Tips for a dog friendly Easter

Jo Bennett, My Family Pet Vet at Bridge Vet Centre in Wales, shares her top tips on making Easter time safe for our pooches…

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“Easter is a fabulous time of year! It’s like Christmas but instead of presents, we get good weather (if we’re lucky!) The combination of chocolate and all the traits of spring can put our dogs at some risk though, so I’ll share with you my favourite tips for keeping them safe:

First off, chocolate is poisonous to dogs

Your furry friend will be in for a rough, maybe even fatal, time if they eat even the smallest amount of chocolate. Dark chocolate is worse because it has a higher cocoa content, but you should keep ALL TYPES of chocolate well away from your dogs… Easter eggs included.

Other poisonous foods

A tad less common but no less dangerous, you should keep the following foods away from your dog’s reach and contact your local vet as soon as possible if they manage to ingest them (even the smallest amount):

  • Xylitol (an ingredient found in sugar-free treats like chewing gum, peanut butter, even some baked goods)
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Alcohol
  • Salt
  • Caffeine
  • Mouldy food (that your dog may have stolen from the bin)

And of course, it’s not just food

Part of why we all love dogs is that they’re always excited and never stop exploring. Sadly, this can sometimes results in them doing damage to themselves. When your dog is out and about on a walk or even when having fun in the garden, keep an eye on these poisonous plants:

  • Lilies
  • Daffodils
  • Rhododendrons (including Azaleas)
  • Dumb cane (dieffenbachia – a common houseplant)
  • Ivy
  • Foxgloves
  • Mistletoe
  • Poinsettia
  • Chrysanthemums

As with toxic foods, your dog will need to see a vet as soon as possible if they ingest any of these.

Make your garden a suitable place for your dog

If your dog often hangs out in the garden, it’s a good idea not to have any poisonous plants or flowers out there. As well as this, it’s very important to keep your lawn nice and tidy. Firstly, this reduces your dog’s chance of hurting themselves on a rock or dry soil. Secondly, tidy lawns are less appealing to parasites and stinging insects… and who wants those around if they can help it, right?

Is your dog suitable for the great outdoors?

It’s Spring now, whether the weather likes it or not! Now that you’re spending a lot of time outside with your dog, make sure the following are up to date:

  • Vaccines
  • Flea and worm treatments
  • Microchip details

If they aren’t, get yourself along to the vet as soon as you can!

And finally, keep your eyes open

Bear in mind at all times that dogs will be dogs. They won’t distinguish a bottle of cleaning product, left behind on the kitchen floor after a spring clean, from a perfectly harmless toy. They may feel thirsty when pelting along at full speed during the midday heat, but it’s not in their power to choose the cooler times of day to go out for a walk, or to provide their own water. They might love your friends and family as much as you do, but may long for their own space after a little while.

Whatever your plans are during the Easter break, don’t forget to factor in your dog – their welfare, their comfort and of course, their happiness! But I wish you a great time!”

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