ORANGE PARK, Fla. – Ahead of Easter Sunday, Clay Humane, a nonprofit veterinary clinic in Orange Park, reminds families of safety hazards for pets and offers tips to owners to keep dogs and cats safe.
"While many people celebrate Easter with baskets of treats and special dinners, it is important to remember to keep our pets safe as we celebrate," said Dr. Christian Broadhurst, senior staff veterinarian at Clay Humane. "Taking a few simple precautions can help keep your beloved pets safe during Easter."
Broadhurst offers the following tips to protect pets:
1. Watch candy and treats
Chocolate and other candies containing xylitol, raisins or macadamia nuts are poisonous to pets and can cause gastrointestinal issues, pancreatitis, seizures or even death. Owners should give pets a treat designed for them.
2. 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. If you suspect your dog or cat has ingested Easter grass, contact your veterinarian immediately.
3. Avoid some human foods
Many of the ingredients used in Easter dishes, such as onions or garlic, are poisonous for pets. Do not give your dogs or cats scraps from the table to ensure they don't get sick. Even small scraps of food pets are not accustomed to eating can lead to upset stomachs.
4. Watch drinks
Alcohol is also poisonous to pets. Make sure to keep beer, wine and other alcoholic drinks away from curious dogs and cats.
5. Research before adopting a rabbit
Many people adopt bunnies at Easter but tire of them after realizing they require a lot of care. Prior to bringing home a rabbit, understand bunnies need daily exercise, litter box cleaning each day and special diets. If you decide a rabbit matches your lifestyle, visit a local shelter to find your perfect match.
"Holidays are a great opportunity to spend quality time with your furry friends," Broadhurst added. "If your pet does ingest something poisonous or experiences vomiting, diarrhea or lethargy, contact your veterinarian immediately.”
For more information about Clay Humane, visit www.clayhumane.org.