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How to have a dog friendly Easter

April 8, 2020

Easter can be a tempting time for dogs who don’t know that chocolate can harm them. Here’s how to have a dog friendly Easter.

Why is chocolate harmful to dogs? 

Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine, which is similar to caffeine and is toxic to dogs. Even a small amount of chocolate can poison a dog and cause agitation, hyper-excitability, tremors, convulsions and heart failure. 

Your dog is at risk if they eat more than 3.5 grams of dark chocolate – that’s one square – or 14 grams of milk chocolate – that’s roughly five squares. White chocolate doesn’t contain enough theobromine to pose a risk to dogs, but it does pose a risk of pancreatitis so should also be avoided. If you suspect your dog has been poisoned, you should immediately contact your vet

To protect your dog from the harmful effects of chocolate, it’s really important to make sure that Easter eggs are kept out of your dog’s reach. Make sure your children are aware of the dangers and keep their chocolate stash carefully locked away. 

Also watch out for ingredients such as sultanas, which are used to make hot cross buns. Sultanas, currants and raisins are on the list of human foods that dogs can’t eat

Easter treats for your dog

As dogs are part of the family too, there’s plenty of things to do to involve them in the Easter celebrations. Here’s some suggestions: 

Dog friendly Easter eggs

Your dog can still enjoy a chocolate treat – but made from ingredients that are safe for dogs. You can buy dog friendly Easter eggs from pet shops and online retailers. They are made from carob, rather than chocolate. Alternatively, if you’re feeling creative, you could try making an Easter egg for your dog. Watch those calories though – dogs can easily pile on the pounds if they have too many treats, which is bad for their health

Dog friendly Easter hunt

You can do away with the traditional chocolate and replace it with tasty dog treats for your dog to sniff out in the house or garden. To keep with an Easter theme, you can use fillable plastic Easter eggs for this and fill with your dog’s favourite treats. However, if you think your dog may chew or swallow the plastic eggs, you should play safe and just hide the treats instead. Place the treats around the house or garden and then tell your dog to go fetch! Here’s some more ideas for entertaining your dog at home.

Dog friendly baking

If you’re a bit of star baker, why not try making your dog some biscuits. Invest in some Easter-themed cookie cutters and some dog biscuit recipes and away you go. Here’s some recipe books that contain great recipes for homemade dog treats:

Easter-themed cookie cutters

The Happy Dog Cookbook by Sean McCormack

Tasty Treats for Happy Dogs by Henrietta Morisson

However you choose to celebrate Easter, we wish you a happy, dog friendly time.