How to Create a Safe Easter Egg Hunt for Your Dogs

If you can’t resist those sad puppy eyes that stare longingly as you bite into your Easter eggs, there are plenty of safe chocolate treats to ensure your furry baby doesn’t miss out on all the Easter fun.

Frankie Loves Barkery, a Perth-based company, offers chocolates so tasty they can be enjoyed by pet parents and their four-legged friends.

“Our most popular chocolates would be the Strawberry and Carob Bars, as we collaborated with The Cheeky Project to create a carob bar that can be enjoyed by dogs and humans alike,” owner Esther Wagner said.

Camera iconSweet treats available at Frankie Loves Barkery. Credit: Provided

“Next would be our chocolate paws and chocolate bones,” she reveals.

Wagner says her chocolates are a hit not just at Easter, but year-round as treats, and especially for dog birthdays.

“The dog chocolate is a great value treat for (my dog) Frankie. He doesn’t like food, but when the chocolate comes, he’ll do anything for it,” she says.

Wagner started baking his own treats when his beloved cavoodle began to suffer from food intolerances and allergies. They were so well received that she decided to open Frankie Loves Barkery.

All treats are wheat-free, preservative-free, and handmade with human-grade ingredients.

Sweet treats available at Frankie Loves Barkery.
Camera iconSweet treats available at Frankie Loves Barkery. Credit: Provided

“While all Frankie Loves Barkery candies are lovingly created, refined and hand-baked, none of our products are released without the approval of our head taste tester, Frankie,” she says.

As Easter approaches, PETstock veterinarian Dr. Katherine Macmillan reminds pet owners to keep Easter eggs away from their beloved dogs to avoid unwanted visits to the vet.

“The main ingredient that causes problems, theobromine, is found in the cocoa beans that are used to make chocolate. Like caffeine, dogs cannot metabolize theobromine as well as humans, which can lead to a range of problems, including death in the worst case scenario,” she reveals.

“The level of toxicity depends on the cocoa content of the chocolate consumed – baking chocolate poses the greatest risk. Dark chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate while white chocolate is the least likely to cause problems” , she adds.

According to Dr. Macmillan, online chocolate toxicity calculators are available that provide a rough guide to potentially dangerous amounts of chocolate for dogs of different sizes.

She says PETstock offers a range of handmade treats using quality ingredients so dogs can safely enjoy their own “Easter egg hunt”.

Symptoms of Chocolate Toxicity

• Vomiting

• Diarrhea

• Thirst or excessive urination

• Hustle and bustle

• Bloated stomach

• Contraction and stiffness

• Seizures

• High temperature

• High heart rate

Signs can develop between two and 12 hours after consuming the chocolate. If your dog is not feeling well, you should see an emergency veterinarian.

Better yet, if you know your dog has consumed a significant amount of chocolate, take him to the vet before he shows any signs of being unwell. The vet will induce vomiting (make your dog vomit) which will prevent the absorption of the toxin.

How to Prevent Chocolate Toxicity

• Storage: To avoid the risk of chocolate poisoning your pet at Easter, store all Easter eggs high up and out of reach of the smartest canines. Dogs have a very keen sense of smell – what may be well hidden for a child will not work with a dog and his super sensitive nose.

• Create a safe Easter egg hunt: Place your dog in a separate room or area while you plan and conduct the Easter egg hunt. If possible, create a map that includes information about where you placed the eggs in case some are missed by hunters!

• Wrapping: After the Easter egg hunt, make sure there is no foil or wrapping left over from the chocolate. Leftover chocolate will make it extremely appealing to dogs, and if ingested, the wrapper will be difficult for dogs to digest.

• Supervise the children: Young children can be naturally generous and may try to share their Easter chocolate with the dog who is unlikely to refuse. Also, make sure the kids put any uneaten chocolate away in a safe place so it can’t be stolen.

• Training: If you see your dog stealing an egg or eating a wrapper, ask him to “drop” it or offer him a valuable toy or tasty treat as a “trade”. Teaching your pet to drop things in their mouth when you ask will come in handy at times like these.

Source: Dr. Katherine Macmillan, PETstock

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