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Ask The Vet: March round-up
How to have a dog-tastic Easter

How to have a dog-tastic Easter

Updated on 20 March 2023

It’s Easter already! How did that happen? Just a moment ago we were all celebrating the start of the New Year and then, suddenly, the season of daffodils, chocolate eggs, and bunnies is upon us.

The Easter period is one of those lovely occasions to take a break, savour the small pleasures in life (like a good chunk of chocolate), and spend some time with our loved ones. And that includes our four-pawed friends, of course.

Here are just a few ideas for how you can enjoy Easter to the max with your pup, this year.

Let’s talk about chocolate

Dog nose near Easter chocolate

For us lucky human beings, chocolate is one of the most spectacular sweet-treats out there. It's rich, creamy, and decadent, and reminds you of Easter egg hunts and other childhood highlights

When all is said and done, chocolate is the Easter treat par excellence. When our dedicated team of in-house researchers braved the supermarkets not too long ago, they spotted a massive Russian doll chocolate egg, filled with increasingly smaller eggs, a chocolate sloth, and even a giant blonde chocolate beehive.

Unfortunately, our canine companions are strictly prohibited from joining in on this particular culinary highlight, and not just because of the high sugar, fat, and caffeine content that are all bad for dogs.

The bottom line is that chocolate is extremely toxic to dogs, due to stimulant alkaloid theobromine. Theobromine is present in all chocolate, but is highest in dark chocolate and cocoa powder. 

For your dog's own safety, it's essential you keep them away from any chocolate during the Easter festivities. Give them a high-quality dog treat or two instead, so they don't feel left out!

The theobromine in chocolate is toxic for dogs. So lock those Easter eggs away!

For humans, the combination of caffeine and theobromine raises our spirits and makes us feel more alert. It’s one of the reasons why we find chocolate so addictive.

But while it’s easy for us to digest theobromine, it can make your dog sick, and can even be fatal. White chocolate has less of this toxic substance than milk chocolate, but it can still cause vomiting and diarrhoea. Milk chocolate is toxic for dogs, and dark and baking chocolate are the worst of all, as they have higher concentrations of theobromine.

If your dog does eat chocolate, call your vet straight away. You might also find this chocolate toxicity calculator helpful.

In general, though, prevention is much better than cure. Keep those Easter eggs well out of range of your pooch.

If you want to give your four-legged friend an Easter treat, these Rosewood Dog Chocolate Drops are specially formulated for dogs. They're safe, tasty, and in keeping with the seasonal theme!

Did you know that raisins are toxic for dogs too? So ignore the paw and keep that hot cross bun for yourself.

A dog-friendly Easter treat hunt

Chocolate Lab on an Easter hunt

Because chocolate is toxic to dogs, it’s not a good idea to have a traditional Easter egg hunt for your kids in the garden. You can bet your hound will sniff out the chocolate far quicker than your children, which could cause tears all round.

Instead, why not set up a dog-friendly Easter treat hunt? Place dog-friendly "choc drops", or some of your dog’s favourite treats, around your garden, then let your pup search for the edible treasures.

The first time you do this, make it easy for your dog to find the treats by hiding them somewhere flat and accessible, like on your lawn. As they get the hang of the game, you can make it harder by hiding treats under a bucket, in an Easter basket, or in long grass or bushes.

Get your kids involved by letting them choose where to hide the treats, and encouraging them to praise your dog each time they unearth a prize.

More fun in the garden

As well as Easter treat hunts, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy the garden with your dog, right now. Spending time outside can help everyone to enjoy some fresh air and let off some steam.

Here are a few ideas for garden games to try with your dog this Easter:

Play football with your dog. This isn’t so much about kicking a ball as encouraging your pup to nose it through the grass. This game is fun for your dog, and has the added bonus that you won’t have to explain the offside rule.

Set up a home-made agility course. An agility course in your garden is an excellent way to keep your pup active and mentally stimulated. Improvise a course that includes jumps and tunnels, or look online for tips on how to build your own dog agility course. Next stop, Crufts!

Get doggy paddling in the pool. While we’re unlikely to have a heatwave this Easter, your pooch can still enjoy splashing about in a paddling pool. If your dog’s nervous around water, you can help them to conquer that fear by letting them chase the water spray from a garden hose.

Beating Springtime allergies
April is the height of the tree pollen season, when the pollen from trees such as pine, mulberry and willow is in full flight.

This can cause havoc for hay fever-prone hounds. Interestingly, dogs don’t sneeze when they’re allergic to something. They’re far more likely to scratch, bite, or lick themselves.

One of the simplest ways to guard against the irritating symptoms of hay fever and other dog skin conditions, is to ensure that your pet’s natural skin defences are in tip-top condition with a supplement like YuMOVE Skin & Coat Care Itching Dog.

We wish you a fabulous, fun-filled Easter with your dog! While it's very important to keep anything toxic out of their reach, even well-behaved pups might over-indulge on healthy treats during the celebrations. So, why not keep some YuMOVE Digestive Care PLUS at hand, to help maintain gut balance, bind bacteria and toxins, and support the intestinal barrier?

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