3 Pet-friendly Easter Treat Recipes + 5 Dangerous Foods to Avoid

5 Toxic Foods for Pets + 3 Pet-friendly Easter Treat Recipes

It’s one of the brightest and sweetest times of the year. Spring is here and that’s a fantastic reason to celebrate surrounded by delicious food, fresh flowers and the (furry) family you care about most! 

But some of the things that make Easter so great for many of us can be very dangerous for our pets. Here are some tips to keeping your furbabies safely well fed this holiday weekend.

Avoid These 5 Potentially Toxic Foods

1. Chocolate

Hunting for hidden chocolate Easter eggs around your house can be so much fun for kids. But it could be a recipe for disaster for your pets.

Chocolate contains theobromine, a chemical that’s toxic to dogs and cats.

If you’re doing a chocolate Easter egg hunt, be sure to hide them where your pets can’t reach them. If you're concerned your dog or cat did manage to get his paws on some chocolate, watch for these signs of chocolate poisoning:

  • excessive thirst
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • bloating 
  • restlessness

Worsening symptoms may progress to:

  • hyperactivity
  • frequent urination
  • uncoordinated “clumsy” behaviour
  • stiffness
  • tremors 
  • seizures

In severe cases, pets may experience:

  • a racing, slow or irregular heart rhythm
  • rapid breathing
  • a bluish tint to the skin, gums or tongue (caused by lack of oxygen) 
  • high or low blood pressure
  • overheating
  • coma

Chocolate toxicity can be fatal to your pets. Keep those treats up and out of reach!

2. Xylitol

Sometimes called sugar alcohol, xylitol is a natural, sugar-free sweetener found in candies, mints, gum, baked goods, and some brands of peanut butter and other sweets.

It’s also used as a sweetener or emulsifier in non-food products like mouthwash, toothpaste, cough syrup, shaving creams and lotions. 

While xylitol may be not dangerous for cats, it can cause severe damage to your dog’s liver or kidneys. It can also cause organ failure or death when consumed in even the smallest doses.

The signs of xylitol poisoning may include:

  • vomiting
  • decreased activity
  • weakness
  • lack of coordination
  • seizures

Read the list of ingredients in food products, especially peanut butter and other items that claim to be sugar-free. Keep an eye out for xylitol or sugar alcohol. If it’s on the label, do not feed it to your pets.

3. Hot Cross Buns

While they may be an Easter staple in many households, hot cross buns often contain sultanas, raisins and/or currants, all of which are highly toxic to dogs and may also be toxic to cats.

Unfortunately, research isn't clear on what it is about these fruits that make pets sick. And there isn’t any data that tells us how much is too much. To keep your pets safe, we recommend avoiding these fruits altogether.

4. Tulips

You know spring has sprung when you see these beautiful flowers in bloom. Try to keep your pets away, though.

Tulips contain glycosides, which are toxic to both cats and dogs.

Tulip bulbs are particularly poisonous because they contain the highest concentration of glycosides.

Signs of glycoside poisoning may include:

  • abdominal pain
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • excessive drooling
  • difficulty breathing
  • dizziness
  • lethargy
  • tremors
  • abnormal heartbeat
  • seizures
  • coma
  • sudden death

If your furry friends like to stop and smell the flowers, consider gerber daisies as a safe and pretty alternative.

5. Onions, Garlic & Leeks

You might find yourself wanting to share a bite or two of your Easter dinner with Fluffy and Fido, but try to resist the temptation. If you feed your pets something that contains onions, garlic or leeks, your positive gesture may cause a negative reaction.

Onions, garlic and leeks contain compounds called disulphides and thiosulphates.

When consumed, your pet may develop a condition that destroy’s their red blood cells, such as:

  • hemolytic anemia
  • heinz body anemia
  • methemoglobinemia

Signs of poisoning may include: 

  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • breathlessness
  • lethargy
  • pale gums
  • rapid breathing
  • elevated heart rate

Safe & Healthy Easter Treats Your Pets Will Love

Don’t worry—just because people food isn’t always good for our pets, doesn’t mean there aren’t lots of other delicious, healthy treats we can give them!

Try these pet-friendly Easter treat recipes ...

Peeps for Pups

Peeps for pups

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Freeze Time: 2 hours

INGREDIENTS

  • 1.5 cups of frozen strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2/3 cup water

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Combine frozen strawberries, peanut butter, yogurt, and water in a blender
  2. Blend until smooth and runny
  3. Pour mixture into moulds and place in the freezer for two to three hours or until Peeps are hard
  4. Remove tray from freezer and flip upside-down to remove

Purrrfect Tuna and Catnip Croutons

tuna and catnip croutons recipe

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 can tuna packed in low sodium water, drained
  • 1 cup coconut flour (or substitute whole wheat flour or oat flour)
  • 1 tablespoon extra light olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried catnip
  • 1 egg
  • 1-2 tablespoons water, add more as needed

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Drain tuna and combine with egg, coconut flour, water, olive oil and catnip
  3. Blend in a food processor until the mixture is smooth
  4. Pinch pieces of the dough and place them on a baking sheet
  5. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown
  6. Allow them to cool completely

Refridgerate in an airtight container for 3 - 4 days.

Doggy Easter Eggs

Doggy Easter Eggs recipe

Prep time: 3 minutes | Freeze time: 2 hours

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • Small dog treats or apple chunks (optional)

 INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Combine peanut butter (not sugar free!) and coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl
  2. Microwave for 45 seconds or until completely melted
  3. Stir to get rid of any lumps, then pour it into an egg mould or ice cube tray ¾ full
  4. Add crunchy extras (optional)
  5. Chill for 2 hours or until the eggs have hardened
  6. Pop the treats out and give one to your happy pup

Yumm-o!

Now that everyone has their own tasty treats, you can rest easy and enjoy a safe, healthy Easter weekend.

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