13 April 2022

RSPCA WA is warning that, while tasty for us, popular Easter treats can be toxic for our furry friends.

Chocolate, hot cross buns, and BBQ leftovers are among the three top hazards pet owners should keep well away from prying paws this long weekend.

Google data shows searches about dogs eating chocolate rose by a whopping 400 per cent over Easter last year, compared to all other times of the year.

RSPCA WA Head Vet Shannon Page said even a small amount of chocolate could have heartbreaking consequences for pets and owners.

‘Just 50 grams of milk chocolate can be enough to poison a small dog,’ she said.

‘Darker chocolate contains more cocoa, so the same amount will be even more toxic.

‘Signs of poisoning include vomiting, diarrhoea, excessive urination and hyperactivity, while more serious symptoms are depression, coma, seizures and even death.’

A rabbit with an Easter basket full of eggs

But Dr Page said chocolate wasn’t the only food around at Easter that was dangerous to pets.

‘Hot cross buns, onions and fatty barbeque leftovers can cause major implications for your pet’s health,’ she said.

‘Cooked bones are brittle and small shards can get stuck in your animal’s throat or pierce the stomach lining. Surgery to remove an internal blockage is expensive and will easily creep into the thousands. 

‘If in doubt as to whether your pet has eaten something they shouldn’t, always contact your vet straight away for advice. It’s much better to be safe than sorry.’

Dr Page said there were plenty of pet-friendly ways to celebrate with your furry family this Easter.

‘Set up an egg hunt with pet-friendly carob chocolate, bake some Easter doggy treats, or settle in for some couch time and a movie,’ she said.

‘Just remember that sharing is not caring when it comes to certain foods this Easter and your pet will thank you for it.’

For more pet care advice, visit kb.rspca.org.au