Easter has come around again, and many of us are looking forward to a day of treats and Easter egg hunts. So why not let your dog join in the fun? While chocolate eggs are a no-go for our furry friends, pieces of plain, boiled egg are safe as an occasional, yummy treat.
How to create an Easter egg hunt for your dog
- Ask your dog to sit and wait (or ask a friend to hold their lead)
- Hide some treats or a toy – let them watch you the first few times to make it easy
- Once you’re finished, tell them to ‘find it’ and let them explore
- As they start to understand the game you can make it harder by not letting them watch you, or pretending to place a treat but not actually doing so
This is a great game to play with your dog while out on walks to keep them close to you, which is very important at this time of year if you are exploring the coast or countryside. Nesting season is underway, and ground nesting birds are particularly vulnerable to disturbance – there are some eggs that we don’t want our dogs to find!
Ground nesting birds
When we think of nests and eggs most of us imagine a bundle of sticks high up in a tree, but some birds take a different approach and lay their eggs on the ground. The eggs and chicks are often very well camouflaged, making them difficult to see and avoid.
Ringed plovers, for example, make their nests on bare gravel, shingle and sand, where the eggs and chicks blend in perfectly. This keeps them safe from predators, but also makes them vulnerable to trampling. Curlews also nest on the ground, except they favour rough grasslands, moorlands and bogs. Sand dunes are another sensitive habitat, sometimes hiding protected species like skylark. All of these birds are red listed, which means that they need all the help they can get.
Keeping paws on footpaths is an easy way to make sure your dog doesn’t stumble upon hidden nests, and it helps to save off-lead zoomies for areas where you know birds are not close by. There are lots of games you can play with your dog to keep walks fun and engaging, while also making staying close to you an even more interesting place to be! Visit our engagement games page to find out more.