Easter food hazards

Written by Louise Horton RVN
March 1, 2024

Easter is a time for new beginnings. The days are lighter, the weather is warmer, and we begin to see signs of new life all around us. As with all times of celebration there are more hazards than usual for your pets at Easter time. 


Chocolate is a favourite Easter treat. Many families will have far more chocolate in the house than normal at Easter time. Easter eggs and other chocolate treats look enticing but can pose a real danger. Chocolate can be highly toxic for your pets so needs to be kept out of their reach. Dogs especially, will consume enormous amounts of chocolate if given the chance. This can lead to vomiting and diarrhoea, and in extreme circumstances heart problems and seizures. The darker the chocolate, the greater the risk. The second hazard posed by chocolates and Easter eggs is the packaging. Dogs will often consume the chocolate with the wrappers still on. Cats are often enticed by the sparkly wrapper and try to eat it. The box and the wrappers if consumed can lodge in throats or the digestive tract. This can cause a blockage that may require surgery to remove it. 

Dried Fruit

Many of our favourite Easter treats such as hot cross buns or fruit cakes contain raisins, sultanas, grapes and currants. Just one of these little tasty fruits can kill your pet by causing kidney failure. These sweet fruity treats are all tempting for your pet but eating them can have fatal consequences. It’s not just sweet treats that are the culprits, dried fruits can also be found lurking in sauces, bread stuffing’s, accompaniments, pickles and preserves.  


Perhaps less well known are the toxic properties of sugar-free sweets and sweeteners. These are good for our human waistlines but often contain Xylitol. This is toxic to both cats and dogs. Even a small amount can affect your pet’s insulin level causing low blood sugar and this can lead to your pet falling into a coma.   

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