The days are warming, daffodils are swaying and the toasty smell of hot cross buns wafts from the kitchen… and d’you know what that means? That’s right! It’s time to set up an Easter egg hunt for your dog! We spend the long Easter weekend indulging in roast dinners and chocolate eggs, so why should our beloved canine friends miss out on the fun?
There are safety precautions to consider - the most obvious point being that dogs should never eat human chocolate - but using the right treats and careful preparation, we bet you that any pooch will love a seasonal ‘follow the scent’ game come Easter time. It’s easy to set up and good fun for the whole family.
Here’s how to set up an Easter egg hunt for your lucky dog…
Definitely! Dogs are natural seekers; they have keen senses of smell and love to follow their noses to find a secret treasure. Funnily enough, they also love to eat tasty treats - so a doggy Easter egg hunt is almost a no-brainer! The most important aspect is to choose the right treats, keep it as safe as possible and supervise your pooch(es) at all times.
First up, the eggs! Plastic eggs work best for hiding dog food and treats, but getting the right ones is important; they can’t be so small that your pooch will accidentally swallow them, nor should they be able to chew them to pieces. Medium-sized plastic eggs that separate in half are ideal - even better if they have holes, or you’re able to drill holes in them, so your dog is able to catch the smell of the treats inside.
As an exciting alternative, you could include a few Easter Treats for dogs - at Pooch & Mutt we have some that are just perfect for scattering around the garden, or hiding away as the tastiest and final egg in the hunt!
Just remember that human chocolate eggs are strictly prohibited during a doggy Easter egg hunt, as chocolate is toxic to dogs.
A good-sized, private garden is the ideal place for an Easter egg hunt - you can let your dog off the lead, and they’re already familiar with the environment. If you want to take it into a public space like a park, field or beach, make sure your dog is on a lead, you guide them to the hiding places and your treats won’t be nabbed by other curious dogs in the area.
Strongly scented treats are the most successful for an egg hunt, as your pooch should be able to follow their nose to find them! Place a small piece of treat or food in each egg and be sure the egg is secured (we’ll go into what treats to use later).
Hide the eggs all over the location - in bushes, under garden seats, partly buried in the earth, or perhaps in a garden box or crate. Be sure the eggs are accessible and your pooch needn’t hurt themselves by getting the egg (up a tree or floating in a pond, for example, would be too risky).
Whether it’s just your dog partaking in the Easter egg hunt, two or a few, accompany each dog while they’re sniffing out the eggs. This is for a couple of reasons:
If there are multiple dogs, one enthused dog may run over all others and find every egg! If you’re able to hold this dog back, or have each dog in your party take turns, it will be fairer on the smaller, slower dogs. Secondly, you don’t want any dog to end up chowing down on a plastic egg while you’re not looking.
Once your smart pooch has located an egg, give them lots of praise! Then open it up yourself so the dog can safely eat the treat - and remove any empty plastic eggs so that they don’t become the victim of a chew-fest later on.
At first, your dog might be quite confused as you enthusiastically point them around the garden, so make it easier by showing them the eggs, and the process of you filling the eggs. This way, when they follow their nose and find an egg, they’ll remember there is something delicious in store.
If you’re going all out and having an Easter doggy party, there may be some pooches that can’t find eggs as quickly as others (small dogs, puppies or seniors, for example). To get around this, have dogs do their own individual hunt, or perhaps have two dogs at a time carry out the search - always accompanied by their owners.
With so many eggs to hunt down, your pooch can end up eating a whole lot if you’re not careful - so place only a small treat or piece of food in each egg. It will be better for their health and digestion and prevent them from suffering from bloating, gassiness or sickness later in the day.
We’ll say it once more for the seats at the back - human chocolate is toxic to dogs! With this in mind, avoid having any chocolate eggs or sweets in the same environment as the doggy Easter egg hunt. It’s best to have a coinciding children’s egg hunt in a different location or even on a different day. If that’s not possible, be sure to clean up thoroughly between each egg hunt.
Our Easter Treats for dogs are packed with lamb, chicken and vibrant spring greens to restore vital nutrients and support immunity.
Doggy chocolate Human chocolate is a big no-no for dogs - and we don’t recommend chocolate-based dog treats all year round, but a small dog - friendly chocolate in an Easter egg hunt is just for fun!
Jerky for dogs An intensely meaty treat, a small piece of beef jerky for dogs is high protein, satisfyingly chewy and sure to give off a delicious smell, too.
Fresh meat Some leftover meat from your Easter meal could be a great addition to the egg hunt. Fresh chicken or lamb, for example, without any added oil or salt is sure to be lapped up immediately!
So - ready to set up your own doggy Easter egg hunt?
Try our seasonal Easter treats for dogs; a delicious treat perfect for hiding in the garden! Or mix it up with Pooch & Mutt’s range of delicious grain-free dog treats. Each flavour combination is super tasty yet packed with specially chosen, natural ingredients to keep your dog happy, energised and healthy.