(Edited by Georgia Hatton)
Easter is a time of year steeped in tradition and symbolism. From Easter eggs to bunnies, there are many iconic images that are associated with this holiday. Whilst your dogs may not immediately come to mind when you think of Easter, they can actually play a fun and meaningful role in this holiday. Here are some ways in which you can involve your furry friend in your Easter celebrations:
Easter Egg Hunts: Easter egg hunts are a classic Easter activity that children love. Why not include your dog in the fun? Hide some treats in plastic eggs or scrunched up balls of paper around your home and garden and let your dog use their nose to sniff them out. It’s a great way to get your dog moving and to provide them with a fun and stimulating challenge. Nosework is a great calming activity for dogs. When sniffing intensely, blood flow increases to certain areas of your dogs brain that are associated with feeling calm. Combined with the problem solving nature of it, it’s a great activity for all dogs, especially those who need a little extra help staying calm during exciting celebrations!
Easter Baskets: Just like children, your dogs will also enjoy an Easter basket filled with treats and toys. You can purchase pre-made dog Easter baskets, but it is much more fun, and kinder on your wallet, to create your own. Fill a basket with your dog's favourite toys, treats, and accessories. Our Easter sale includes plenty of favourites - including hooves, lamb ears and beef skin chews - so now is the perfect time to stock up!
Easter Dinner: Easter is often a time when families gather together to share a meal, usually a roast. If you're hosting an Easter dinner this year, consider your dog! You can give them a small portion of the meal - meat, potatoes and vegetables such as carrots and peas, are all perfectly safe for your furry friend. Be sure to avoid anything toxic, and leave the gravy to the human plates, as it tends to be high in salt. Alternatively, many dog food companies offer an Easter special meal!
Easter Photos: Like all annual holidays, Easter is a great time to take photos with your dog. You can dress them up in a cute Easter outfit or take a photo of them with an Easter-themed prop. These photos will be a great way to remember the holiday and to show off your adorable dog to friends and family. Always make sure your dog is comfortable, and isn’t stressed, by the photoshoot!
Easter Walk: With the meals and all the chocolate, combined with the arrival of spring with it’s longer days and sunnier weather, (and a couple of bank holidays!) Easter is also a great time for heading out on a walk or two. Why not use it as an excuse to head on a new adventure?
Whilst Easter is a wonderful holiday, and a chance to make more memories with your dog - there are a few precautions to take to keep them safe.
Chocolate - Chocolate eggs are a big feature of the holiday, especially if you have children. Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine, which is toxic to dogs, and can cause a range of symptoms from vomiting and hyperactivity to seizures and death in large enough quantities. If you suspect your dog has eaten chocolate, ring your vets with the approximate amount eaten, the type of chocolate, and they will advise the best course of action.
Cooked Bones - Whilst air dried bones are safe for dogs, bones that have been cooked at high temperatures - such as those in a roast dinner, are not!
Spring Bulbs - Easter is the perfect time of year to give a gift of spring flowers and bulbs, but make sure you keep them well out of reach of your dog – particularly if they like to chew or dig in the garden. Many popular varieties, such as daffodils, hyacinths and tulips, are toxic to dogs if consumed.
Hot Cross Buns - Unlike chocolate, where the method of toxicity to dogs is known, scientists do not understand why raisins are toxic to dogs. Some pets have ingested large amounts and been fine, whilst some giant breeds have eaten just a few and died. It’s safer to keep them out of reach altogether, and contact your vets immediately if your dogs have eaten them.
Spring Lambs - Easter means lambing season is well underway for farmers and this can mean sheep popping up in places you don’t normally see them. If walking across farmland keep your dog under control at all times, and no matter how well behaved they are, have them on their leads if you do come across sheep!
In conclusion, Easter is a time of year that is all about renewal and new beginnings. By involving your dog in your Easter celebrations, you can create new traditions and memories that will last a lifetime. From Easter egg hunts to festive dinners, there are many ways in which you can include your furry friend in the fun. So go ahead and let your dog join in the Easter festivities – they'll be sure to enjoy it just as much as you do!