Easter Dog Tips, Tricks & Hazards

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by jtclough on March 30, 2010

It’s all set.  This year Easter is at your house with some of your fun friends coming over and a couple of the family members you actually get along with.  Sweet.  Easter egg hunt for the kids even though they are bit too old for it, glass of wine for the adults, and oh yeah…. is it ok if I bring my dog to play with your dog?

Ummmm…. yeah.  Sure.  Ok.  So a little more chaos than you had first anticipated.  It is a “holiday” after all, what else were you expecting?

Easter Dog Safety Tips

It shouldn’t take a huge reminder, on this one… it’s the one that everyones seems to know BUT….

No chocolate.  Not good for the dog at all.

Are All Chocolates Bad?

Chocolate contains theobromine which is in the same compound family as caffeine.  Also not good for your dog.  Sufficient quantities of certain types of chocolate are toxic to dogs.

Ever hear someone go on about their dog story?  “My dog ate a solid chocolate bunny last Easter and nothing happened to him.”  Yet you hear of stories where a dog got REALLY sick over a couple of squares of baker’s chocolate accidentally scooped up from the begging dog waiting at your feet for a morsel of anything that drops to the floor.

The most common chocolates are milk chocolate, semisweet chocolate, and baker’s chocolate.  Milk chocolate contains the least amount of toxic compound, semisweet chocolate next, with baker’s chocolate being the most toxic.

This is why a 30 pound dog can be just fine if the stolen treat were 4 oz of milk chocolate and the same 30 pound dog could be quite ill from 4 oz of baker’s chocolate.

Bottom line.  Keep the all the chocolate away from the dogs.

Is it Okay to Give My Dog Ham Bones?

Is anything 100% safe to give a dog that can chip or splinter?  No.  The jury is out on whether fresh uncooked ham bones are completely out for your dog.  I will say I give them to my dogs but only under these circumstances.

The bone is fresh.
The bone is uncooked.
The bone chewing-fest is supervised.
It all ends in 15 minutes.
The bone gets inspected for cracks or chips.
If it’s still good put it in the freezer for one or two more super fun sessions.
Decide to throw it away for signs of wear and tear.
It was a great bonus while it lasted!

Never Give Your Dog Cooked or Smoked Ham Bones.

Cooking bones makes them brittle.  A brittle bone can easily chip or splinter.  A splintered bone inside your dog is big bad news.

An obstruction or perforation in your dog’s intestines is an emergency surgery situation and can be fatal.  Giving your dog a cooked bone is a recipe for disaster.

Just because you see it in the upscale dog store doesn’t mean it’s good for your dog.  In fact you can read this article on how a company was marketing smoked ham bones and the damage that it has caused.  FDA Reviewing Real Ham Bone Dog Treats

We all love treats.  Especially your dog.  Just be smart about what you decide to give your eagerly wagging dog as a healthy treat.

Easter Egg Hunt for the Kids.  Bone Hunt for the Dogs.

So what to do with dogs running around in the yard while the almost too old for it kids are finding the easter eggs?  Hide the bone.

  • Get a couple of new Nylabones.
  • Put a bit of peanut butter on them.
  • Hide them from the dog.
  • Tell your dog to “Hunt for the Bone”.

You can always help your dog by walking nearby the hidden treasure if your dog can’t find it and seems clueless as to where to start looking.  It is a way to start playing a new game of “find it”  Peanut butter is an easy thing for a dog to locate with that over active nose.  Its a pretty easy way to start teaching new tricks to your dog that can be played year round and it’s entertaining and provides everyone with a few more wags.

Enjoy your Easter and remember to get out and get some exercise with the dog after eating all the healthy food!


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