By Mira Alicki
Before you sit down at the Easter table, take a few minutes to think about Easter foods dangerous for dogs.
All that delicious food and festive desserts are a delight for humans, but they can pose grave health threats and even cause death for your furry friend.
Unfortunately, holiday guests will often give dogs food from the table or food will spill — so take care to make sure none of it threatens your dog’s heath and safety.
Easter foods dangerous for dogs
Chocolate eggs, bunnies, and cakes may look beautiful, but chocolate can be deadly for dogs. I’m sure many times you heard that cocoa candy contains theobromine, which is poisonous to our animals. Eating theobromine makes your dog’s body produce large amounts of adrenaline, which accelerates the heart rate and can lead to a heart attack.
Dogs must never consume chocolate, cocoa cakes, or any desserts containing chocolate. Dark chocolate is the most dangerous, but even a milk chocolate bunny could be deadly for a small dog like a Yorkie or Chihuahua.
Sweets purchased in stores often contain as a sweetener xylitol. The sweetener can cause blood sugar fluctuations in people, but for dogs it may lead to a very rapid drop in sugar level. If consumed in a large amount, it can cause seizures.
Consumed over a prolonged period of time can lead to obesity, dental problems and diabetes. Xylitol also can damage the digestive system. So that means no jelly beans, cakes or any other desserts for your dog.
People love cheesecakes, Easter babkas, but most of these desserts contain raisins, which could be lethal for your dogs.
For dogs, the fatal dosage is small — 10 grams of raisins per 2 pounds of body weight. Raisins damage the kidneys, and after 3-4 days can lead to death. The first symptoms of poisoning are apathy and lack of appetite. If your dog accidentally consumes raisins, immediately take him to the veterinarian, so he can maintain proper flow of urine. A few raisins can cause permanent kidney damage.
Macadamia nuts are poisonous to our pets. The life-threatening dose is small only 2.2 grams for a small dog. A small dog after consuming a single nut can experience vomiting, muscle tremors and even paralysis of back legs. Symptoms are visible after about 12 hours after eating a nut.
If you suspect your dog may have eaten macadamia nuts, immediately contact your veterinarian.
In many families, Easter sausage is a tradition and since it’s meat as long as is not spiced should not harm your pet. The bigger concern is what kind of casing has been used for the sausage. Currently, many sausages are packed in synthetic (plastic) casings, which can block the dog’s digestive tract or stick to the stomach or intestinal wall. Those casing can cause vomiting, apathy, diarrhea and malaise.
Poultry bones after cooking process break down into sharp and long fragments. Dogs, unlike humans, usually don’t take time to chew their food. Most dogs immediately swallow, which can cause the bone splinters to penetrate the pet’s digestive tract. Many dogs have very sensitive digestive tracts and cannot eat any cooked bones at all, it causes upset stomach and diarrhea. Be safe, not sorry and keep your pet away from all cooked bones.
Coffee and alcohol
At the Easter table, we often enjoy a cup of coffee, a drink or a glass of wine. These drinks are absolute no-nos for your dog!
Caffeine in coffee causes heart palpitations. Hops, used in beer, can cause the dog’s body temperature to rise uncontrollably, which leads to the failure of most internal organs. Alcohol intoxication in animals can cause a coma or death. Alcoholic beverages tempt dogs with sweetness and aroma, so be sure to keep glasses with drinks, beer and liqueurs out of reach.
If you want your furry family member to have something special for Easter, your best bet is to make your own healthy treat. You can even use the same cookie cutters you use for your family to create dog treats shaped like eggs, carrots or bunnies. Or you can splurge and buy something special at a doggy bakery.
Make your Easter holiday safe, fun and enjoyable for all the members of your family whether human or canine by keeping Easter foods dangerous for dogs away from your pet.
Mira Alicki is a jewelry designer and goldsmith for the past 22 years. Her passion for animals led her to create her own line of jewelry and online store to benefit charities. 40% of each purchase is donated back to the animal community. You can find Mira on Twitter or Forever In My Heart.