Hospital for Small Animals

Spring pet advice from the Dick Vet

Spring (especially Easter time) is a lovely time of year, but there are lots of potential hazards for your pets too! Read our guide to help keep your pets happy and healthy.

To help keep your pets happy and healthy we have outlined some things to beware of in the coming months. If you have any concerns about the health of your pet, please contact your vet.


dog with easter eggs

Chocolate is a popular Easter treat, however it can make dogs very ill and can even be fatal to them. This is due to a toxin called theobromine, a chemical used in chocolate manufacture. Humans are able to break down this toxin quickly enough for it not to act as a poison. However, dogs metabolise the chemical much slower. If you think your dog has eaten chocolate, or is showing signs of theobromine poisoning (muscle stiffness, tremors, vomiting or seizures), contact your vet immediately.


Some sweets contain a substance called xylitol, which is an artificial sweetener. It’s very harmful to dogs and even a small amount can be toxic to them. If your dog manages to grab some sweets, and shows any signs of vomiting, lethargy, lack of coordination or seizures, contact your vet immediately. 


Shiny foil and plastic eggs can also be chewed and swallowed by pets and can cause an obstruction that may result in surgery. Symptoms of digestive obstruction include persistent vomiting, bloating, weight loss, weakness and dehydration. 

Hot Cross Buns

Hot cross buns are another popular Easter treat, but as they contain raisins and other dried fruits, they can lead to kidney failure in dogs if ingested.


cat sniffing tulips

Spring flowers like lilies, daffodils hyacinths, amaryllis and tulips may be pretty to look at, but are extremely toxic if eaten by your pet. Even drinking the water that they sit in can be dangerous if ingested.

If you think your pet has eaten any part of these flowers, especially if they shows signs of poisoning (vomiting, diarrhoea, seizures) take them to the vet immediately.

Visitor overload

Lots of people like to catch up with friends and loved ones over Easter, however some pets can be unsettled by lots of guests visiting their home.  Providing a safe quiet place for them to retreat to if they feel unsure will help keep them calm and relaxed.

Although it’s important for pet owners to be vigilant to the potential dangers above, Spring is a fabulous time of year as the days get longer and the temperature starts to rise. We hope that you and your pets enjoy the spring months ahead from everyone at the Dick Vet.

About the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies 

The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies is a one-of-a-kind centre of excellence in clinical activity, teaching and research. Our purpose-built campus, set against the backdrop of the beautiful Pentland Hills Regional Park, is home to more than 800 staff and almost 1400 students, all of whom contribute to our exceptional community ethos. 

The School comprises: 

The Roslin Institute 

The Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Systems 

The Roslin Innovation Centre 

The Hospital for Small Animals 

Equine Veterinary Services 

Farm Animal Services 

Easter Bush Pathology 

The Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education 

We represent the largest concentration of animal science-related expertise in Europe, impacting local, regional, national and international communities in terms of economic growth, the provision of clinical services and the advancement of scientific knowledge.