This is the time of the year, when chocolate Easter bunnies and lovely Easter lilies are all around us — including our dogs and cats.
The leader in medical insurance for pets, Trupanion, would like to remind pet owners that chocolate and lilies can be hazardous to dogs and cats, and could lead to an emergency trip to your veterinarian.
Keep these two things away from your pets:
“Chocolate contains a naturally-occurring stimulant, called theobromine, which is similar to caffeine. If enough theobromine is ingested, it can be toxic to dogs and cats,” said Dr. Sarah Nold, staff veterinarian at Trupanion.
The pet insurance company traditionally sees a high number of chocolate toxicity claims around Easter. Since 2015, it has paid out more than $1 million in chocolate ingestion claims.
That said, pet owners should be cautious with chocolate around their pets year-round.
Not sure whether your pup had its way with the Easter basket? Signs of chocolate poisoning in dogs will usually appear, just hours after your pet ingests the treats, and symptoms may last up to three days, after ingestion.
Keep an eye out for these warning signs of chocolate poisoning in dogs:
Elevated or abnormal heart rate.
Easter lilies are bright, beautiful, and a staple floral decoration in the springtime. However, lilies are incredibly dangerous to our feline friends. In fact, lily toxicity is one of Trupanion’s most common, and one of the most expensive toxicity claims, with an average claim cost of nearly $800.
The toxins impact the kidneys and often cause symptoms, like vomiting, drooling, lethargy, and appetite loss. Cats can develop tremors or go into seizures, and ingesting even a small piece of a lily plant, can lead to kidney failure and death. Every part of the lily plant is toxic and cats can get sick, even by licking pollen off their fur or drinking lily vase water.
There are plenty of other options for those, who want to bring some fresh flowers and plants into their cat-friendly home, this Spring. Look for some cat-safe flowers, like roses, snapdragons, gerbera daisies, sunflowers, or zinnias. Many herbs, like catnip, and ferns are also safe for pets, and can help freshen the house and keep things green.
If you suspect that your dog or cat has eaten chocolate or ingested lilies, and are showing warning signs, contact your veterinarian, as soon as possible.