Easter is almost here! Before you put up your pastel decorations, hunt for eggs or dive into your Easter baskets, check out our list of tips to keep your pets safe during the spring holiday fun. The Easter Bunny and all his furry friends will thank you!

Keep Easter Baskets Away from Fido and Fluffy

Easter baskets are often filled with goodies that could be harmful for your pet. While we love our sweet treats, most Easter candy is dangerous to dogs. Chocolate is a well-known hazard, but did you know that xylitol, a sweetener found in some candy, is also toxic to dogs and cats? Your best bet is to keep ALL candy safely out of reach of your pets.

The decorative plastic grass that lines most Easter baskets can also be dangerous for your dog or cat if ingested. The same is true for plastic Easter eggs. Pets are often attracted to these bright and shiny objects, and may try to eat them. If ingested, the plastic could cause a dangerous intestinal blockage, which could require emergency surgery. Keep your Easter baskets on a high shelf, and keep your pets in a separate room when it’s time for the kids to dig into them.

Beware of Easter Lilies

Cat owners, listen up! Lilies, the beautiful, fragrant flowers especially popular at Easter, are potentially deadly to cats. Acccording to the Pet Poison Helpline, Easter Lillies are among the most dangerous species of lilies, in addition to stargazer, tiger, day, Asiatic hybrid, Japanese Show, rubrum, red, Western and wood lilies. Ingestion of a few leaves, petals or even water in the vase by a cat can lead to severe kidney problems.

Consider replacing your Easter lilly with a stunning orchid, a hearty succulent like blue echeveria, or another one of these seven pet-safe indoor plants. And for cat parents who just love lilies, we recommend sticking with the fake, fabric ones – hey, at least they last year ’round!

Say ‘No’ to Table Scraps

Easter and Passover celebrations often center around a family meal. Since pets are an important part of many families, it can be tempting to share your feast with Fido and Fluffy, too. But many popular spring holiday foods – including lamb, ham and pork roast – are too rich for our pets. Too much fatty food could leave your pet with an upset stomach or worse, pancreatitis. Extra caution is also needed for potential dangerous foods containing onions, garlic, grapes, bones, alcohol, grapes and, as mentioned above, chocolate or xylitol.

Be sure to keep an eye out for unattended plates or serving dishes left within reach. Also, don’t forget to watch the trash and any drinks – your pets can get in trouble exploring these things, too!

To avoid food-related surprises altogether, purchase or prepare special spring-themed pet treats. Inform your guests that table scraps are off-limits for Fido and Fluffy, and instead, have proper treats available so you can include your pet in the Easter or Passover festivities without risking any unintended consequences.

Thinking of Bringing Home a REAL Bunny? Think Twice.

With all the Easter Bunny talk this time of year, it can seem like an adorable pet rabbit would be the ultimate Easter gift. But veterinarians, animal rescue advocates and rabbit experts agree – think twice before you bring home a bunny.

Rabbits can make wonderful pets, but they are not for everyone. Rabbits are not a great pet for young children – many do not like to be held, and can nip or scratch when scared. A pet rabbit can live up to 12 years, and their vet bills can actually be more expensive than for the average pet dog or cat.  If your family is not ready or able to take on this responsibility, then a pet rabbit is not recommended.

If your loved one has his or her heart set on a pet bunny, we suggest reaching out to your local animal shelter or rabbit rescue group to learn more about these pets. Or better yet, become a volunteer! Helping rabbits in need is a great way to say “Thanks” to the Easter bunny for all the treats you received in your basket this year!

Thanks for reading, and we wish you all a very happy and joyous holiday!