Doggy ‘do’ and ‘don’ts’ at Easter
Doggy Don’t: Beware the sweet stuff
We all love chocolate, but we also know that it’s just a bit bad for us. Having an extra bit of the good stuff at Easter can’t do too much harm, but unfortunately, this isn’t the case for man’s best friend. Chocolate may still taste great to them, but it can be toxic to animals. It contains theobromine, which humans can easily digest, but dogs can’t. This substance leads to a toxic build-up in their system. So don’t be tempted to treat your pet this Easter, and if you do—remember to keep it canine-compatible!
Read more about the hazards of chocolate for your dog here .
Doggy Do: Remember where the eggs are hidden
When you’re hiding chocolate eggs for the Easter hunt this year, be sure to keep note of exactly where you’re hiding them, and how many. Count up the collection at the end of the day to make sure that all the chocolate eggs have been found, and that there aren’t any strays lurking in the bushes for your dog to find later!
Doggy Do: Be considerate on your walks
Easter weekend is a great time to get the family together for a nice, long walk in the countryside. Your dog will certainly enjoy some time with the pack, spent ambling through the greenery. But do remember that springtime is a busy season for farmers and their livestock. Fields and farms are likely to be full of sheep, lambs, cattle, and calves, who—just like you—will be out and enjoying the first of the warm weather. Be considerate of new mums and babies; keep your dog on a lead, and don’t let them audibly disturb young animals.
Doggy Don’t: Can dogs eat raisins?
It can be difficult to know what is and isn’t bad for a dog to eat—especially when they’re keen on eating anything and everything they sniff out! Although they’re a great, healthy alternative for the kids, grapes and raisins can be bad for our four-legged friends. Although we don’t fully understand the reasons why, eating even a single raisin can result in some pretty serious effects in dogs, including kidney failure, which can sometimes prove fatal. So just like the chocolate, keep them well out of reach, and be aware that raisins can also be hidden in other sweet treats, such as chocolate and cakes.
Doggy Don’t: Can dogs eat bones?
It’s hard to resist those big, brown eyes when they’re staring up at you, pleading for ‘just one little taste!’ Dogs can’t talk, but if they could, they’d probably be loudest when you’re sitting down to a lovely meal. Some owners like to treat their pet to tit-bits from the table, and although this can be harmless if the food is safe and healthy, do watch out if you’re thinking about sharing your roast. Bones can splinter whilst being chewed, and they can cause significant damage inside the body. Instead, buy your dog a special treat in advance of the occasion, so they can be kept happy with a canine-safe bone, and you can keep the turkey!
Doggy Do: Treat for fleas and worms
As the weather gets warmer, fleas and ticks become a more prevalent pest for your poor pets. You’ll also probably be going out for longer walks in the better weather, and so altogether, there’s a far greater risk of your dog getting a parasite at this time of year. Reduce the risk by staying up to date with your pet’s de-fleaing and anti-worming treatments.
Doggy Don’t: Beware the garden
The great outdoors is wonderful for a dog: the sights, the smells, and all those exciting things to taste! In the warmer weather, people will be starting to tend to their gardens again, but many of the everyday products and plants used in gardening can be poisonous for dogs.
If you’re treating your garden for pests by using slug pellets, check that the brand you’re using doesn’t contain metaldehyde, or any other ingredient that can be poisonous for dogs. Consuming even a small amount of such products can be lethal for your pet.
Even seemingly innocent plants can be toxic for dogs, including many of the bulbs and blooms that sprout during spring. Watch out for lilies, snowdrops and daffodils, which are all poisonous plants for dogs. Discourage your pet from digging holes in your garden in case they come across any bulbs they might eat and, in general, dissuade them from eating any plants or grass—even if you know them to be safe. Ensuring your dog knows that it’s wrong to eat any plant at all reduces the risk of them ingesting a potentially poisonous one.
Doggy Do: Enjoy Easter!
Although there’s lots of stuff to remain vigilant about, at any time of year, never forget that having a pet is also about fun! Find dog-safe ways to include your pet in family activities: although they can’t hunt for chocolate eggs or gnaw on the leg of the turkey (no matter how much they might like to!), there are other ways to celebrate the season with your dog. Why not treat them to a special doggy Easter hunt just for them, with only canine-safe treats and toys to find? It’ll be great fun watching them sniff their way around the house!