Pet pet owners are being warned to beware hot cross buns this Easter - because they’re potentially deadly to dogs.
Most dog lovers are aware that chocolate - including that from Easter Eggs - is toxic for their canine chums.
But hot cross buns should not be seen as safe alternative holiday treat for our four-legged friends - because they contain ingredients that can poison a pooch.
The offending items found in hot cross bun are raisins, sultanas, lemon zest and the spice nutmeg.
And Jennifer Dean, animal nutritionist with pet food brand Webbox Natural, says it’s vital Brits are aware of the dangers.
She explained: “There have been some good advice campaigns in recent years about the risks posed by chocolate to dogs.
“But other toxic foodstuffs are potentially less well known.
“And hot cross buns in particular may be extremely dangerous to pets.
“Raisins and sultanas found in the snacks can cause sudden kidney failure in dogs, and cats.
“The precise reasons why are still not clear, but there’s a toxic agent in the fruit that can also lead to diarrhoea, vomiting and extreme lethargy.
“Some hot cross buns will also contain lots of nutmeg. Unfortunately that spice contains a compound called Myristicin which can poison dogs if consumed in large amounts - such as might happen if your pet were to raid your baked goods.
“In extreme cases dogs can experience hallucinations, increased heart rate and blood pressure, dry mouth, abdominal pain, and even seizures.
“Meanwhile lemon zest used in hot cross buns will also not sit well with your animal.
“Citrus fruits are toxic to both dogs and cats and can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and depression.
“The long story short is that there are plenty of safe, nutritious treats available for your pet this easter that avoids you having to give them ‘human’ food.
“Enjoy the holiday - and make sure your pet does, too.”
When it comes to Easter Eggs, chocolate contains the compound theobromine, which is also present in tea and coca cola.
While humans can metabolise theobromine at a fast enough rate that it isn’t harmful, dogs have a slower metabolic rate and cannot.
That means dogs run the risk of suffering vomiting, diarrhoea, seizures and even death.
If you suspect your dog has consumed something toxic, you should consult a vet immediately.
Besides Easter food, Jennifer and Webbox Natural also recently warned cat owners that they risk giving their feline food poisoning by leaving wet food out for it all day.
Jennifer explained: “If you’re leaving wet food down all day, it runs the risk of developing a bacterial infestation.
“Dry food, because it has a lower moisture content, is less likely to proliferate bacteria, particularly at a quick rate.
“But leaving wet food out all day is the equivalent of us leaving a packet of ham out all day and then eating it in the evening.
“And we’re talking about the same types of bacteria that cause food poisoning in humans, such as Campylobacter.
“Cats and dogs have a far higher tolerance than humans, but it could still make the animal unwell and cause vomiting and diarrhoea.
“And remember that bacteria breeds rapidly at room temperature and above - which is worth noting if you’re leaving food out in your conservatory during the summer months….”