Easter is the time of year when you can pretty much guarantee the house is going to be full of chocolate - which makes the kids pretty happy!
But it’s not so great for your dogs - because chocolate contains theobromine which is toxic to our canine friends, and can cause vomiting & diarrhoea, and in some cases seizures and heart problems.
As a general rule, the darker the chocolate, the more theobromine it contains, so it’s really important to be vigilant at this time of year.
After all, you don’t want an expensive emergency trip to the vets over the Easter weekend.
So what can we do to keep our dogs safe AND have a good time this Easter?
PART ONE: KEEP YOUR DOGS SAFE
Keep Chocolate out of Reach
Firstly and most importantly, make sure you keep chocolate out of reach of your dogs. If you have small humans, make sure they enjoy their Easter eggs sitting at the dining table or well away from your dogs, so that you can monitor the situation and make sure nothing is dropped.
Count the Easter Eggs
We all love a good Easter egg hunt, so my top tip here is to count the number of eggs you have before hiding them. Then you'll know exactly how many need to be found and there won't be anything left behind for your dog to sniff out later.
Keep your dog busy during Easter Egg Hunt
You should also make sure your Easter egg hunt takes place away from your dog where they can't accidentally get to the chocolate! An example would be to arrange the Easter Egg Hunt in your garden, but keep your dog amused indoors with a few brain games while the hunt is taking place.
Alternatively, you could give them a yummy pizzle or frozen Kong to keep them occupied while the kids are having fun looking for Easter eggs
Be aware of Spring Flower Dangers
It's lovely to see all the spring flowers at Easter, but do be aware that many are poisonous to dogs. Tulips, Daffodils Spring crocus, snowdrops and bluebells are all dangerous and can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, and in some cases cardiac arrhythmia (daffodils) or organ failure (crocus). Make sure the flowers and bulbs are kept well out of reach of your dog - and don't let them drink the water your flowers have been in as they can also ingest the toxins in this way.
PART TWO: HOW CAN YOUR DOGS ENJOY EASTER?
Make Dog Friendly Snacks
If you want to give your dog a treat this Easter, why not make them their very own dog friendly Easter snacks to enjoy? I have two recommendations for easy recipes to try:
Easter Doggy Biscuits
it’s really easy to make your doggy some Easter biscuits - all you need is a themed biscuit cutter such as an egg or rabbit shape.
1 banana (mashed), 50g oats, 4tbsp peanut butter (xylitol and palm oil free*), 100g coconut flour, 1 egg.
- Preheat oven to 160 degrees
- Combine the banana, peanut butter and egg in a mixing bowl
- Add the oats and coconut flour to make a sticky dough. You may need to use more or less flour to get the right consistency
- Roll out onto a lightly floured surface and then cut into shapes using your cutters
- Place on baking tray and bake for 15 minutes
Treats can be kept in an airtight container for 2-3 days. To give your dog an additional treat you could decorate the biscuits with a little extra peanut butter
Recipe credit: Potter Paws Dog Training
Frozen Fruity Yoghurt Eggs
you’ll need an Easter-egg shaped silicon tray (the type you use for ice-cubes or chocolate making).
Banana (chopped), blueberries, Greek yoghurt, dog-friendly peanut butter*
Simply mix everything together in a mixing bowl. Spoon the mix into the silicon tray, then freeze for a few hours to solidify.
*make sure your peanut butter does not contain xylitol or palm oil, which are harmful for dogs. Peanut butter should be 100% peanuts and/or marked as dog-friendly
Buy a Doggy Easter Egg
You can of course also buy dog-friendly Easter eggs! Make sure you check they are specifically made for dogs, but be aware they are probably not too healthy, so just give them a little bit each day.
Arrange a dog-friendly egg hunt!
Embrace your dog’s sniffing skills - after the kids have done their chocolate egg hunt, why not hide some of your dog-friendly Easter snacks for your pooch to sniff out? It’s a great way to provide some enrichment AND the added benefit is that after all that thinking and sniffing, your dog will be quite happy to snooze the afternoon away while you settle down to a nice Easter lunch with the family!
Do you have any great tips for a dog friendly Easter? Let me know in the comments!