Easter egg hunts and baskets are two traditions that make Easter one of the cutest and sweetest of holidays, especially for children. Yet everything we love about these traditions presents hidden dangers for your dog.
Easter Egg Hunt: Children dressed up in their Sunday best racing across the yard searching for real or plastic eggs with hidden candies. It’s as fun to watch as it is for the kids to participate. However, for your dog, the Easter egg hunt is a minefield of dangerous plastics and foods.
Plastic eggs are easily cracked by dogs and break up into sharp edges that can pose a serious threat to your dog’s digestive track. The candies or chocolate inside are equally as dangerous if consumed, as chocolate is lethal for dogs. While real eggs are safe foods for dogs, eaten whole and in large quantities may cause a stomach ache and potentially vomiting.
To prevent your dog from finding and consuming any eggs (real or plastic) on Easter, we recommend counting all of the eggs before you hide them. Then when the Easter hunt is over, recount all of the eggs that the children found and go search for any remainders. That way, there is nothing for your dog to find the next day. During the hunt, your dog should be kept safety inside, at a friend’s house or at doggy daycare.
Easter Baskets: Children wake up on Easter morning to find a basket filled with fake grass, candies, and a stuffed or chocolate bunny (sometimes both!). This fun-filled basket can be a serious health risk to your dog.
As we know, chocolate is life threatening to dogs, and how tempting is that large chocolate bunny to a dog? Very. If you opt for a stuffed bunny, remember that your dog may think it’s for him and decide to rip it apart for fun. The stuffing in children’s toys is not designed for dogs and could be toxic. The fake grass is also a hazard. If consumed, it can cause harm to the digestive track and be a choking hazard.
Before Easter, talk to your children about keeping the basket away from the family dog. Let them know that they cannot share the contents of their basket with their dog or leave the basket unattended. When they are finished going through the basket, it should be kept in a place that the dog cannot reach.
If you think your dog will feel left out, create a doggy friendly basket for your dog with dog biscuits and a stuffed bunny made just for him — or her.
Andrea Servadio is co-founder of Fitdog Sports Club in Santa Monica.