Happy Easter for your dog too!

Dr Katie Friel-Russell

BVSc MAPDT PGDip CCAB MRCVS Veterinary Behaviourist

Happy Easter for your dog too!

Easter can be such a lovely time of the year celebrating bringing in new life and spring, lambs in the field, rabbits on the grass and chocolate eggs – perfect! … unless you’re a dog! Lots of things this time of year can actually be quite difficult for dogs so we wanted to share our top tips to keep your dog safe and happy during your celebrations.

Food

Most of the food we connect with Easter isn’t great for our dogs. Chocolate is toxic and can be fatal to dogs, even in smallish amounts so most dogs would be in trouble with any size of Easter egg. Hot cross buns are full of raisins which, like all grapes, can be incredibly toxic to dog – their toxicity isn’t based on how much they eat. Some dogs can die from a single grape or raisin and others get away with ingesting a lot. If your dog eats either of these Easter treats you should seek medical attention from your vets straight away – they’ll be making a LOT of dogs vomit up these foods over this bank holiday.

But other traditional foods like a lamb shank or ham hock you might be like to share with your dog. Rich meats like these can sometimes be too much for some dogs. But more importantly don’t be tempted to treat them to the cooked bones, these are high risk to splinter in the gut and cause potentially deadly damage.

Egg Hunt

Who doesn’t love a good egg hunt? The problem is your dog probably will too and as we’ve already run through it could be a huge problem if they find the chocolate first – so here’s our top tips for Easter egg hunts when you have a dog:

  • If doing an egg hunt in the garden make sure you check for any poops and pick them up first!

  • Keep your dog in a separate area to the egg hunt to ensure they can’t pick up and eat any chocolate

  • Count out any chocolate eggs before you put them out, and count them back in again afterwards to avoid leaving any behind – you can also make a note of where you hide them to make things easier

  • Avoid all the risk by hunting for wooden or plastic eggs and save the chocolate for inside

  • Why not do a hunt just for your dog? Hide some tasty treats around and let them use their fantastic nose to search for them

  • If you’d like to give your dog an easter treat try boiling them an egg, peel it and let them enjoy

Livestock and wildlife

This time of year can be fantastic for seeing leaping lambs, calves and if you’re lucky a hare in the field. There is new life everywhere and for many dogs that can be very interesting. Be sure to keep your dog under control and oiled around all livestock or wildlife to protect them and the other animals.

We want you and your dog to enjoy this time of year so keep them safe, and remember – you’re doing your dog a favour by eating all that chocolate!

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Dr Katie Friel-Russell

BVSc MAPDT PGDip CCAB MRCVS Veterinary Behaviourist

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