Easter fun with your dog!

Easter is a great time for families to gather, celebrate the season and enjoy making memories together. It’s also one of my favourite times of the year as I’m a huge fan of chocolate and especially chocolate eggs and bunnies! 

Two of my favourite things – Dogs and Chocolate sadly don’t go together. Easter is a particularly dangerous time of year for our furry friends and here are my top 4 things you need to keep an eye out for to ensure their safety. 

🐩 Chocolate – contains a chemical that can be poisonous to dogs and other animals. The darker the chocolate the higher the concentration of the chemical, toxicity and danger 

to your dog. Don’t be tempted to feed chocolate to your dog! Keep your chocolate out of reach of your dog. Make sure they don’t participate in the annual easter egg hunt – keep them on a lead if necessary. 

Remember where you hid ALL the eggs so that you can find them before your dog does! If you think your dog has eaten some chocolate consult your veterinarian for advice – make sure you know how much and when as this will help them in an emergency situation. 

🐩 Sultanas/Raisins – are toxic to dogs and are usually found in our favourite hot cross buns. Sometimes the effects from these potentially toxic dried fruits can be delayed by a few days. For the best advice always consult your veterinarian. 

Poisoning signs to watch out for – vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, off their food or having difficulty going to the toilet. 

🐩 Foil wrapping – encasing our chocolate easter eggs and making them look pretty, foil can cause an obstruction if eaten which may require surgical intervention if not passed naturally. 

🐩 Overwhelming groups of people – in recent times there haven’t been many opportunities for us to have large gatherings of people in our homes and some of our dogs may never have experienced this! 

Help you dog to stay calm and enjoy your gathering too by managing introductions with your visitors. 

Allow your dog to have some time-out space where they can get away from all the excitement; for example a crate, a kennel, or room in the house where they can go without being disturbed by your guests. 

There are lots of fun things you can do to enjoy Easter celebrations with your dog too! Here are some of my favourites: 

Make Doggie Easter eggs – a fun family activity is to create yummy dog safe easter egg treats for your best furry friend. 

They’re very easy to make and your dogs will love them! Easy to use Silicon egg moulds can be sourced from Indulge Cake Supplies locally in Browns Bay (http:// indulgecakesupplies. co.nz

 Easy Easter Dog Treat: 

1 cup peanut butter 
(Mutt Butter or Pics is best! Make sure it is “xylitol free” – as xylitol is extremely toxic for dogs) 

1 cup coconut oil 

Mix ingredients together in a microwave safe bowl; melt in microwave for 60 seconds. 

Stir to ensure completely melted together. Then pour mixture into moulds. 

Refrigerate for 2 hours until hardened. Store in refrigerator. 

Serve in moderation! Too much of a good thing is not good for your dog either. 

Buy an Easter themed toy – instead of food how about getting your dog an easter themed toy like the JW Mega Egg and spend time playing with them instead!
(https:// pawzperfect.co.nz/product/jw-mega-egg/

Hide ‘n Seek – a great way to provide enrichment for your dog is to hide a variety of things around your home or yard and have them seek them out. It’s very similar to the easter egg hunt for humans BUT with dog-safe toys and treats. Get the kids to hide out and see how long it takes for your dog to find them! 

Make sure you’ve removed all the chocolate easter eggs from the hunt first! 

Go for a Walk – walk off all the chocolate and take your dog for a walk to somewhere new! Remember to go prepared with a long lead, drinking water and poo bags! Some suggestions: Long Bay Beach, Orewa Beach, Sanders Reserve, Wainoni Park or perhaps a bush walk through Riverhead Forest. your dog! 

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