Three Ways to Enjoy Easter at Home with your Pet
- RSPCA WA is encouraging pet owners to make the most of the Easter long weekend by spending some quality time with their furry family members
- These three boredom-busting activities are guaranteed to be a hit with your pet (and the kids!) – and they can be enjoyed while staying safe and healthy at home
- RSPCA WA is also reminding people to watch for popular Easter treats that can be toxic to pets
1. Plan a dog-friendly Easter hunt
Your dog will love sniffing out treats as part of an Easter hunt. Hide your dog’s dry food (and maybe a few special treats) around the house, and see how long it takes for him to sniff them out.
If you’re planning a traditional chocolate egg hunt with the kids too, make sure your pet is safely secured or that the eggs are hidden out of reach of pets, as chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats. Easter egg foil and wrappers can also be a hazard for animals, so make sure you clean them up as soon as possible. As a precaution, pet owners should check their vet’s Easter opening hours.
2. Bake a batch of tasty treats
Your pet can still indulge over the Easter long weekend! Why not whip up some homemade pet treats? There’s lots of easy, natural recipes online (including some with dog-friendly ‘chocolate’ carob for a little Easter flare). Just double check the ingredients for anything your pet might be allergic to, and avoid ingredients like xylitol (this is found in some peanut butters), chocolate, grapes, raisins, onion and avocado, as these foods can be harmful to pets.
Remember, for many pets, quality time with you can far outweigh a food treat. Your undivided attention for a game, cuddle, or a calming doggy massage could be the best reward of all!
3. Enjoy a “crafternoon”
Get the kids involved and spend a “crafternoon” making an enrichment toy for your pet! Create an easy DIY Dog Rope Toy using this video tutorial. Or make a snuffle mat using the instructions below.
DIY Snuffle Mat
You’ll need: A rubber mat with holes in it (similar to this one), a fleecy blanket (old flannelette sheets would work here too) and scissors.
- Cut your material into strips (about 5cm by 20cm).
- Thread each strip through adjoining holes in the mat and tie off in a double knot.
- Once finished, go back and tie knots diagonally in each direction to fill any gaps.
- Hide treats for your dog (or cat!) in the mat and watch your pet sniff them out – this will keep them engaged for ages.
Comments attributed to RSPCA WA Communications Manager Richard Schoonraad:
“Trips away aren’t possible this Easter, but you can still enjoy some quality family time while staying safe and healthy at home.
“Popular Easter treats – like chocolate and hot cross buns – can be harmful to our pets, but this doesn’t mean your pooch has to miss out on the fun.
“We’ve got a few ideas which are bound to entertain furry family members at home this Easter, plus kids can join in too.
“Enrichment is so important for our pets at the moment, as West Australians self-isolate and are spending more time at home.
“Games, food toys and training are great ways to keep your pet’s mind and body active – and the quality time together can help ease feelings of stress and anxiety in humans too.”