Dogs love to sniff – so an easter egg hunt? Is really cool for them.
Easter egg hunts are probably the thing that most kids remember about easter. So, why not make those memories with your dog!
I did! And it was hugely fun. We had a real blast setting up and watching the dogs meander around the yard, stumbling upon cool treats and things as they went.
The best part for me was that we could use raw eggs and use them as an extra special treat for our puppers. Then, given the season, it seemed only fitting that I used this as an opportunity for beautiful seasonal enrichment.
Honestly, using this as an excuse to let your dog go hunt and sniff in your yard? Is fantastic.
How I structured it
This easter egg hunt actually comprised of a couple of parts, and essentially gave them their food for the day but in an entirely interactive way.
First was scattered kibble. This is known as scatter feeding! But I actually used it to create a trail between the eggs and the bigger treats!
Second was the odd higher value treat which for my trio were things like Beef tendons and tracheas.
Next were these wonderfully naturally coloured eggs to begin the festivities.
And last? Was the big reward of the Easter Toppl right at the end of the trail. But you can use a fun toy too!
How To Naturally Colour Your Eggs
These were snagged from Good Housekeeping – luckily, I’ve tested these for you so you don’t have to be disappointed by some of their ideas like I was… Hence the reason I’ve narrowed it down a lot.
Tip: This works best with white eggs.
How To Naturally Dye Eggs For Dogs
- Bring 4 cups (2 pints or 1 litre) and 2 Tbsp white vinegar to a boil.
- Add either:
3 Tbsp Tumeric for Yellow
3 Cups of Red Cabbage for light blue*
32oz of blueberries for a darker, “cloudy” blue
- Let cool and use some cheese cloth or a sieve to strain the mix (you’re keeping the water, I strain into the jars)
- Ease an egg into the dye and allow to soak for at least 30 mins. I turned them around halfway through so that they didn’t get any undyed spots from being in contact with the glass.
*Yes, I know this one sounds weird, but it makes the most beautiful blue – trust me!
Tip: Small dog? Why not try quail eggs!
Set Up Easter Egg Hunt
Now, this is really going to vary depending on your dog, and your yard, so please do remember that some dogs are not as well bred for their noses as my trio. Coonhounds and German shepherds have some of the best noses of all dogs, and they’re well practiced at finding things in the yard, so you may want to make it easier for yours.
Create a trail
I use kibble (even for my raw fed dog!) and loop loose trails from this place to that in order to keep them sniffing and searching along the way and focused on the task I want them on. These days, I can leave a good gap between the pieces of kibble as a result of practice, but it really helps to shape the behaviour and keep them rewarded for following their nose.
Add in special treats
I like to add in the odd thing like a milk bone to encourage my dogs to keep hunting along the trail. This gives them a break from the ‘love value’ kibble, and suggests that the kibble trail has more rewarding elements for them if they keep going… You can use the odd bit of chicken, cheese, bacon, hot dog, or whatever your dog particularly finds rewarding!
Hide the eggs
If your dogs are good with their nose, or practiced at the game, make sure to spread them pretty wide and let them hunt, but if this is new? Keep them relatively uncovered and quite obvious.
Easier Hiding spots
- Mowed lawn
- Think nose-level
- Common garden spots
Harder Hiding Spots
- On top of tree stumps
- On top of higher rocks
- On top of chairs
- In v’s of trees,
- In big tufts of grass
- With a little dirt over it!
- In a plant pot
Add a surprise!
Personally, I used an Easter Themed Toppl, which meant that at the end of their little hunt that they could get a little fun and rest into one place and soothe them with licking and let them rest a little.
Easter Fun For Your Dog is As Good As You Make It!
Honestly, this was the most fun I’ve had with my dog – I really enjoyed seeing it all come together and watching my dogs wander around the yard from point to point and enjoy their little easter surprises as they stumbled along them.
Next year, I’m planning on interspersing new toys to give a little opportunity for interaction perhaps.
Going to do it? Tag me on Instagram! I love seeing your implementations because it gives me even more ideas!
Author, Ali Smith
Ali Smith is the Positive Puppy Expert, dog trainer and is the founder of Rebarkable. She is passionate about helping puppy parents get things right, right from the start. To help create a puppy capable of being a confident and adaptable family member and keep puppies out of shelters.
Ali has won multiple awards for her dog training, and has had her blog (this blog!) rated as 2021 & 2022 worlds’ best pet blog!