VETS are warning pet owners to be wary of their furry friends this weekend, with many popular Easter treats spelling danger for dogs and cats.
Dr Brooke Schampers from Animal Emergency Service said vets often saw an increase in patients over the Easter weekend.
"It usually starts in the days leading up to Easter when the parents have bought the Easter eggs and hidden them around the house," she said.
"Particularly (on) Sunday morning, the pets can find the Easter eggs long before the children have got out of bed."
Dr Schamper said even small amounts of chocolate could be harmful to dogs and cats.
Severity of damage depended on dose, size of the pet and type of chocolate, with dark chocolate being worse for pets due to the toxic component theobromine found in cocoa.
"If pets have gotten into any kind of chocolate it's really important to call the vet and let them know the approximate weight of the pet, the type of chocolate and how much cocoa is present," Dr Schamper said.
"That way we can capture what kind of dose they've had and what kind of signs to anticipate.
"If they've gotten into any kind of chocolate, get them down to the vet for assessment."
Dr Schamper said signs of chocolate consumption could include hyperactivity, vomiting and diarrhoea.
"In really high doses it can cause them to have an increased heart rate and for them to start showing some really dangerous heart rhythms, and then they can seizure and die," she said.
Hot cross buns were also cause for concern with grapes and raisins being highly toxic to dogs and cats.
"They've even found that just two raisins can send pets straight into renal failure," Dr Schamper said.
"It is pretty serious because once they do get into kidney injuries and kidney disease, it's a long time in hospital and a really big recovery period."
Lilies could also cause renal failure in cats, she said.
She advised pet owners not to try to induce vomiting at home, but to take their pets to the vet immediately if they may have ingested anything toxic.
"With chocolate, you'll start to see clinical signs within half an hour or so," she said.
"(With grapes and raisins) by the time they start showing clinical signs it's usually too late to make any drastic changes to those kidneys.
"That's why getting them to the vets before they show signs is always advisable (so) treatment and cost will be reduced."
Dr Schamper said dog fights could also occur where families gathered and lots of pets were around.
Keep your pets safe over the Easter weekend
- Keep rooms with Easter eggs closed off and put chocolates high up where pets cannot reach them.
- Take pets to the vet immediately if they may have ingested or been exposed to toxic substances including lilies, chocolate and grapes/raisins, even if they are not showing symptoms.
- Do not try to induce vomiting.
- Keep an eye on your pets if other dogs are around.