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Easter Foods that are Dangerous for Dogs

Easter festivities often include delicious food and even more scrumptious sweets, but some of these decadent foods can pose a real health threat to our dogs.

Here is a quick list of the most dangerous Easter foods that are harmful for our canine family members.

NOTE: if you think your dog has consumed any of the following foods or shows symptoms of toxic poisoning, contact your veterinarian immediately.


Chocolate is toxic for dogs and that is a pretty widely known fact. Chocolate contains theobromine, which is highly poisonous for dogs and even cats. It is so toxic that even just a few bites can lead to poisoning.

Chocolate also contains caffeine which is also poisonous for dogs. The most dangerous kinds of chocolate are dark chocolate and unsweetened chocolate.

Signs of chocolate poisoning include diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, increased urination, restlessness, and abnormal heart rate.

Candy and Sweets that contain Xylitol

Xylitol is a sugar substitute commonly found in sugar-free candy, sugar-free gum, sugar-free baked goods, etc. Xylitol can also be found in toothpaste, vitamins, and supplements.

Ingesting Xylitol can cause a drop in blood sugar for dogs as well as liver failure and death.

Signs of Xylitol poisoning include diarrhea, lethargy, vomiting, seizures, and weakness. Symptoms may not show immediately after consuming Xylitol.

Macadamia Nuts

While not usually fatal to our furry friends, it is considered toxic by veterinarians.

Signs of Macadamia nut poisoning for dogs include vomiting, tremors, and an increase in temperature. Your dog may also experience lethargy, wobbliness, joint stiffness, and depression after eating a large amount of Macadamia nuts.


Ham is high in calories and fats. Consuming too many fatty foods is dangerous for your dog’s health. Not only can it cause weight gain, but it can also cause life-threatening illness like pancreatitis.

Poultry Bones

Cooked poultry bones can break down into sharp, long fragments. In most cases, dogs swallow these bones immediately which means the sharp bones can penetrate your dog’s digestive tract. As a result, this can cause choking, gastrointestinal upset, diarrhea, and even internal bleeding.

Mashed Potatoes

Potatoes are not actually dangerous for dogs. But mashed potatoes often include additional flavorings such as onion powders, garlic powders, butter, and milk. All of these flavorings are dangerous for dogs.

Butter and milk can cause diarrhea for dogs. Other ingredients such as onions, chives, garlic, and leeks are toxic for dogs and even cats.

These ingredients can cause low blood pressure and gastroenteritis for dogs. Symptoms may not show up for several days but include drooling, upset stomach, abdominal pain, pale gums, lethargy, and nausea.

Alcoholic Beverages

Dogs simply cannot handle their booze. Because of their size, the alcohol hits their bloodstream relatively quickly.

Signs of alcohol consumption in dogs and cats include a drop in their blood sugar and their blood temperature. As a result, this can lead to seizures and respiratory failure.

If your dog is vomiting, drooling, gagging, or appears disoriented, it is possible they have consumed alcohol. In this case, it is best to contact your vet immediately.

Easter gatherings can also bring your pups into contact with friends and family members who are not dog-savvy and might not know which foods are dangerous for our canine companions. Be sure to keep an eye on your pups during the holiday and warn guests not to feed them table scraps.

Have a happy, healthy Easter from DSDA!


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