white and black dog infront of cookies

Written by Suzana Talevski, The lost Dogs Home

If you’re a dog owner or an animal lover, it is hard to miss the warnings that are come out at this time of the year, cautioning against leaving chocolate lying around at Easter.

There have been some good advice campaigns in recent years about the risks posed by chocolate to dogs.

But what we don’t often hear about are the potential deadly risks of hot cross buns to our furry friends. And with the hot cross bun season seemingly coming around earlier every year, we need to be more vigilant than ever in protecting our pets.

Raisins and sultanas found in hot cross buns can cause sudden kidney failure in dogs, and even in cats.

The exact reasons why are still not clear and the impact of eating raisins can vary drastically from one animal to another, but there’s a toxic agent in the fruit that can also lead to diarrhoea, vomiting, kidney disease and extreme lethargy.

In some cases in can cause death.

Some hot cross buns also contain lots of nutmeg. That spice contains a compound called Myristicin which can poison dogs if consumed in large amounts - such as if your pet were to raid your baked goods.

If your dog has eaten grapes, raisins or sultanas they might have some of the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lack of appetite
  • Weakness
  • Abdominal pain
  • Increased drinking

If you suspect your pet has ingested chocolate, hot cross buns or any other treat that can have detrimental effects call your veterinarian immediately. Often it is better to assume that the chocolate or hot cross buns could be toxic and start the required treatment in order to prevent a tragic outcome.

According to Pet Insurance Australia he top 5 toxicity claims for 2019 were

  • Chocolate
  • Toxin exposure
  • Rodenticide (rat poison)
  • Grapes/raisins
  • Ibuprofen

If you suspect your pet has ingested chocolate, hot cross buns or any other treat that can have detrimental effects call your veterinarian immediately. Often it is better to assume that the chocolate or hot cross buns could be toxic and start the required treatment in order to prevent a tragic outcome.

The best way to avoid a trip to the vet this Easter is to completely cut out the risks or at least minimise them.

Here are some quick, easy and effective ways to do that:

Make time for your pooch to get plenty of exercise rather than overindulging them with food

Before you sit down for your Easter feast, why not take your dog for a walk, or a game of Frisbee in the back yard? Dogs love spending time with their humans above all else, and you can wear them out so they’ll enjoy a nice nap while you enjoy your meal

Check for Hazards

Start by getting down on your hands and knees so you can view each room from your pet’s eye level and how they view the world

Out of sight out of mind

Put any human Easter treats in the pantry or in cupboards out of four-legged reach. Remove temptations.

Avoid Easter grass

The grass often used to line Easter baskets can become lodged in an animal's intestines, causing vomiting, diarrhea or other issues. After your kids open their baskets, make sure to throw the Easter grass out, and vacuum the carpet if necessary.

Watch drinks

Alcohol is also poisonous to pets. Make sure to keep beer, wine and other alcoholic drinks away from curious dogs and cats.

Easter egg hunts

After the fun of the egg hunts are complete, be thorough  in making sure there are not any left over Easter eggs for your animals to consume. This is especially important with mini eggs as dogs have an impeccable smell sense and will be able to sniff them out even when you cannot.

But it’s not all doom and gloom and there is nothing that says you cannot include your pet in fun Easter activities too, after all they are an important part of your family and its traditions.

Here are a few tips to start you off

Easter basket

If you regularly make Easter baskets for your children, surprise your dog or cat with one, too. Skip the Easter grass, so there are no intestinal complications, but include healthy treats and a new toy.

Separate Easter egg hunt

Give your dog their own Easter egg hunt in a separate area but replace chocolate eggs with plastic eggs they have to crack open for a treat inside.

Visit the Easter Bunny

A great Insta opp but more importantly a great way to make ever lasting memories.

Have fun, stay safe and have a great break!

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