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4 Easter pet safety tips to save clients from holiday disaster

Article

The Easter holiday traditionally sees a major uptick in chocolate toxicity cases each year. Share these tips to help clients prevent a trip to the emergency clinic.

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nataba / stock.adobe.com

Content submitted by BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital, a dvm360® Strategic Alliance Partner.

With Easter just around the corner, now is the ideal time to remind clients and about the dangers presented to pets by this holiday. According to a press release from BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital, their clinics see an incredible 321% increase in chocolate toxicity cases during Easter each year.1 In addition, the National Confectioners Association expected Easter candy sales to increase by 5% to 7% in 2022, potentially putting more pets at risk.2 On top of chocolate toxicity, other popular sweets like jellybeans and xylitol pose a danger to pets that may not be as widely known amongst pet parents.

BluePearl offered these 4 tips that you can share with your clients to help pet parents keep their loved ones save during the Easter holiday:

1. Know the dangers.

Many clients know about the dangers of chocolate toxicity in dogs, but it’s important they know the signs and symptoms so they can spot an emergency. It’s best to remind clients that chocolate poisoning symptoms usually appear within 12 hours and can last up to 3 days. Symptoms may include excessive thirst, vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness/hyperactivity, tremors, abnormal heart rate, hyperthermia, and rapid breathing. In more severe cases, dogs can experience heartbeat irregularities, coma, or death.

2. Secure the goodies.

There’s no hiding chocolate from a dog’s nose. It’s important to ensure chocolate treats are securely stored in closed bins or cabinets and to keep shopping bags containing Easter eggs off counters and floors. When pet parents are hosting, they should clean up after guests, making sure wrappers and candy are disposed of in tied garbage bags and promptly taken to outside bins. 

3. Act fast.

Despite best efforts, chocolate toxicity can happen. Although signs typically appear within 4 to 24 hours after ingestion, pet owners should not wait until symptoms appear to seek medical attention. Let clients know that the quicker their pet gets treatment, the better the prognosis. Also let them know the importance of the type and amount of chocolate that has been ingested, and that they should share this information with you. Tell them to bring in the label, if possible.

4. Have an emergency plan.

Every pet parent should have an emergency plan in place. Clients should be advised to keep contact details for both their local practice and emergency clinics. If they are traveling for the Easter holiday, it is important to research local vets on the route to and near their destination ahead of time. They should also bring copies of their pet’s medical records and make sure that their identification tags are up to date.

“Spring represents one of the busiest times of the year for BluePearl, as together our hospitals see tens of thousands of pet emergencies, with many of these emergencies relating to chocolate toxicity or other food related illnesses,” remarked James Barr, DVM, DACVECC, Chief Medical Officer at BluePearl. “Millions of Jellybeans and chocolate bunnies sold this time each year, so it is important pet owners understand the risks posed to pets when bringing these goodies into their homes. Even a small amount of some of these candies can be harmful or even fatal for our furry companions.”

References:

  1. Easter candy sales are expected to increase this year. Vets warn of the dangers for pets. News release. BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital. April 14, 2022.
  2. 91% of Americans plan to share a confectionery treat with some-bunny they love this Easter season. News release. National Confectioners Association. April 6, 2022. Accessed April 15, 2022. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/91-of-americans-plan-to-share-a-confectionery-treat-with-some-bunny-they-love-this-easter-season-301518491.html
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