Doggie Proofing Easter Baskets
Children get very excited with all of the fun filled things in their brightly colored basket and will run through the house like a whirlwind, possibly losing Easter basket prizes as they go. The dog is hot on their heels, retrieving those prizes and enjoying this new game. Obviously, no one wants to ruin the joy of Easter for children, but neither do we want to endanger the family dog. With some thinking and some gentle rules, children can enjoy their Easter basket goodies and the dog will be safe.
People usually opt to put big giant chocolate bunnies in a child’s basket. It is an Easter tradition and if you can’t help but grab the big chocolate bunny, be sure it is tightly sealed in heavy plastic or a cardboard box. If the child drops the bunny or sets the basket on the floor, the dog is going to grab that bunny and run.
Dogs love the smell of chocolate, yet eating chocolate will make them severely ill. You certainly don’t want to spend your Easter at the vet’s office because Fido woofed down a giant chocolate bunny before you could wrestle it from him. Better yet, tell the child that the large bunny should be “put up” for later and refrigerate it.
Jelly beans are another staple to most Easter baskets. Can you imagine loose jelly beans flying everywhere as the child hurries around the house with basket in hand? Basic ingredients in jelly beans are corn syrup, sugar and starch. That amount of sugar is an absolute no-no for dogs, especially small ones. Jelly beans are also small and very sticky. They can get stuck in the dog’s teeth or fur. A small dog may choke on them if they manage to get them swallowed.
A good solution to the jelly bean issue is to secure them all in tightly sealed plastic eggs. If the plastic Easter egg falls out of the basket, it may roll and be chased by the dog, but hopefully you will be able to retrieve it before e pounces and gets it open.
If the child is old enough to understand, discuss Easter basket safety rules. Don’t scare them by warning that the chocolate bunny could “kill the family dog.” Explain gently that while some candy and foods are fine for them, the dog cannot have them. Children may have a tendency to want to “share” with Fido. It is important to make them understand that they some things cannot be shared.
Consider creating a basket just for the dog that contains dog safe toys and treats. Remember though, that Fido may not know the difference if your child leaves their basket on the floor too. Put a few dog safe treats into your child’s basket that they can share and make sure they know which ones are just for Fido. While it is important to teach a child to share, it is also important to teach them what they can safely share.
Lisa Mason is a content marketer writing for Doggie Clothesline, an online boutique for dog clothing, accessories and more. Find great items for your dog as well as advice, tips and more on our blog.