Easter is just a bunny hop away but so are hidden dangers. As you and your family prepare for Easter festivities here are some Easter Pet Safety tips. Happy Easter egg hunting!

1. Easter grass is a decorative must for Easter baskets but can signal danger for your pet if ingested. If eaten, it can cause a plethora of health problems, even death. Easter grass can wrap around your pet’s intestines and cut off circulation. It can also cause vomiting, choking, constipation, painful defecation and abdominal pain. Instead opt for a safer alternative, tissue paper or real grass.

2. No Chocolate Bunnies or Eggs. Dogs can’t resist something sweet to gobble on, including the infamous chocolate bunny. With such a keen sense of smell your dog can find your chocolate stash. Chocolate contains a highly toxic ingredient known as theobromine, making even small amounts of chocolate extremely hazardous to your pets health. Theobromine, can cause vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, seizures and an abnormally elevated heart rate. Although your dog should avoid all types of chocolate, dark chocolate contains the highest concentrations of theobromine making it the most toxic. Early symptoms of chocolate toxicity are vomiting, diarrhea and trembling. If your dog exhibits these symptoms, please seek vet help immediately.

3. Avoid Sugar Substitutes: Xylitol, an artificial sweetener used in many candies, chewing gums and baked goods, is potentially very toxic to dogs and cats. If ingested, it can cause a rapid drop in blood sugar and can lead to seizures & liver failure.

4. Poisonous Easter Bouquets & Plants. Lilies, amaryllis, and kalanchoe are just a few popular flowers used in Easter floral arrangements. While they make for beautiful centerpieces on your Easter table, certain plants and flowers can be deadly for pets. The beautiful Easter Lily is a plant commonly found in bouquets this time of year but highly toxic to cats if ingested. If eaten this flower can cause vomiting and lethargy, and if untreated, may progress to kidney (renal) failure and death. Please call your veterinarian immediately if you suspect that your cat has eaten any part of a lily plant. Other potentially poisonous flowers to avoid include tulips, calla lilies, daisies, chrysanthemums and baby’s breath.

5. Real or fake plastic eggs can be dangerous. This is the case of mistaken identity. Fido or Felix may confuse a shiny plastic eggs for their next chew toy or tasty treat. If chew and swallow the plastic can cause intestinal damage which may require surgery. While hard-boiled have a tendency to be misplaced or not found during those Easter egg hunts and can easily spoil. If the egg is discovered days later and eaten by your hungry dog can cause quite an upset stomach. Make sure you keep track of the number of eggs hidden and their whereabouts so you can easily inventory at the end of the hunt.

6. Cute Easter toys are not meant to be eaten: Festive bunnies and chick toys make cute Easter basket stuffers for the kiddies, but may be viewed as a mid afternoon snack for your pet. Small toys are a choking hazard and should be kept away from cats and dogs. Keep baskets off the ground or better yet keep your pet in an Easter free zone out of potential harms way.