Hot cross buns are toxic for dogs so don’t give in to their puppy eyes

As UK households start stocking up on hot cross buns for the Easter weekend, vets have issued a stark reminder to pet owners that raisins are toxic for dogs.

Vets are keen to avoid the annual spike of emergency treatment in dogs who have fallen sick after eating raisins, and are reminding the public to keep the sweet treats out of reach. It has been warned that ‘just one raisin can kill a susceptible dog’ but it is still not known exactly what causes the poisonous effect in the fruit.

Dog owners have described their ‘scary’ experiences of having to rush their beloved pets to the emergency vet before the dried fruit had severe consequences.

Nicole Hellyer, from Camberley in Surrey, has warned other dog owners against leaving packets of hot cross buns on the side, after she had to rush her two dogs to an emergency vet. Despite there being a stair gate to the kitchen, four-year-old Timmy, a labrador-cockapoo cross, and five-year-old Sydney, a Jack Russell, managed to grab the buns from the kitchen worktop and shared them.

Nicole, 35, said: ‘When I got in the floor was covered in mess and when I walked into the bedroom, I found empty wrappers from the hot cross buns. ‘I got them straight in the car but although the dogs seemed fine – Timmy seemed full of beans, Sydney was just a little more worse for wear – I was so worried on the drive there.’

Both dogs were given an injection to make them vomit and were well enough to return home later. Nicole said: ‘It’s a real wake-up call as to what can happen, especially as Timmy is a crafty one. I’d warn other owners not to leave hot cross buns around at any time.’

In another case, Amy James-Moore from Winchester, Hampshire, took her 18-month-old labrador Hetty to see the vet after she demolished half a pack. Amy said: ‘I spotted the bag was empty and the children promised they hadn’t eaten them. ‘I knew right away it was bad news. The vet made her sick and you could see a huge amount of raisins coming up. ‘She was feeling a bit sorry for herself and it was so scary as you just don’t know what might happen.’

Dr Laura Playforth, professional standards director for out-of-hours pet care firm Vets Now, said: ‘It’s unclear exactly what causes the toxic effects of raisins but just one can kill a susceptible dog so real caution should be taken with foods, like hot cross buns, that contain them. ‘The good news is the prognosis for grape and raisin toxicity is generally good if treated early.’

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