With Easter only a few days away, we wanted to share some fun ways you can involve your dog in the celebrations, while avoiding common dangers associated with this time of the year.
This spring holiday brings so many things we love to indulge in! From chocolate to hot cross buns, Easter tends to be the time to enjoy a variety of yummy treats that you definitely don’t want your dog getting its paws on.
To help keep your dog safe, this guide to navigating Easter with a dog will share pet-friendly activities, things to avoid and helpful advice for if things go wrong. Enjoy!
A guide to Easter for dogs:How do you celebrate Easter with a dog?
How do you celebrate Easter with a dog?
Our dogs are important members of the family, so you don’t want to leave them out of all the fun! There are lots of ways to enjoy Easter with your dog, you just have to adapt your celebrations so that they're pet-friendly and keep your dog’s health and wellbeing in mind.
Pet-friendly Easter activities for dogs:
1. Easter Egg Hunt 🐰
Easter egg hunts are a popular activity that provide chocolate-filled fun for all of the family! On the surface, this might seem like a celebration that your dog can’t get involved in, but this simply isn’t the case! All you have to do is swap out chocolate eggs for dog treats, then hide the treats in different spots around the house or garden.
These days, there are a variety of easter eggs for dogs to buy which are safe on tums. Alternatively you can play this game with your dog’s favourite treats, or with de-shelled hard boiled eggs to stay on trend! This Easter celebration is essentially a variation of the popular brain game ‘hide and seek’, providing a great opportunity to test your dog’s focus and scent.
Important: If you do plan on having a normal hunt using chocolate eggs, it’s crucial for your dog to steer clear! Keep your pup in a separate area while the kids seek out the eggs, and double check that all chocolate eggs have been found before allowing your dog back into the same area.
2. Spring Dog Walk 🍃
There’s nothing better than starting the day outdoors with a leisurely walk in nature. Everyone can get involved in this pet-friendly activity, and you can make it even more special by heading to a new park or unexplored area.
There are lots of scenic walking routes to discover across the UK, so whether you want to enjoy an off lead walk or find an open space to play fetch, an Easter dog walk provides the perfect opportunity!
Heading out early in the morning can be a great way to enjoy all that spring has to offer… Picture the birds chirping and smells of flowers blooming. It’s also the perfect solution to help your dog burn off energy and excitement (something you'll be thankful for later in the day!).
3. Easter Picnic 🧺
If blessed with a perfect spring day, an Easter picnic can be a lovely way to celebrate this holiday with pup. After a long walk, find a quiet spot where you can lay down a blanket and tuck into delicious snacks from the picnic basket.
Not only does an Easter picnic give you more time outdoors enjoying nature, it can also be a great time to engage in fun games with your dog.
Don’t forget to take an assortment of your pup’s favourite toys for both interactive and independent play. That way, you can spend some time playing with your dog, but also keep pup entertained when it comes time to eat and chat with friends and family.
Easter picnic checklist:
- Picnic blanket / rug
- Picnic basket
- Dog treats
- Dog bowl & plenty of water
- Pick up bags
- Ball and rope for Tug of War
- Ball thrower for fetch
- Squeaky toys to keep pup entertained
4. Themed Dog Biscuits 🍪
Biscuits can make for some of the best Easter treats for dogs! Not only are these treats easy to bake, they can also be crafted in Easter themed shapes and designs - think carrots, bunnies and eggs!
There are lots of dog treat recipes to try out at home, or you can receive a complimentary Easter themed biscuit (courtesy of Mr Marley's Bakery) when you make a purchase with Barc London between 15th - 17th April.
Can I get my dog an Easter egg?
If you want to treat your dog to an Easter egg, it’s important to buy one that has been specifically made for dogs. A chocolate easter egg is a big no-no because chocolate is poisonous to dogs. The most common alternative to chocolate is carob, which is a pet-friendly version free from toxic theobromine.
❌ Easter dangers for dogs:
As we mentioned, unfortunately Easter for dogs can involve some potential dangers you should aim to avoid! It’s important to be aware of things that are toxic and harmful to dogs as you engage in pet-friendly activities and celebrations. The list of Easter dangers for dogs includes:
- Sunday lunch 🍽️ - Avoid giving your dog Sunday roast leftovers like the scraps of fatty meats
- Plastic or raw eggs 🥚 - Plastic eggs are not a good alternative to chocolate eggs as they are potential choking hazards and digestive blockers
- Spring flowers 🌷 - Many people are surprised to find out that lilies are highly toxic to dogs and cats. You should also avoid daffodils, amaryllis and tulips, as all of these flowers can be poisonous if ingested
- Sweets and chocolate 🍬 - Many sweet treats include Xylitol, an artificial sweetener which can be harmful for dogs, even in small amounts. The same goes for chocolate, but more on that can be read below
- Hot cross buns 🥐 - These Easter bakes can be particularly dangerous, as dogs don’t always show symptoms until weeks after ingestion has occurred
Can dogs eat sultanas and currants?
No, dogs cannot eat grape derivatives like sultanas, currants and raisins. All of these dried fruits can produce high levels of toxins which can be potentially poisonous for dogs. Ingesting sultanas and currants can cause kidney damage in dogs and in extreme cases, result in kidney failure.
Hot cross buns are traditionally enjoyed over the Easter period, but these baked goods include dried fruits, so it’s crucial to keep them stored out of your dog’s reach. If you have children, you should also explain the importance of keeping these treats well away from your dog.
Can dogs eat chocolate?🍫
Chocolate is poisonous to dogs, so it’s important to not allow your dog to ingest chocolate over the Easter period or any other time of the year. As mentioned, chocolate contains an ingredient called theobromine, which is highly toxic to dogs as it is not able to be broken down or metabolised.
This ingredient can affect different parts of a dog’s body, mainly damaging the gut, heart, kidneys and central nervous system.
Can dogs die from chocolate?
In extreme cases, yes. Theobromine can negatively impact several different aspects of a dog’s health, and even small amounts of chocolate can cause symptoms like:
- Decreased appetite
- Nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea
- Tremors and seizures
- Heart problems
- Abdominal pain
What should I do if I think my dog has been poisoned?
If you suspect that your dog has eaten something it shouldn’t, it’s crucial to act quickly and make contact with a nearby veterinarian. If you witnessed your dog ingest a toxic food, take note of the time, exactly what they have eaten and how much. All of these details will be hugely useful for your vet.
In the event you didn’t see your dog eat anything, but he or she is showing signs or symptoms of poisoning, err on the side of caution and get in touch with your vet straight away. It’s likely that your vet will want you to bring your dog in immediately for a checkup, so it’s vital not to delay.
The RSPCA offers lots of advice to help you find a qualified vet quickly. If you need an emergency contact late in the night or early in the morning, PetGP provides a 24-hour phone service that works like NHS Direct for pets.
Simply phone 03333 327 884 to access immediate advice from UK-qualified veterinary nurses.
Love celebrating Easter with your pup?