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Easter Advice: Five Tips for Keeping Your Critters Safe

By Rebecca Simmons

Spring has sprung and it's almost time for the Easter bunny to make his rounds. But before you start celebrating, check out our top five tips for keeping your pet safe and happy this holiday weekend.

1.  Pass on Poisonous Plants. Some popular plants—including Easter lilies—are highly toxic to pets and can easily prove fatal if eaten. Check out the full list of toxic flora and make sure that your home and yard are free of these dangerous plants.

2.  Resist Pet Purchases. Bunnies, chicks, ducks and other animals are adorable, but resist the urge to buy or adopt a pet on impulse. "People often forget that these cute little animals grow up into adult animals who require a commitment to provide daily care for the rest of their lives," says Stephanie Shain, outreach director for the companion animals section of The HSUS. "Bringing any animal, including small animals like rabbits and chicks, into your home places demands on your time and financial resources and should be done only after carefully assessing your family's ability to meet the animal's needs." For more information on why consumers shouldn't give bunnies as Easter gifts, check out the Make Mine Chocolate campaign.

3.  Ditch the Dangerous Decor. Easter basket decorations, including plastic grass, are dangerous to animals if ingested. The grass can become twisted within a pet's intestines and can be fatal if not caught quickly enough. Often, the only solution is expensive surgery. Candy wrappers, plastic eggs and small toy parts can also pose a danger to critters. Keep your pet out of harm's way by using tissue paper instead of plastic grass and doing a thorough clean-up after Easter celebrations.

4.  Give Your Pet Some Peace. Consider your pets when planning family gatherings or parties at home. Loud noises, erratic movements from children and crowds of people can be very stressful for animals. If your pet isn't up for the chaos of an Easter egg hunt or family dinner, put her in a quiet area of the house when guests are visiting.

5.  Bag the Basket Booty. Keep your pet out of the Easter basket and away from candy, including chocolate. Candy can be harmful to pets, and chocolate is toxic to cats, dogs and ferrets. "As many pet owners know, animals will eat just about anything that they can find, including Easter treats," says Adam Goldfarb, issues specialist for the companion animals section of The HSUS. "Chocolates and candies that are high in sugar and caffeine are especially bad for our animal companions. Every pet owner should make an effort to keep these foods out of the reach of their furry friends." For more information, check out the full list of foods and drinks that are poisonous to pets.

Rebecca Simmons is the outreach communications coordinator for the Companion Animals section of The HSUS.




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