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Dogs at Easter

Dogs at Easter

With Easter rolling around once again it seems important to talk about canine safety through this holiday! Easter and Christmas are the two most common periods where I hear of dogs eating chocolate and then needing emergency vets.

Chocolate is such a tricky one with dogs, because we don’t really have a good idea of how much chocolate is safe. This is because tolerance to chocolate seems to vary wildly from dog to dog, even amongst dogs of the same breed. Yes, we have calculators online now which supposedly tell us whether the amount the dog consumed is safe or not, but these are not fail proof.

Chocolate is poisonous to dogs due to something called theobromine. The levels of theobromine in chocolate vary depending on its cocoa content. This means that dark chocolate is the worst offender, but white chocolate is very unlikely to cause a toxicity issue. Remember to keep chocolate safely out of your pet’s reach, but should they access any, get in touch with your vet as soon as possible!

The doggy Easter egg hunt

Of course, this doesn’t mean that dogs can’t have any fun over Easter! What I like to do as a fun ‘sniffy’ enrichment game is hide treats in plastic eggs all over the garden (you can do this indoors or in a local field too!) I use these containers off of amazon HERE!

But anything similar would work! Once your dog has found one of the eggs they will either paw it open or might need your help to open it up and get the treats from inside. Please bear in mind that some dogs might try to swallow and chew the plastic so you should always supervise this activity and make sure you can quickly stop the game/ take the plastic away if this becomes an issue.

At this time of year, you may be wanting some other Easter themed snacks which are doggy appropriate, and of course, the most obvious of these is eggs! Dogs can actually benefit from eggs in the diet, whether they are raw, boiled or scrambled. Eggs provide some key nutrients such as: vitamins A and B12, as well as folate, iron, selenium, and riboflavin. They are also a fantastic source of protein and fatty acids. Dogs can benefit hugely from having eggs added into a balanced diet, with the main effect being improved coat and skin health, as well
as dental health! The amount of egg it is safe to feed really varies according to the size of your dog. For example, large breed dogs can have up to three eggs a week, whereas smaller breeds should have max one egg a week.

So, what are the cons of feeding eggs? The two main dangers associated with feeding eggs are salmonella poisoning and biotin deficiency. To entirely avoid the former, we can just ensure that we cook all our dogs' eggs.

Biotin deficiency is only really any issue if were over feeding eggs, and this is due to an enzyme in egg whites that can prevent the dog’s body from absorbing biotin effectively. If were careful not to over-feed eggs though, the risk of this remains very low!

Some other Easter themed snacks that my dogs love are hairy rabbits ears (a great source of fibre, and they bind poo together nicely!), chicken feet, hairy rabbit feet and dog friendly chocolate buttons. You can find all of these bits and more in the Natural Pet Shop Easter treat box! I will be giving my dogs chews such as the above to keep them busy whilst me and my family are doing our own Easter egg hunt.

Easter can be a great time to have fun with your pets and family. The key thing is to keep chocolate far away from them, whilst trying to incorporate some fun games or new special snacks for them!


About The Author:
Annie-Mae Levy
Dog Behaviourist & Trainer
Canine Nutritionist
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Instagram: @annietrainsdogs
Facebook: @anniesdogs
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