5 Easter foods that are toxic to dogs and what to do if they eat them

Chocolate and hot cross buns are just some of the Easter foods that could make dogs seriously ill.

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 10th April 2023

With Easter now drawing to a close, and households nationwide tucking into a feast of chocolate treats and festive leftovers, we need to make sure keep an eye on those food vacuums.

And by food vacuums, we of course mean our four-legged friends.

We all know that a lot of themed foods and sugary goodness tends to get consumed over the Easter period, and with so much to make your way through, it can be tempting to treat your dogs to some of the leftovers.

But did you know that some common Easter foods can actually make them seriously ill? This is why it’s so important to know which ones should be avoided.

Whilst it’s perfectly fine to offer your pooch small snacks in moderation, there’s lots of foods around at this time of year that your dog may help themselves to if they aren’t stored away, and many of them are extremely toxic – so pet expert and founder of, John Smith, has highlighted which are dangerous for our dogs, what to do if they do consume them, and some of the safer choices to dogs as a well-deserved treat.


Here’s five Easter foods that are toxic to dogs.

Did you know that some common Easter foods can actually make dogs seriously ill? / Credit: Pxfuel

1. Chocolate

Chocolate is obviously one of the most popular treats to find in homes during Easter, but it contains a chemical called theobromine, which is seriously harmful to dogs, and this means that eating even a small amount of chocolate can have serious consequences and result in symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and death in some serious cases.


2. Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns are another delicious Easter food that should be kept far away as most contain dried fruit such as raisins, sultanas, and currants, which are toxic to dogs.

The reasons behind why these fruits are toxic is a bit of a mystery, as some dogs have eaten large amounts of dried fruit without feeling unwell, whereas others have become unwell after eating just a small amount – but John says it’s “definitely best to err on the side of caution” and make your own buns using a vet-approved dog-friendly recipe that you can enjoy together as a family without fear.

3. Cooked Bones

Cooked bones come with serious health risks for dogs.


Although they aren’t poisonous, they’re prone to splitting when gnawed and chewed, and this can lead to bone fragments getting stuck in their throats – which can result in choking.

4. Bulb Vegetables

Bulb vegetables are a roast dinner essential, but those such as onions and garlic can cause nasty stomach upsets for dogs, and in some cases, can even cause red blood cell damage, so it’s better to keep them on your plate and out of your pets’ mouths.

5. Meat Skin

It may be tempting to give your dog skin from the leftover chicken, or a fatty piece of meat – but this is far too rich for their tummies, and in some of the worst cases, it can cause inflammation of their pancreas.

Properly-cooked boneless pieces of chicken added to their dog food bowl is a better way to involve them in the Easter fun without risking their health. 

What should I do if my pet has eaten something it shouldn’t have?

Even if your pet has only eaten a small amount of these foods, it’s important to do the following:  

  1. Call the vet straight away – Don’t wait for your pet to start showing symptoms. A vet will be able to offer advice, and the quicker you act, the better chance your pet will have of recovery.
  2. Note the time and quantity of food ingested – Provide the vet with as much information as you can. This includes the time your pet ate the unsafe food, brand names, the ingredient list and how much you think they consumed.
  3. Don’t try to make your pet sick – Attempting this can cause further health complications. Leave this to your vet, as they are trained to do this in a safe manner.

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John adds that dog owners should “keep any dangerous Easter foods well out of paws reach in a high cupboard”, and check that floors are “clear of toxic food scraps” that children may have dropped during Easter egg hunts and parties.

Featured Image – Wallpaper Flare | Liliana Fuchs (via Flickr)