AC Pup: Have a wonderful and safe Easter weekend

This is a very special week recognizing each sacred day leading up to Easter. I love this time of year when we spend time with family and friends planning to be together for church services and a yummy Easter dinner.

It’s also a festive time to get Easter baskets filled with toys and chocolate. So naturally, your beloved family pets will want to enjoy the fun. But please take special precautions this weekend with your pets to make sure they stay safe. While all the attractions of this Easter season may be exciting and fun, it also can be a hazardous time for your pets.

Let’s start with the Easter basket. Most baskets are beautiful, stuffed with candy, packaged in cellophane and filled with shreds of fake grass. Please do not include live baby bunnies or baby chicks as a part of your Easter celebration. A really cute stuffed animal will work just fine. And your pets think the Easter basket is just for them.

Let me warn you how deadly that Easter basket can be. The fake plastic grass (who has pink or yellow plastic grass, for Pete’s sake?) is really attractive to pets, especially cats. They will take it string by string and swat it around the house.

The danger is they also may consume it, which may result in a trip to the emergency vet. You see, fake plastic grass is not part of a pet’s healthy diet, nor is it safe. It’s not unlike dental floss or string or any other material that can become entangled in your pet’s intestines and cause great harm.

Of course, the other major hazard is chocolate. It seems like every confection at Easter is chocolate. Chocolate bunnies, chocolate chicks, chocolate turtles -- anything that can be covered in chocolate is chocolatized at Easter. As yummy as it looks and tastes to pets, please be aware it is deadly. Chocolate will kill your pets. It’s as simple as that.

So as you’re assembling the Easter baskets, please do so in an area where your pets cannot reach. Put all the chocolate in the basket that your heart desires and then put the filled basket way beyond the reach of your pets.

Before you share the basket with your children, please have a conversation with them reminding them how dangerous chocolate is to the pet they love. Instruct them not to share any candy with the pet.

Instead, why not make your pets an Easter basket of their very own, with no plastic grass, and fill it with new Kong toys, Nyla-bones, safe treats to eat, and throw in a martingale collar and strong leash while you’re at it. They will be so excited!

While I know you’re going to do your best to keep you pet away from chocolate, dangerous toys and fake grass, just in case, here’s the number to the National Animal Poison Control Center close by. It’s 888-426-4435.

And remember no live baby bunnies, chicks or ducks, and no chocolate. But other than that, have a wonderful, sacred and safe Easter weekend.

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