Shelter Health

The Big Four Easter Hazards

Easter, like most holidays, is a busy time at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. Chocolate is a common theme, as it is during other festive times of the year, but Easter and springtime have a few special toxicities all their own.

Here are the top four toxins callers contact APCC about at Easter:


The APCC averaged 37 calls a day about pets eating chocolate last year—that’s a lot of foil-wrapped eggs!

Fortunately, like Halloween candy, Easter chocolates tend to have non-chocolate fillings versus solid chocolate. Nevertheless, animals who’ve ingested Easter chocolate should be monitored for pancreatitis.

Also, don’t forget to check if the chocolate contains raisins, macadamia nuts, alcohol, and/or xylitol. 

Easter Grass

Plastic Easter grass is a common call for APCC. Although the decorative grass that lines baskets is generally not a concern for toxicity, it can cause a linear foreign body obstruction.

Warning your clients to choose wisely ahead of time may create some goodwill and prevent grief later on.


Easter is the spring kick-off for APCC, and calls start rolling in about outdoor toxins. Of course, there are many troublesome plants out there, but bulbs and lilies tend to predominate on this holiday.  

Unfortunately may cat owners still are not aware of the danger lilies pose. 

Fertilizers & Herbicides

Warmer weather brings out gardeners, and Easter weekend for many parts of the country is warm enough that people head outside to get that first application of fertilizer on the grass. In southern parts of the country they may be heading outside with weed killers.

More Lifesaving Resources

Top 3 Toxins Deadly to Rabbits 
Vet Tech Corner: Lilies and Cats
Spring-Blooming Bulbs: Year-Round Problem

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