Easter is a time for fun with the whole family. It is also a time for traditions, treats and treasure hunts. Increasingly, families are including their dogs in these festivities, but sadly, some of the foods, treats and practices are not safe for canine consumption. But do not despair. A dog-friendly Easter is possible. Substitutes have been found for the potentially toxic ingredients in the traditional treats. Games and toys have also been devised to entertain your pooch or pack, and costumes have been designed for the family photo shoot.
A happy Easter is just a few clicks away with online shopping. Delivery personnel delight in meeting your dogs. All you have to do is ensure that you get to the parcel before your pet does… here is what to get your dog for Easter.
How to celebrate Easter with your dog (what to get them)
Treats you can get your dog for Easter
There are a number of substitutes for chocolate, and your dog won’t even know what it is missing. Carob is tasty, and has the look and feel of chocolate. It is safe for dogs and can be molded into shapes that will fool even the most discerning dog. Hatchwells is a trusted brand name for dog Easter eggs (view on Amazon) that are made without cocoa or gluten. You can order a giant egg or a carton of a half dozen smaller eggs so that you can spread the treats out over the entire long weekend.
For a less traditional treat, on a warm spring day, try Puppy Scoops carob ice cream, also available on Amazon.
Hot cross buns that are safe for dogs are more difficult to acquire. You may have to import a batch or two, or consider making them yourself. Hopefully, you will have more success than the rock hard buns I produced. I gave one to my dog and he buried it! Try ordering from Whole Food Hounds in Australia. Browse their catalogue for other seasonal treats, too.
Toys you can get your dog for Easter
If your dog is on a diet, you may want to shift the emphasis to toys, rather than treats. Midlee has a set of plushies on Amazon, suitable for small dogs, in the form of a basket, bunny, egg and carrot. Each toy squeaks and can be hidden for the treasure hunt, and stored tidily in the basket afterwards.
Peeps for Pets has made the traditional American Easter candy available to dogs, in toy form (view on Amazon). These colourful bunnies come in vinyl or plushie form, with or without squeakers.
For larger dogs there are ropes and balls, that are designed to last a bit longer. These tennis balls, decorate with carrots will keep the memories of Easter alive for a while (click the image below).
These chew toys, designed to look like carrots, will keep your puppy occupied for hours. They are therapeutic for teething dogs. The rope helps to keep their teeth cleaned, soothes emerging molars and strengthens their jaw muscles. If you are travelling with your dogs, these chew toys will keep them occupied for many happy hours on the road. Again, click the image to see the prices and reviews.
What to get your dog to wear at Easter
In the age of Instagram, you want your dog to dress for the occasion. These Easter-themed bandanas will add to the festive cheer.
If your dog is a sociable animal, you may consider treating him or her to an Easter weekend at Holiday Barn Pet Resort. They provide a safe environment with plenty of exercise and pet-friendly Easter treats. Dogs have so much fun there, they will hardly miss you so you can spend a stress free time with human companions.
But just a word of warning…
Why Easter is dangerous for dogs
Pets are part of the family, and it is only fair that they be included in the festivities. However, not much of the traditional fare is suitable for canine consumption. Firstly, from a dog’s perspective, chocolate is a toxin. Train your family, from the toddler to grandma, not to cave in and feed the dog any part of an Easter egg. It could prove fatal.
If, heaven forbid, the egg is a low carbohydrate, artificially sweetened product, this could be doubly dangerous. Many dogs have died from ingesting even small amounts of xylotol.
The packaging of chocolate Easter eggs, particularly the foil covering and artificial grass trim, is not dog friendly. If your dog should ferret out any of the eggs hidden for the hunt, chances are good that they will swallow one or the other.
No matter how much your pooch begs, do not feed it hot cross buns. Grapes and their derivatives, such as raisins, are potentially hazardous for dogs, and can cause kidney injury or failure. Although the nutmeg in a hot cross bun may seem negligible, it does have hallucinogenic properties. Even small amounts could increase your dog’s heart rate and blood pressure.
Dogs’ digestive systems were not designed to process carbohydrates, especially refined flour and sugar. Leavened breads and buns are also likely to cause them to experience bloat which can be very uncomfortable. It may be tempting to ‘spoil’ Fido by giving him the lamb or pork leg bone to chew. It is never a good idea to give dogs large cooked bones as they tend to splinter and could pierce their intestines. The legs of the Cornish hen would be a better choice.
Header image from https://pixabay.com/photos/australian-shepherd-aussie-shepherd-2208371/