Easter Candy Warning If You Have Pets

cat playing
Flickr photo by The U.S. Army
If Easter candy is in your near future, be sure your pets aren't enjoying it, too.


According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), chocolate in all forms -- especially dark or baking chocolate -- can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. If your pet has eaten Easter chocolates, symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, increased thirst, urination and heart rate, and seizures.

Other candies, especially those containing the artificial sweetener xylitol, can also be poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol sweetener can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar, which leads to depression, lack of coordination and seizures, and in cases of significantly low blood sugar, liver failure has been known to occur.

Even if your dog or cat doesn't eat your Easter candy, ingesting tin foil and cellophane candy wrappers can pose a choking hazard or cause intestinal blockage. (Once, when my husband and I were away on vacation, one of our cats got into a large box of peppermint patties, unwrapped them all, and ate all the foils. Luckily, no serious damage was done -- other than the loss of those delicious peppermint patties!)

If you suspect your pet has ingested a potentially dangerous substance, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

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