Easter Hazards For Pets (top Easter emergencies)

Mar 4, 2020 | Cats, Dogs, Featured, Poisoning and Toxicity

For many Easter means family, friends, chocolate and a four-day weekend. But unfortunately, there are quite a few potential Easter hazards for pets around this time of year. In fact, Easter is one of the busiest times of year for our hospitals. We’ve pulled together the top hazards to be aware of to keep your pet safe and out of trouble over Easter.

Top Easter hazards for pets

Here are the most common easter dangers to be on the lookout for at Easter.


The good ol’ case of chocolate ingestion, over the years we have seen our fair share of cases. As much fun as a chocolate egg hunt is, please keep your pets away from this part of the Easter action.

While we may indulge this time of year, unfortunately chocolate can prove fatal for our cats and dogs if they manage to get their paws on it. Chocolate poisoning in our pets is caused by the two toxic drugs it contains – theobromine and caffeine. Common symptoms of poisoning include vomiting, diarrhoea, increase in heart rate, and tremors, but don’t wait for these to occur. If there’s evidence your pet may have accessed your stash of chocolate, take them to your vet immediately.

For more information on what to do if your pets eats chocolate and common symptoms, visit our Chocolate Toxicity blog.

White dog wearing bunny ears with chocolate Easter eggs

Hot Cross Buns

Another Easter favourite that doesn’t sit well with our pooches is the hot cross bun. As sultanas, grapes and raisins cause renal failure in dogs, giving your pet a taste of your toasted bun could make them incredibly sick and require emergency attention. Unfortunately, the toxic dose range is varied as research has demonstrated even on grape can pose dangers and it doesn’t depend on the size of your pet. Also, clinical signs only start to show once they develop kidney failure. As with suspected chocolate toxicity, be sure to bring them straight to the vet.

For more food that are dangerous for our furry friends, visit our A-Z guide of toxic foods for pets blog.

hot cross buns

Easter Toys

If you have Easter decorations at home like toy eggs, fluffy chickens or bunny ears, this is of particular concern. To your pooch, they may look fun to chew on, with small plastic eggs appearing perfectly treat-sized and looking suspiciously like food. But if they eat them, these toys can block their airways or even lodge in their oesophagus or intestines causing an obstruction. Often, surgery is required when these types of items are swallowed. So, save your pet a trip to the emergency room by keeping these items away from your pet.

Toy Easter chickens and eggs

Easter Lily

And for our feline friends beware of Easter lilies. The Easter lily (along with a number of other varieties of lilies) is one of the most toxic flowers to have around cats.  All parts of the flower are toxic and if left untreated can cause acute renal failure. Cats only need to ingest a very small amount to be affected, whether it’s just a small bite of a petal or even from grooming the pollen off their fur. As these are highly toxic the best thing to do is keep them out of your home.

Lilies are mildly toxic to dogs, but their reactions are not quite as severe.

For more information on other flowers toxic to our pets, visit our A-Z guide of toxic flowers and plants.

Close up of a white Easter lily

Enjoy the Easter festivities. If you need us, we will be open 24 hours throughout the long weekend.

If your pet is ill or injured, visit your closest Animal Emergency Service hospital or your local vet immediately.

We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples as the Traditional Custodians of the lands, waterways and skies across Australia. We pay our respects to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and Elders past and present.