8 Egg-cellent Tips For A Dog-Friendly Easter Egg Hunt
Ah, the Easter egg hunt. The original geo cache! And it also happens to be one of the few hunts your dog is actually persona non grata. Not because he scoops and devours everything before the kids can find it. Or that he really sucks when it comes to carrying a basket or wearing an Easter bonnet. It’s that chocolate is a big no-no for our good buddies and that Hershey Kiss can actually be the kiss of death if too many are found!
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So how can we as pet parents ensure that all the kids – human and furry – get to be part of the activities? Why not organize a special hunt that is customized for Rover and his pals! Here are some tips to get it eggs-actly right:
- Plan it as a group activity and invite the neighbor dogs, buddies from his off-leash park, friends and family pets.
- Choose a date prior to Easter Sunday to ensure a good turnout.
- Consider tying in with a registered charity by charging a nominal entrance fee with proceeds going to a relevant cause.
- When setting up, be sure to vary the difficulty of your hiding places and try not to hide the treats too well or you’ll still be finding them next Thanksgiving!
- Keep him out of the stash area so he can “discover” the treats on his own without having had a sneak peek. By nature, dogs love a good hunt!
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- Make sure you have lots of space so participants aren’t on top of one another as they vie for the treats.
- Allow for about 20 treats per dog and while he doesn’t need to consume them all, make sure his meals that day are light so he doesn’t over-eat.
- Swap out those Cadbury crème eggs for the hollow plastic ones that can be filled with a variety of treats to keep the game stimulating. Some examples?a) His favorite treats or snacks
b) Easter-themed dog treats like pieces of hot cross bun or carob Easter eggs
c) Chunks of cheese
d) Bits of cooked meat such as ham, cooked chicken, left over roast beef
e) An appropriately-sized toyIf you’re worried about dogs getting too many treats, chewing on the plastic eggs or just getting overexcited, keep them on leash. That way, you can monitor their Easter booty!
Like kids at a playground, don’t forget to ensure each of your guests is monitored by their pet parent during the activity so the bounty can be opened and dispensed (or saved for later). Lots of praise each time a treat is found goes a long way in keeping the momentum high and speaking of momentum… don’t forget to have a few spare poop bags handy!
And if your doggy eggs-travaganza is taking place in the same space where your kid’s chocolate egg hunt was held, remember that kids don’t always find all their candy. Be sure to do a quick sweep of the search zone to ensure all chocolate has been scooped – because if you don’t, your pooch will.
Mary Simpson is a writer and communications professional from Port Credit, Ontario. A soft touch for anything stray, she shares her century home with an eclectic collection of rescues that include orange tabby Chico, tuxedo Simon, and jet black Owen. She enjoys running, politics, exploring the wine regions of Niagara and is an avid supporter of the “shop local” movement.
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