pretty but dangerous flower. The exposed bulb is the most toxic part and poisoning signs include drooling, tummy pain, vomiting, breathing issues and sudden drops in blood pressure.
Tulips can irritate your dog’s mouth and their gastrointestinal tract. If eaten, it can also cause drooling, diarrhoea and vomiting. Other, more severe symptoms include difficulty breathing and heart problems.
SO PLEASE BE SAFE LITTLE FUR-FRIENDS AND HAVE A HAPPY AND SUNNY EASTER.
PS: And don’t forget to ask mommy and daddy to fill your basket with some cookalicious treats.