Easter is here. Colorful decorations, flowers, and baskets of goodies are probably filling your house.
Beautiful flowers, chocolate Easter bunnies, potlucks and BBQ — there are many fun and delicious accessories to this special time. However, the things you love can be potentially dangerous to your pets.
Here are a few of the items to watch out for this weekend and throughout the spring.
Many pet owners are surprised to learn there is a garden mulch made from cocoa bean plants. It is clearly labeled and you probably want to steer clear of it when buying for your garden. The mulch looks like a fine wood bark product. however, if your pet ingests it, they get a healthy dose of theobromine, the same chemical that makes chocolate dangerous. Cocoa mulch is actually higher in theobromine than chocolate candy, making it potentially deadly for pets.
It goes without saying you also want to keep your pets away from insecticides, herbicides, slug and snail pellets, and fertilizers. Don’t spray where Fido plays. Cats and dogs both pick up chemicals on their coats and ingest them while grooming. And dogs are known for tasting everything!
Lilies, Azaleas, & Rhododendrons
If you think your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, get him to your veterinarian right away. Another option: call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Phone Number: (888) 426-4435
The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center is a valuable resource for any animal poison-related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Call (888) 426-4435. A consultation fee may apply.
Slugs, Snails, Wasps & Bees
Most wasp and bee stings are not emergencies, but veterinary help may be needed if your pet is stung in the mouth or neck, or if he is allergic. Do your best to keep Fido away from hives and nests and use common sense if he is stung.
Here in Washington, non-venomous snakebites are harmless. The only concern may be for potential infection. If bitten, clean and sterilize the wound as you would a cut or abrasion. A few people may be allergic to what are usually harmless bites, such as those from a garter snake. Contact your veterinarian if a rash or a sign of infection appears.
Out of the dozen or so species of snakes that are native to Washington state, only one, the Western rattlesnake, is venomous enough to be of a hazard. Be prepared by learning what to do if your dog is bitten –before it happens.
These may look harmless, but they can be a dog or cat’s worst enemy. Foxtails can embed in fur and eventually work their way into the skin, where they cause painful abscesses and infections. They also get lodged between toes and can be inhaled through the nose. Any of those circumstances means a trip to the vet for your pet and possible surgery.
Xylitol, Sorbitol, Malitol...-tol
Sweets can be deceptive! It’s not always easy to tell the sugared sweets from sugar-free. Keep all of them away from pets, especially dogs, who have sweet-detectors MUCH more sensitive than humans and will seek out these toxic goodies. Dogs LOVE sweets!
Hot Cross Buns. (Yeast Breads)
Don’t ever give a pet as a gift unless it is to someone in your household and you are willing to take responsibility for the pet if it isn’t well-received.