Each Easter weekend, the ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) gets calls for many of the same types of intoxications. Here are 5 prevalent Easter pet toxins:
Easter is typically the APCC's top day for chocolate intoxication calls, topping Christmas, Valentine's Day, and even Halloween! Why? Pets find Easter candy hidden around the house or the yard or get into unattended Easter baskets. Make sure that all candy is out of reach of unsupervised pets.
True lilies (with the Latin name starting with Lilium) or daylilies (Hemerocallis) are a concern for acute kidney injury in cats. We discourage cat owners from keeping Easter lilies (Lilium longiflorum) in their homes. If you must have them in your home, make sure cats can't access any part of the plant, including leaves (on the plant or loose), pollen, or the water flowers were stored in—all can be life-threatening. Learn how to spot which lilies are toxic to cats.
3. Easter Grass
The plastic grass found in Easter baskets is appealing to pets but can cause a life-threatening gastrointestinal obstruction that may require surgery to resolve.
4. Table Food
Onions, garlic, macadamia nuts, grapes, raisins, and xylitol-containing foods are common toxins that pets ingest. However, many foods that aren't toxic may cause stomach upset that could lead to pancreatitis.
Many people begin spring yard work on Easter weekend. Make sure herbicides are kept where pets can't chew or puncture the bottle and that the application is dry before letting pets outside. Pets are often exposed when they are outside while their owners are spraying these products. While many herbicides are not highly toxic, any exposure does warrant a call to the vet.
Poison Prevention Video
This video, featuring the APCC's own toxicologist Dr. Tina Wismer, shows how pet owners can put together a safety prevention pack at home. Share it on your social media channels and let your clients know about it!