Easter is right around the corner, and children aren’t the only ones who enjoy hunting for treats. Setting up a dog Easter egg hunt is a great way to test your pup’s sense of smell, and it is a fun activity for the whole family — as long as safety remains a top priority. Here are some tips to help get things rolling.
Assemble your eggs
Any good Easter egg hunt needs two things: Eggs or treats and willing participants. Plastic eggs are great for hiding little snacks; however, pose some risks for dogs. The best course of action is to choose large plastic eggs that your dog can’t swallow whole. If your dog wants to chew the eggs, hide the treats without them.
Choose your treats
Your dog relies on his nose to find treats, so choose strong smelling ones. As you progress throughout the hunt, reward him for discovering new eggs or treats with an excited voice that will keep him motivated. You may also want to select smaller-sized treats, so your pet isn’t eating too many goodies in a short amount of time!
Leash your dog
Organized Easter egg hunts for dogs will probably have leash rules already in place. You might be thinking why is that? Keeping your dog on a leash will help reduce the risk of accidental ingestion — not to mention an altercation with another canine participant. It will also help you guide your dog toward hard-to-find eggs or treats.
Private parties are okay
Not all dogs enjoy hunting for eggs in groups. Dogs with food guarding behaviors, or who do not get along well with other canines, would do better with an individual Easter egg hunt. These are easy to arrange. Just set up personal hunts with each dog’s favorite treats and take turns if you have multiple pups participating.
Remember, dogs can’t eat chocolate
Easter egg hunts might be a great activity for the whole family, but make sure you don’t mix chocolate with dog treats. Keep dogs inside and away from Easter egg hunts with candy. Make sure you count all the candy eggs you hide for the kids to prevent your pup from accidentally eating a harmful substance. You may also want to count your dog’s Easter eggs to make sure he’s found them all. Doing this will ensure he doesn’t find some later and chew on the plastic.