Dog and baby dressed up for easter together
Dressing your dog up for Halloween is one of the great pleasures in life but I think we can all agree that there is NOTHING cuter than a dog with bunny ears. Easter should be fun for your two-legged and four-legged family members alike.
When I think of Easter I immediately think of bunnies, eggs and chocolate in all shapes and sizes. Let’s break it all down.
Dog Easter dress - Adorable white lace with bunny ears
Chocolate and Dogs
Do you consider putting chocolate into dog easter basket? If you do not know this already, then here is a public service announcement: Chocolate is toxic to dogs. Chocolate isnot a suitable option as Easter dog treats!
Why is Chocolate toxic to dogs?
In addition to caffeine, chocolate contains a chemical called Theobromine. Both chemicals speed up the heart rate in dogs as well as stimulate their nervous system. Dogs can not metabolize theobromine or caffeine as well as humans can which is what makes them get sick.
PRO TIP: Try Carob treats with no harmful ingredients
How sick will your dog get from chocolate?
The risk of sickness from chocolate depends on how much chocolate is ingested as well as the type of chocolate. The higher the concentration of theobromine and caffeine the sicker your dog will most likely become.
Chocolate types from least to most toxic: WHITE – MILK – SEMISWEET – DARK
Here are types of chocolate in order of toxicity
- Cocoa powder is the MOST toxic as it is 100% pure coco
- Unsweetened Chocolate
- Semisweet chocolate
- Dark Chocolate
- Milk Chocolate
- White Chocolate
Being aware of the amount and type of chocolate your dogs has consumed can be helpful in determining if you have a medical emergency on your hands.
The AKC explains it this way: “A very concerning dose of chocolate is approximately one ounce of milk chocolate per pound of body weight. Since an average Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bar is 1.55 ounces, consuming even one chocolate bar can have serious consequences, especially for small dogs. Eating a crumb of chocolate cake or a very small piece of a chocolate bar, on the other hand, probably won’t kill your dog, especially if it is a larger breed, but chocolate should never be fed as a treat.”
How do I know if my dog has chocolate poisoning?
Signs usually occur within 6 to 12 hours after ingestion. Symptoms may include
- Excessive thirst/urination
- Abnormal heart rhythm
If you notice any of these symptoms, call your Vet or take your dog to the emergency room.
USEFUL RESOURCES TO HAVE ON HAND:
Emergency Pet Helpline (855) 764-7661
ASPCA Animal Poison Control (888) 426-4435
NOTE: Dogs with heart conditions and/or senior dogs are at a higher risk for chocolate poisoning to be fatal.
Tired Chihuahua after all the Easter fun
Plastic Easter Eggs and Dogs
Depending on your dog, these can either be harmless or not. Only you know your dog -
- Will he swallow a plastic egg whole?
- Will she chew it into little pieces swallowing chards?
- Will he drop the egg out of his mouth if you say “leave it”?
If the answers are: a. Yes, b. Yes, c. No
Go for an egg-less hunt. Use KONG-like stuffable toys instead.
If the answers are: a. No, b. No, c. Yes
If you think it’s safe to have plastic easter eggs around your pooch then by all means do it, and make it fun! Put little dog treats into the eggs, hide them in the yard and watch her use her powerful snout to find them. Make a game of opening the egg up for him, have him obey a command and reward him with the treat. You may have to help your dog learn the game by leading her to the first few locations and/or the general location.
PRO TIP FOR DOG EASTER EGG HUNT: smear a touch of peanut butter on the outside of the egg or toy to help your furbaby find it.
Are your dogs possessive of treats and toys?
If you have more than one dog and they are anything like mine, you may want to separate them and do separate hunts or have a different human watching each dog to avoid conflict.
Can you have a Dog Easter Egg hunt AND kids together?
We do not recommend this as it is near impossible to keep your eyes on all the action. Do the kids first as they will probably be the most impatient to get the party started! If your children are old enough then they can help with the dog “egg” hunt afterwards. It will give them a sense of responsibility and a bonding experience with their canine sibling.
Dog happy easter - Dog painting easter eggs
How to be safe for dogs after the fun
Do not take a big bag of easter eggs and throw them all over your yard without knowing how many you have hidden. If you have hidden eggs in your yard, make sure you know how many you started with and be sure to end with the same amount. You don’t want to plan the perfect, safe Easter for everyone involved only to have your furbaby go outside for his last pee of the night to find and gobble up a stray plastic egg and the small price inside in one gulp.
A safe dreidel for your dog!
How to enjoy Passover with your pooch
Since Passover and Easter are on the same weekend this year we would be remiss if we didn’t give those Jew-dles a little mention.
The same rules apply for chocolate in any shape and size. Make sure your pup can not get to the gelt!
What Passover seder foods are safe for my dog?
Instead give her some plain chopped up apple
He won’t like it (!) but it won’t hurt him.
We don’t recommend giving dogs bones because they can splinter and dogs can choke. If you do, make sure he is supervised.
Unless your dog has an allergy to eggs, this is harmless and entertaining for her.
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