As Easter approaches, we must keep in mind that some traditional foods and gifts that we use to celebrate can be dangerous to our furry friends.

Include your dog in the festivities while steering him clear of these five things:

1. Toxic Sweets

Dog next to chocolateChocolate intoxication is at its highest during Easter. Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, both of which can cause severe clinical symptoms in dogs. If your dog accidentally ingests chocolate, I recommend calling your veterinarian or a poison control hotline immediately to discuss treatment.

Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is often found in sugar-free candy. Xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs, causing low blood sugar, seizures, and in severe cases, liver failure. Seek immediate veterinary attention if your dog ingests candy containing xylitol.

Candy ingestion can cause gastrointestinal upset leading to diarrhea, vomiting, and lack of appetite in dogs. Also, since dogs aren’t very good at unwrapping candy before eating it, the wrappers can potentially cause intestinal blockages as well.

2. Dangerous Foods

Dog looking at chickenRaisins, sultanas, and currants are ingredients often contained in baked goods brought to your home for Easter. These can be toxic to dogs and can lead to kidney failure.

Cooked bones can be extremely dangerous to dogs. They splinter and can cause severe inflammation of the intestinal tract and even lead to intestinal rupture. Be sure that your cooked bones are put in a garbage, out of reach of your dog.

easter ham quiche

Onions, chives, and leeks, as well as other members of the allium family, can be toxic to your dog in moderate amounts. They can cause gastrointestinal symptoms and, in worse cases, anemia. Garlic can be toxic, but only in large quantities.

Fatty foods such as cheese, gravy, fatty meats, and baked goods can lead to pancreatitis in your dog. This condition can be very serious and often requires hospitalization for treatment.

3. Toys

plastic Easter eggsToys and plastic eggs, if ingested, can be hazardous to your dog. This can lead to gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and even intestinal obstruction.

4. Wrappers & Filler

Plastic Easter grassPlastic grass and foil wrappings can be attractive to your dog, and can cause intestinal obstruction if ingested. Keep Easter baskets out of your dog’s reach, and consider substituting plastic grass with paper grass or tissue paper.

5. Toxic Plants

The Easter Lily is a popular flower that is often given as a gift or put out as decoration on Easter. But as lovely as it is, it can be quite irritating to a dog’s stomach. Consuming bits of Easter Lily can leave your dog with stomach upset and digestive issues.

Lily of the Valley is a popular Easter flower that contains glycosides, which can slow down and even stop your dog’s heartbeat.

Foxglove is a spring flower typically found outdoors, but it can cause heart failure in your dog.

Rhododendrons contain grayanotoxins, which can cause your dog to experience seizures and cardiac arrest.

The Easter season is a beautiful time to get outside, enjoy family, and include your dog in the gatherings. As long as you have the knowledge to protect your dog, you can enjoy this holiday together.

Happy Easter, my friends!