Pet hero

Avoid being an egg this Easter! How to protect your pets at the sweetest time of year

Wednesday , 20 March 2024 by Jonathan Zouch

Easter often involves indulging in delectable delights like chocolate bunnies and eggs, and maybe even the uneaten half of that hot cross bun. Be wary though, as while these treats tickle our taste buds, they can spell disaster for our pets.

As Easter festivities hop into full swing, Southern Cross Pet Insurance is reminding owners of the danger cocoa-based treats can pose to their furry family members.

Chocolate, the quintessential Easter staple, contains theobromine which is toxic to cats and dogs. Ingestion can lead to symptoms ranging from vomiting and diarrhoea to tremors, seizures, and even death.

Southern Cross-insured Mia the whippet dog’s1 love for eating all things in the way landed her in a sticky situation not long ago. Mia couldn't resist the temptation of a peppermint chocolate bar that was nestled away in her owner’s handbag.

Luckily for Mia, her owners were quick to react, and Mia made a full recovery following prompt veterinary treatment where she was made to throw it all back up, resulting in over $1,500 in vet costs.

Southern Cross Pet Insurance National Sales Manager, and former Vet Nurse, Kerri Murray said, “We paid out over $300,000 for pet insurance claims for pet consumption of chocolate, raisins, and other harmful foods in 2022. The road to recovery can be very costly, especially if you don’t have insurance to help foot the bill for treatment.”

Ms Murray said while many know not to feed their pets chocolate, it’s the kitchen bench surfers that can catch owners off guard and grab that treat you put away for later.

“Easter is a time for joy and celebration, but it's important to remember that some of our favourite treats can be harmful to our pets.”

Ms Murray added that it’s important to not only keep an eye out for what you leave around but keep a watchful eye over where your family leaves their treats.

“It’s easy to move your attention for just a moment and your child has left their half-eaten easter egg laying on the couch, just in reach for your hungry pooch to devour it.”

Additionally, Ms Murray has highlighted chocolate treats might not be the only things to watch out for these holidays, with Easter lilies expected to be in bloom.

“It’s also important to stay vigilant around Easter lilies, as they, and other lilies, are very toxic to cats, and not at all pleasant for our canine pals.”

Southern Cross Pet Insurance has pulled together some important tips to keep your dog safe this Easter:

  • Store chocolate securely: Keep all chocolate eggs, bunnies, and candies out of reach of your dog. This includes hidden Easter eggs during Easter egg hunts – canine family members will unfortunately have to sit this one out.
    • Top tip – make sure you count how many easter eggs you put out and how many are found, keeping our loved ones away from the action until they are all accounted for.
  • Beware of baked goods: Hot-cross buns, Chocolate chip cookies, brownies, and cakes are also tempting for dogs and should be kept out of their reach.
  • Educate your guests: If you're hosting an Easter gathering, remind guests not to share chocolate with your dog, and to keep it out of reach.
  • Know the signs of chocolate poisoning: If you suspect your dog has eaten chocolate, watch for vomiting, diarrhoea, excessive thirst, tremors, or seizures. Seek immediate veterinary attention.