Easter is just on the horizon and with it are all the festivities and treats that we enjoy. But, you must also consider the safety of your dog. While children are good at finding eggs and treats during the annual hunt, dogs are even better. Hiding eggs around the home and out in the yard will undoubtedly leads to a few that aren’t found at the end of the day. Even you may not be sure that every single one was found. Because of this, there are a few precautions you should take before you start the hunt, or your dog may enjoy a few treats they shouldn’t.
Chocolate bunnies and treats
While a tasty favorite amongst kids and adults, chocolate can be extremely dangerous for dogs. Since it would be unfair to deprive your children of some enjoyment, you can take a few precautions instead. Avoid hiding chocolate in hidden eggs during the hunt. Instead, control the delivery and disposal of chocolate based items. Candy bars, bunnies, and other sweets can be offered in their own basket- away from your dogs. Be sure that any wrappers are picked up and disposed of properly. Be aware: one of the most inconspicuous treat that is hidden is the tiny chocolate eggs that are wrapped in shiny foil. These can be easily overlooked or forgotten in the grass or house. Avoid using these treats at all, and instead stick to treats that can be contained in larger eggs or that aren’t chocolate-based.
Paper or plastic?
Something commonly overlooked is the decorative contents of an Easter basket. Grass helps to soften and enrich the experience, and is a main ingredient for Easter baskets. Most artificial grass is plastic, which can be harmful if ingested by a dog. Instead, use paper or even natural grass as a substitute for your basket. Not only is it better for the environment, but is also much safer in case your dog manages to get a mouthful. This should be taken only as a precaution, since dogs shouldn’t be allowed to indulge themselves on your basket’s contents in the first place.
A new chew toy
This also brings up another concern. Plastic is a very inedible substance, but many Easter eggs are now commonly composed of this product. They’re cheap, convenient, and can contain any range of goodies. When eaten, however, they can also splinter and turn into dangerously sharp objects if your dog discovers them first. The egg is a classic of Easter, so needless to say, hardboiled or confetti filled shells are also on the venue for the hunt. These should be kept out of your dog’s reach at all times, especially since they smell good enough to eat. One of the best precautions you can take prior to the hunt is to count the eggs you place around the home and yard. (After all, a hardboiled egg will eventually become a stinky issue within a few days.) Once the hunt is over, take the time to count what was found, and keep an eye out for any strays before they find their way into a hungry mouth.
During the hunt
Many dogs enjoy running around with their family members, but the Easter egg hunt may not be the right time to let them interact. Dog’s may jump up on children or try to take goodies away from them. For everyone’s safety, it may be best to put them in a secure location with food and water while the hunt is on. You can let them out afterward, but keep an eye on them and be quick to take any lost eggs away before they become a dangerous snack.
Because it is Easter, why not treat your pup to their own hunt. Take a few of their healthy treats and hide them around a certain room. You may even want to toss in a toy or two. Be sure that you use a fluff-less toy so they won’t be inclined to fill their belly with stuffing. Then set them loose and let them have their own Easter fun hunting treats that are good for them. One thing to consider is that you shouldn’t involve multiple dogs in the same hunt. They may become aggressive with each other, especially if you are hosting a friend’s or neighbor’s dog as well.
Any dog lover wants their best friend to participate in all aspects of their life. But, sometimes we have to take into consideration the safety of our companion. Though they can be extremely smart and clever, a dog’s belly doesn’t always know the difference between safe and dangerous. Make your Easter hunt something that everyone can enjoy, even if they can’t do it at the same time.