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Hot Tips For A Safe And Happy Easter For Pets

Chocolate poisoning and abandonment are two of the dangers pets face around Easter.

Marylou Zarbock
Posted: April 16, 2014, 6:05 p.m. EDT

It can happen in an instant. A ferret sneaks into an Easter basket and gobbles up some chocolate or a rabbit nibbles on a lily — and suddenly you’re faced with a medical emergency and rushing your pet to a veterinarian. No one expects it to happen, but free-roaming pets can get themselves into trouble, and others manage to escape a habitat and also find trouble.

On the flip side, the joy of welcoming a live bunny or chick into your home may turn to despair in the following weeks or months as you realize the impulse purchase of the pet is not working out, and you need to find it a new home. Worse yet, some people surrender the pets at shelters or make the mistake of setting it "free” in the wild. None of these situations end well for the pet.

The answer is simply to stay aware and be educated — aware of possible dangers, and educated about what bringing a pet into your life will entail.

The ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center reports about several Easter dangers to pets. The website states: "Easter is typically the APCC's top day for chocolate intoxication calls, topping Christmas, Valentine's Day and even Halloween!” Lilies, Easter grass, table food and herbicides are also on its list of top Easter toxins. And if you’re wondering about the safety of plants in general, it has a list of toxic and non-toxic plants.

Rabbit rescues, rabbit organizations and rabbit product manufacturers are all spreading the word that live bunnies are not a good addition to the family at Easter unless a family realizes the commitment required. Mary Cotter, vice president of House Rabbit Society states in an article on the HRS website that many rabbits purchased as Easter pets don’t live to see their first birthday.

Oxbow Animal Health created an advertorial that urges people to consider several factors before adopting a rabbit at Easter, those factors include realizing a rabbit is a long-term commitment and understanding the daily needs of rabbits.

The Make Mine Chocolate campaign started by the Columbus House Rabbit Society in Ohio in 2002, has gained strength every year. It encourages people to purchase chocolate Easter rabbits or stuffed animals instead of live bunnies.

Now you can consider yourself more aware and educated. And if you already knew all this, tell a friend who may not. Have a Happy Easter with your pets!

ferret with chocolate coins
© Gina Cioli/I-5 Studio
It only takes a moment for a pet to get at unattended chocolate or candy.

Like this article? Check out:
Pet Rabbits And Easter Don't Mix, click here>>
A Live Rabbit For Easter? Think Again, click here>>
Rethinking Pet Easter Rabbits, click here>>

A Chocolate Rabbit Over A Live Bunny For Easter, click here>>
Ferret-Proof For The Holidays, click here>>

Posted: April 16, 2014, 6:05 p.m. EDT

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