Hoppy Easter: How to Celebrate Safely with Your Dog This Holiday Season

Hoppy Easter: How to Celebrate Safely with Your Dog This Holiday Season

Easter is just around the corner. While this holiday brings joy and celebration for many, it can also pose potential hazards to our four-legged family members. 

From tempting treats to toxic plants, there are several things to keep in mind to ensure your dog stays safe and healthy during this festive season. 

Let's delve into some common dog Easter safety and health tips to help pet owners navigate this holiday with their beloved canine companions.

Be Mindful of Easter Treats

One of the most significant hazards for dogs during Easter is the abundance of delicious treats that may be harmful to them. While sharing Easter goodies with your pup is tempting when they give you those puppy dog eyes, certain foods are toxic to dogs. 

Chocolate & Candy

While many Easter baskets are full of sweet goodies like chocolate bunnies and jelly beans, candy — particularly chocolate — is a no-no for dogs.  

Chocolate contains theobromine, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and even death if ingested in large amounts. Additionally, candies and sweets containing xylitol, an artificial sweetener, can cause a sudden release of insulin in dogs, leading to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), seizures, and liver failure.

  • Keep chocolate eggs, bunnies, and other confections out of reach. 
  • Store sweets in high places and sealed containers, especially if you have a curious pup. 
  • Remind kids that candy is not to be shared with their furry friends, and keep an eye on toddlers who may not understand.

Bones & Meat

If you’re cooking an Easter ham, lamb, or another meat-based dish, the bones may seem like a natural treat for your pup. However, bones can splinter and cause serious harm to your dog's digestive tract. 

Cooked bones, in particular, are more likely to splinter than raw bones. Sharp bone fragments can puncture your dog’s esophagus, stomach, or intestines, leading to painful injuries, internal bleeding, and potentially life-threatening complications.

In addition to bones, many of these meats have high fat content and added ingredients (such as salt, sugar, and spices) that may cause digestive issues such as vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, or worse. 

  • Stick to your dog’s normal diet rather than human foods. 
  • Keep bones and other human foods well out of your dog’s reach. 
  • Make sure garbage cans are sealed so your dog can’t rummage through the trash. 
  • Opt for safe and appropriate chew toys or treats specifically designed for dogs. 

If you must give your dog some meat from your Easter meal, opt for a small amount and meat only. No skins, bones, glazes/rubs, etc. 

Other Ingredients

While it’s best for your dog to stick to their own diet to avoid digestive issues, keep them in mind as you’re preparing your Easter meals and treats. According to the Humane Society of the United States, you should avoid these common foods that can be dangerous for dogs in your Easter meals. 

  • Avocados
  • Chives
  • Chocolate
  • Garlic
  • Grapes & raisins 
  • Onions
  • Raisins 
  • Salt 
  • Walnuts 
  • Xylitol

In general, it’s best to avoid seeds, stems, pits, and peels if you want to be extra safe around your dog. 

Avoid Easter Lilies

After seeing Easter lilies during the spring and Easter season, you may be wondering, “Are Easter lilies dangerous for dogs?” 

Easter lilies are a common sight during the Easter holiday, adorning homes and churches with their beauty and fragrance. While Easter lilies are highly toxic for cats, the Pet Poison Hotline notes lily poisoning doesn’t occur in dogs or people. That said, ingesting leaves, petals, or stems may cause your dog some digestive discomfort. 

Ultimately, it’s best to keep plants out of your dog's reach and avoid overly fragrant plants that may cause sneezing and allergies.

Keep Dogs Away from Easter Grass

Easter grass — the colorful plastic or paper grass used as filler in Easter baskets — can pose a choking hazard or cause intestinal blockages if ingested by dogs. 

Whether the basket is for your kid or you’re building an Easter basket for your dog, opt for safer alternatives. Tissue paper, shredded paper, or even blankets, towels, and other linens can be great options to line your Easter baskets and keep your dog safe from harm.

Host Pet-Safe Easter Egg Hunts

If you're planning an Easter egg hunt for children, use caution and keep it as pet-friendly as possible. 

Your dog may be excited and want to participate, especially if they have natural hunting instincts. If you’re focused on helping the kids and others, your dog may accidentally find an egg and swallow something they’re not supposed to. 

Here’s our recommendations to make sure everyone can enjoy the egg hunt.  

  • If possible, hide pet-safe treats or toys instead of chocolate and sweets. 
  • Hide the eggs outside of your dog’s reach. 
  • Keep your dog kenneled or on a leash during the hunt to avoid potential issues. 
  • Count the eggs so you know for sure you’ve found them all before letting your dog roam. 

Prep for Travel

Easter may mean spring break trips and travel for some families. Changes in routine can be stressful on your furry family members. Plan ahead and keep their health top of mind to ensure a seamless travel experience for everyone. 

Tips for Boarding Your Dog 

If you plan to board your dog or utilize a pet sitter for the Easter holiday, here are some tips: 

  • Make sure the caretaker sticks to your dog’s usual food and treats to minimize digestive upset after boarding
  • Provide detailed instructions to the caretaker about your dog's routine, behavior, and any specific needs they may have.
  • Send a few of your dog’s favorite toys and a blanket that smells like home to minimize stress. 
  • If possible, do short stays at the boarding facility or with the pet sitter so your dog can get to know them. 
  • Try a pet probiotic or gut health supplement (like Maya Pet) to help boost your pet’s immune system and overall health before interacting with other animals. 
  • Make sure your caretaker has all the necessary health and contact information. 

Tips for Traveling With Your Dog 

If you plan to take your dog with you on your Easter or spring break travels, here are some tips: 

  • Pack essentials like food, water, bowls, medications, favorite toys, bedding, and a leash to help your dog feel more comfortable in the new surroundings.
  • Never leave your dog alone in a car during your trip. Even mild spring temperatures can cause your car to heat up too fast. 
  • Make sure your contact information on your dog’s ID tags are up to date in case your dog accidentally gets loose while you’re away from home. 
  • Bring any medical information and important phone numbers in case there’s a pet emergency while you’re visiting your loved ones. 
  • Stick to your dog’s normal routine as much as possible.

Supervision is Key

As with any holiday, it's crucial to supervise your dog closely and monitor their behavior for any signs of distress or illness. Keep emergency contact information and a nearby animal poison control center handy in case of an emergency.

Easter Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Let’s look at a few of the common puppy and Easter-related questions pet parents have this time of year. 

Can dogs eat ham or other Easter dinner leftovers?

While plain, cooked ham in moderation might be okay for some dogs, it's essential to avoid feeding them any seasoned or processed meats. Many seasonings, glazes, and rubs contain ingredients that are harmful to dogs, such as garlic, onions, and excessive salt. 

Overall, it’s best to stick to your dog’s normal diet and avoid giving them human food. Even if it isn’t toxic, too much fat and calories can cause digestive issues. 

Are Easter-themed dog treats safe for my pet?

Not all dog treats marketed for Easter are safe for consumption. Always read the ingredients list and avoid fillers, artificial dyes, and additives. These can upset the balance of your dog’s microbiome, leading to unpleasant digestive issues. 

What should I do if my dog ingested something toxic?

If you suspect that your dog has eaten something toxic, such as chocolate, here’s what to do: 

  • Remove your dog from the area to avoid any further contact or ingestion. 
  • Contact a vet or pet poison control center immediately for further guidance. 

Time is of the essence in such situations, and prompt action can make a significant difference.

Happy Easter from Maya Pet

By following these safety and health tips and staying informed about potential hazards, you can ensure your dog enjoys a happy and healthy Easter with your family. Let's celebrate this holiday responsibly, keeping our beloved pets' well-being front and center in our festivities.

Read More: 

Cat Easter Basket Ideas

Dog Easter Basket Ideas