Don't let the kids have all the fun this Spring Easter season. Plan an Easter egg hunt for your dog to give them some fun of their own! Hunting for treats allows your dog to use their keen sense of smell and is an excellent enrichment activity to mentally and physically tire them out. Plan a safe and fun Easter egg hunt just for your dog, or all the pooches on the block (with their owners' permission, of course).
How to Plan an Easter Egg Hunt for Your Dog
Of course, you want everyone to have fun at an Easter egg hunt, but safety should be at the top of your mind when planning any dog-focused event. Use this guide to plan a doggone great hunt.
1. Choose the Location
First, think about where you want to host your doggy egg hunt. If you're putting on an event for your dog or a small group (four to five dogs), you could consider hosting it indoors. This is a good option if you live somewhere with poor or unpredictable weather.
However, an outdoor venue could also be a lot of fun. Maybe think about using your backyard or a local park. Do research first to ensure dogs are allowed, and that the area is secure so that dogs don't get distracted and run off.
2. Select Your "Eggs"
You can still use eggs with a doggy egg hunt, but you'll need to be careful about what kind of plastic eggs you buy. Get empty eggs that have a hinge connecting the two halves when you open them. Buy the largest plastic eggs you can find to decrease the chances of your dog swallowing and/or choking on one.
Want to skip the eggs? You can hide treats in plenty of other things. Buy a few yards of fabric and cut them into large squares to wrap around a treat. Hide each bundle as if it were an egg. The dogs will still smell the treat through the fabric, and they'll have a cute bandana to wear afterward! You can create similar bundles with tissue paper or place treats inside empty toilet paper rolls, then fold the edges. Just don't let your dog eat the inedible wrapping materials.
Not all plastic eggs are safe for dogs. Buy oversized eggs with hinges connecting the two halves and always supervise them while hunting for Easter eggs.
3. Assemble and Hide
While assembling the Easter eggs, place just a small treat inside each. Treats should make up no more than 10 percent of a dog's diet, and too many can make them sick. Aromatic treats are great for this game because your dog should be able to detect the scent right away. If you're inviting other families to participate, reach out to find out if any of the dogs have food allergies first, then plan treats accordingly.
After the eggs are assembled, you can begin hiding. A great trick to make sure you don't miss any eggs is to attach a helium balloon to each egg. The dogs won't notice them and will rely on their noses to guide them toward the eggs, but you'll know if and where any eggs remain.
4. Release the Hounds
Finally, it's time to hunt. But you won't want to simply release the dogs to do their own hunting. Even well-socialized dogs can become protective over food if they think another dog is going after their snack. Instead, keep every dog on a leash and follow them as they follow their nose toward the treats. This will prevent any quarrels and ensure no dogs eat the plastic Easter eggs.
It can also be a good idea to divide the pack by size or age. For example, have all the small dogs under 25 pounds hunt at the same time, then allow big dogs to go. This way, no one will feel intimidated or get knocked over.
Never hide chocolate in Easter eggs for dogs, because chocolate is toxic to dogs. There are plenty of other dog-safe treats they can have!
Treat Ideas for Dog Easter Egg Hunts
Get creative with what you put in your dog's Easter eggs. Of course, you'll want to use only dog-friendly foods, but there are plenty of options to choose from. Most will only last a few hours. After that, they could spoil and make your dog sick, so pick up and discard any leftovers.
- Chicken jerky treats.
- Freeze-dried liver.
- Sliced fruit (apples, watermelon, mango, or banana).
- Pieces of vegetables (zucchini, carrot, or green beans).
- Dog kibble.
- Small cubes of cheese.
- Pieces of hard-boiled egg.
- Small morsels of boiled chicken.
- Crumbled bacon.
Plan an Eggcelent Dog Easter Egg Hunt
Planning an event can take a lot of work, but it's absolutely worth it. By purchasing dog-safe plastic eggs and making sure every dog is supervised while hunting and enjoying their snack, you can ensure it's a success. that way, everybunny can have fun while staying safe!