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The post was originally published March 28, 2018 and was updated March 25, 2020.
Are you getting ready to hide colorful eggs in the yard for the kids? Do you miss the candy extravaganza of your childhood Easters? Do you want your dog to have a great Easter, too? Of course you do! Fortunately, it’s not hard to recreate Easter fun at home with your dog. Dogs love a good Easter egg hunt. You know—minus the candy.
With some basic safety precautions, your dog can enjoy an Easter egg hunt of his own this year. Read on for tips, tricks, and fun ideas for including your dog in your backyard Easter celebrations.
Real eggs are a kind of superfood for dogs, so your dog can absolutely partake in some boiled egg goodness. The yolk and whites are good for a dog’s health—and even the shell, as it turns out, which contains calcium.
Cooking eggs reduces the risk of salmonella, and is generally less messy, to be honest. However, some dog owners swear by raw eggs for their dogs. Check with your vet if in doubt. Also, keep your dog’s egg intake to a reasonable amount, as too many eggs could cause tummy upset.
Alternatively, you can stuff plastic eggs with stinky, yummy dog treats, which provide a great opportunity for teaching scent work. Ingredients such as bits of cheese, hot dog, or real chicken would entice most dogs to find the source of the deliciousness. Regular dried or semi-moist dog treats will also work, though may not be as aromatic for your pup.
Make sure you don’t let your dog crack the plastic with their jaws; instead, open the eggs for them. See more on safety considerations below.
Keep these safety considerations in mind before, during, and after taking your dog on an Easter egg hunt.
- Plastic eggs can crack and be dangerous if swallowed, so exercise caution.
- Keep your dog on a leash while hunting, so you can make sure they don’t eat anything they shouldn’t—or get a little too excited when competing with a human child for treats.
- Plastic eggs filled with dog treats should be large enough that they can’t be swallowed whole.
- Don’t let your dog eat chocolate, of course. And while you’re at it, watch out for any little foil wrappers that might get dropped in your kids’ candy-eating frenzy.
- Any eggshells you allow your dog should be colored with non-toxic dye like this.
If this all seems like a bit more work than you’re up for, never fear. Give your pooch an Easter-themed dog toy, and she’ll feel included. You can also put her in a bunny ears headband and take lots of pictures, though she may not be as thrilled about that one.
Now for some dog Easter egg hunt videos, because you know you wanted ’em!
For more information (and inspiration!) about celebrating Easter with your dog, check out one of the articles below.