Kingstonist’s Wizard of Paws: Easter and pets

Veterinarian Dr. Ryan Llera with his own bunny, Henrietta.


Easter is coming… Much like winter bringing danger for our friends on Game of Thrones, Easter can bring multiple dangers for our animal friends. The fact is, Easter holiday time can be problematic for companion animals for a number reasons. Let’s have a look:


The Easter basket – These are typically full of goodies and maybe even some fake Easter grass. Much like we worry about tinsel or string with cats, Easter grass does the same thing – it can kill. And who doesn’t love chocolate? Everyone loves a chocolate bunny and other candies, but if your pets get into them, an upset stomach and poisoning can happen.


Easter lilies – Cats are always curious, but particularly for them at this time of year when people are trying to beautify their homes or remember the season. The leaves, petals, and stems of Easter lilies are all toxic and can lead to kidney failure within hours, or in the worst cases death. Dogs are not as affected and typically only develop signs of vomiting and diarrhea. It’s best to avoid some plants in general and you can check the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center website for a list of toxic & non-toxic plants before choosing which plants or flowers to enjoy at home.


Cute animals – When people think of Easter, often images of baby ducks and bunnies come to mind. Impulsively, some people want to get these cute baby animals for their kids or for themselves, but the problem is these animals grow up. At that point, some people don’t feel they are cute enough anymore or aren’t ready to shoulder the responsibility of caring for them properly. It’s at this point that many of them are often set loose or dumped at an animal shelter. That’s probably the story of what happened to my rabbit Henrietta; a domesticated bunny wandering loose in the wild probably set free after Easter. If you want something cute, get a stuffed toy or be fully committed to learning and caring for it for the next several years.


I hope you all enjoy a safe and fun-filled Easter weekend with family and pets. Springtime is finally here, and you should enjoy it to the fullest.  And if you want someone to pretend to be the Easter bunny, I’m sure your dog or cat will look cute with a set of long ears!



Dr. Ryan Llera is a small animal veterinarian at the Kingston Veterinary Clinic. Though originally from Florida, he married a Canadian (who is also a vet!) and they share their home with two cats, two dogs, two horses, and a rabbit. Dr. Llera also contributes writing to various other animal and veterinary related blogs. You can find more of his writing at, or see what else he is up to on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Disclaimer: All columns are personally written and my opinion, and may not necessarily reflect those of current or former employers.


If there’s something you’ve often wondered or questions you have about regarding pets, let us know by email at [email protected].

*Please note that specific medical questions about your pet cannot be addressed and you should speak with your personal veterinarian.

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