Golden puppy sitting in flowers

Top 10 toxic foods for dogs: treats to avoid this Easter reading-time-icon 3 min read

It’s always exciting when Easter comes around, but it pays to be careful when it comes to treats. Foods that are indulgent for us can be dangerous for our dogs. Here’s a helpful list of Easter plants and foods that are toxic for dogs.  

Easter Eggs

chocolate eggs wrapped in colourful foil

Big or small, milk or dark, there are lots of different types of Easter eggs, but they all have one thing in common, they’re made of chocolate. Chocolate contains a chemical called ‘theobromine’, which is toxic to dogs.  

The darker the chocolate is, the more harmful it is. Even though white chocolate doesn’t contain enough theobromine to be poisonous, it is still not advised that dogs consume it.  

If you’ve got plenty of chocolate Easter eggs, keep an eye on your dog, because if they manage to eat one there could be serious consequences.  

Consuming chocolate can cause the following symptoms in dogs: 

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Seizures
  • Death (in very serious cases)

If you think that your dog has eaten chocolate, contact your vet. 

Hot Cross Buns 

a stack of hot cross buns with butter and a cup of tea

Although they might seem like the type of food that wouldn’t cause your dog any problems, hot cross buns can contain dried fruit, including sultanas, currants and raisins, which are toxic to dogs.  

Raisins, sultanas and currants can cause acute kidney injury in dogs, however the mechanism of this is not fully understood. Some dogs are able to eat large volumes without experiencing symptoms, whereas in other dogs, just a handful of raisins can be fatal.  

Toxic effects may not be apparent for several days after ingestion and, the longer the fruit is in your dog’s system, the more damage it can do.  

As there aren’t guidelines on how much fruit your dog needs to consume for it to be dangerous, if you suspect that your dog has eaten any raisins, currants or sultanas, call your vet immediately.   

Sugar-free sweets 

colourful fizzy sweets

Some sugar free sweets contain xylitol, which is really dangerous for dogs. Xylitol can cause blood sugar levels to drop to dangerously low levels and cause liver damage.  If you are worried your dog has ingested even a small volume of xylitol, please call your vet immediately as it can be fatal.  

Even with other human sweets it’s a good idea to steer clear of giving your dog too many, as high amounts of sugar can contribute to weight gain and dental issues. 

Cooked bones

cooked bone

If you’ve polished off your Sunday roast, you might spot your pooch eyeing up the juicy bones. Although bones aren’t poisonous, they are prone to splitting when your dog is eating them. This could lead to bone fragments getting lodged in your dog’s throat which can cause choking.   


Watch Now: Can my dog eat bones? 


Garlic & onions 

lots of garlic

Although the humble garlic clove may be an essential partner for a flavoursome piece of lamb, it is toxic to dogs. Garlic is known to cause stomach upsets and red blood cell damage to pets.  

It’s the same story for onions, so always be careful when you are preparing food in the kitchen.  

Synthetic easter grass 

synthetic Easter grass with colourful eggs inside a white bowl

Lots of Easter hampers and baskets are lined with colourful synthetic grass or hay, and although this may look nice, it can be dangerous for your dog if they ingest it. The ‘grass’ is non digestible and gets stuck in the intestines, which can require surgery to remove.  

Flowers & bulbs 

At this time of year, we start to see spring flowers emerge. Although they might look pretty to us, for your dog, they can be dangerous.  


Read More: Which plants are poisonous to dogs?


Daffodils

daffodils

Daffodil bulbs and flowers are poisonous to dogs. They are very popular flowers and you are just as likely to come across them in the home as you are in the wild. Even drinking water from a vase that has daffodils in can be poisonous for your dog, resulting in diarrhoea or vomiting.  

Tulips

colourful tulips

Tulips are another flower that can make your dog sick, with consumption sometimes irritating their mouth. Tulip poisoning can also lead to heart problems and difficulty breathing.   The bulb is the most toxic part of the plant, and it is essential you contact your vet in the case of ingestion.  

Cherry Trees 

cherry blossom tree

Wild cherry trees are really dangerous to dogs, and consuming the seeds, twigs or leaves of the tree can cause hyperventilation, abnormal heart rate, seizures and even death. 

What to do if your dog eats dangerous items this Easter 

If you suspect that your dog has eaten anything that is toxic, you should prevent them from consuming any more, call your vet and preserve the packaging so that your vet can see what your dog has ingested.    

Need more advice? 

If you’re worried that your dog has consumed something toxic, always speak to your vet.  Find your nearest vet using our Find a Vet page, or speak to a vet online using Online Vets

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