Got a touch of spring fever? Us too. And nothing says “spring is here!” quite like a dog-friendly Easter celebration.
There are so many ways to include your dog in your Easter festivities, from community-wide egg hunts to a special shared meal. Take a look at some of our top ideas to make this Easter one to remember.
Who says Easter egg hunts are just for kids? As an expert sniffer, your dog is bound to enjoy and excel at this popular springtime tradition.
Why go through the trouble? For one thing, it’s a great way to work his scent-tracking abilities. Since our dogs experience the world largely through their nose, encouraging Fido to use his impressive olfactory skills will keep him engaged and mentally stimulated.
Most of us could benefit from some extra exercise and fresh air, and your dog is no exception. Hosting an egg hunt is a terrific way to get your dog moving while boosting the bond you both share.
If you’re up for it, involve the neighbors and invite your dog’s buddies over (while practicing safe social distancing, of course.) And if it’s too cold out, feel free to take the hunt indoors.
Here are some more “eggs-cellent” tips for a memorable Easter egg hunt with your dog.
Serve up some real eggs
Did you know that eggs are actually good for your dog? According to the American Kennel Club, not only are eggs safe for our furry friends to nosh on, but they also offer an excellent source of protein, fatty acids, and vitamins.
So, go ahead and place some hardboiled eggs around the yard for your dog to find. He can even eat the shells if he’s so inclined, but feel free to peel them if that grosses you out. A few words of advice: limit the number of eggs your dog eats because too many could lead to major tummy trouble. Also, keep track of how many eggs you hide—you don’t want your dog getting at a months-old rotten egg if one accidentally gets left behind.
Plastic eggs are ok too, but be careful
Traditional plastic eggs are ideal for hiding a few of your dog’s favorite treats. They do, however, pose a choking risk, so proceed with caution. If your dog is an overactive chewer, real eggs are your best bet. Or just hide the treats without eggs (trust us—your dog won’t miss them.)
If you decide to go for plastic eggs, let the scent escape by poking a small hole in one end. It’s also not a bad idea to let your dog watch you while you work—it could help him get a better sense of what this game involves.
Keep things at your dog’s level
When choosing hiding spots for the eggs, keep your dog’s tracking ability in mind. If he’s a newbie, place the eggs where they can be spotted fairly easily. If the hunt is too challenging, it could cause your dog to lost interest, and nobody wants that.
Keep kids and dogs separate
We all know what happens when our dogs get into a stash of chocolate. Minimize the risk by hosting your dog’s egg hunt separately from your kids’ search. Alternatively, you can distinguish the doggy eggs with a pawprint sticker or special color.
Opt for smelly treats
Give your dog’s sniffer a hand by hiding only the most odor-ific treats around the yard. Fragrant kibbles are a great choice, as are bits of unseasoned chicken, nibbles of bacon, or small chunks of cheese.
Keep all dogs leashed
For safety reasons, this should be a joint effort, with both dog and owner participating. Keep your dog from swallowing something he shouldn’t by using his leash at all times.
Make your dog a spectacular Easter basket
Show your dog some love with a special basket filled with his favorite treats and toys. Or better yet—put your goodies in a new dog bed so your pup can take a well-deserved snooze after Easter dinner.
Avoid dangerous filler items like fake Easter “grass,” and cut off any tags and packaging on new toys. If swallowed, these choking hazards can cause intestinal obstruction, requiring an unpleasant vet visit—the literal opposite of how you want to spend your Easter holiday.
Here are some dog-approved ideas for Easter basket goodies:
- Puzzle feeders to keep his brain in tip-top shape
- A new outdoor toy to enjoy together (maybe this is the year your pooch masters frisbee?)
- A stylish new collar (think: spring colors and florals!)
- A pair of bunny ears (if your dog will tolerate them)
- Plush toys and chew toys
- Doggy ice cream
- Hardboiled eggs
- Doggy dental chews (to keep those pearly whites clean and healthy)
Commemorate your special time together with an Instagram-worthy photo sesh that will get all the “likes.” Gather some props (bunny ears are a given), and get snapping. You’ll probably need to take a lot of photos to land that perfect shot.
Treat your dog to a special Easter meal
Why not spoil your dog with something he really likes: food! There are plenty of nutritious human foods that are ok to share with our canine counterparts.
While ham is a popular entree at the Easter dinner table, it’s not the best meat to share with your dog. Healthier protein options include lamb, salmon, and chicken, provided, of course, they don’t have any seasoning or spices on them. If you’d like to serve your dog some meat or fish this holiday, remove his portion and cook it separately without oils or seasonings.
What else can you pile on your dog’s dinner plate?
Carrots are a doggy favorite. Feed them to your pooch raw or cooked, but again—no seasonings. For some extra vitamins, treat your dog to some green beans, peas, or brussel sprouts. Making your famous deviled eggs? This year, set aside one or two hardboiled eggs for Fido. To satisfy your dog’s sweet tooth, serve up some apple slices—minus the seeds and the core, which are toxic to dogs.
As you can see, Easter affords us the perfect excuse to show our dogs some extra love. No matter how you choose to celebrate, getting your dog involved is half the fun. How do you celebrate spring with your furry pal?