Plan Easter Egg Hunt For Your Dog

How to Plan an Easter Egg Hunt for Your Dog

Medical Contributor:

Dr. Monica Sterk

Feb 13, 2024

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Hello Spring! What a great time to be outdoors with your furry friend. You notice your go-to social platform is showing adorable vids of dogs on an Easter egg hunt. Thought bubble: that looks like fun for my dog–and me!

An Easter egg hunt for dogs can be a fun way to kick off springtime, Easter, and the better weather days ahead! It’s a rewards-based activity for dogs that exercises their brain as well as their body. So, how do you make a dog-friendly Easter egg hunt? Well, you have to hatch a good plan ahead of time to make sure it’s safe and enjoyable, and not just Insta-worthy.


Your dog will use his keen sense of smell for this activity, so the stinkier the treat, the easier for him to sniff it out! Try these:

  • Peanut butter Roll up balls of natural peanut butter (make sure it’s free of xylitol)
  • Carob chips This is a dog-safe alternative to chocolate chips. It doesn’t have much aroma, but you can encase these in peanut butter
  • Meat & cheese Your dog will happily scarf down bite-size pieces of boneless chicken or turkey, lean beef, or bites of aromatic cheese
  • Vegetables Diced up veggies like carrots and broccoli are a hit with most dogs. Dip them in gravy or peanut butter so their nose will pick up the scent
  • Ice cubes If it’s not too warm outside, a few ice cubes in a bowl will be a fun find
  • Dog toy This one is tricky as your pooch may not want to release the toy once it’s found. A rawhide bone is not recommended, since it becomes a choking hazard, as your dog will no doubt be running from treat to treat!


You want to make this event a great time for all, but no need to compete with the White House Easter Egg Roll. Keep it simple, as your doggo will be happy just to spend the time with you and finding those treats.

Now, you might be questioning how to make an Easter egg hunt safe for dogs. Good news, we’re hopping with answers! Check ‘em out:

  1. Well, shell no! – For the purposes of this read, we’ll use the word egg a lot. But we don’t recommend using plastic eggs. You don’t want your pooch’s jaws chomping down on that potentially harmful plastic. Think: cuts…ingestion…vet bills! If you do go that route, be sure to unscrew the eggs, and keep them open with the treats easily accessible. Also, eggs should be large enough to not be swallowed. Also, ALSO—we’ll repeat, we really don’t recommend using plastic eggs at all.
  2. Gotta keep ‘em separated – Keep an egg hunt for children separate from a doggie egg hunt. First of all, no child wants a piece of chicken in their egg. And a dog will pick up on the smell of human food or candy, just as much as his own food. He may fight over a new found treat (the same way kids do!) and will be unpredictable if anyone tries to take that food out of his mouth.
  3. Too hot to trot around – Know your dog’s tolerance for exercise. Especially in hot climates, look for cues like excessive panting to make sure he’s not overheating.
  4. Color me confused – Dogs don’t see color the same way we do, so hiding a dark colored egg under a dark green shrub will be, well, just sad to watch. Lightly colored eggs will be easier to find against dark landscaping and vice versa.
  5. The breeds needs – If other dogs are joining in the fun, it’s best if they’re already familiar with each other. And, there’s a reason you frequently find a “small dog section” at the dog park. Trust us, at VEG, we see the aftermath of little dog/big dog scuffles and it’s not pretty. It’s best to keep small dogs and large dogs in separate Easter egg hunts.
  6. Back the pack – An Easter egg hunt is not a set-it-and-forget-it activity. If multiple dogs are playing together, don’t just release the hounds! You’ll need to support their good time by playing referee and keeping a watchful eye.


As we’ve noted, plastic eggs can be crushed by overly eager jaws, causing potential and serious injury. Here are some alternative ideas to plastic Easter eggs:

  • Hide small plates or bowls around the yard
  • An extra large paper bag, large enough to stick their snout in and grab the treat. If your dog is struggling to reach the treat, the bag is not large enough. It should be an easy grab! Supervise closely and immediately remove the bag for safety.
  • Tuck food inside other foods like
    • a dollop of peanut butter
    • a small piece of bread
    • a hard-boiled egg (but not too many!)
  • Forego hiding the treats inside of things and simply place the treats in hiding spots


Lastly, think about your dog and food. You might want to rethink inviting other canines if your dog is prone to food aggression. Some signs include:

  • Growling when anyone is near his bowl
  • Unable to release a bone or food he shouldn’t have
  • Nosing out other dogs in the home to eat their food or drink from their bowl


Veterinary Emergency Group has hospitals across the US that are open 24 hours. We never close, even on holidays, so kpep us in your contacts. Call to speak with a doctor who can answer your questions or come right in and your pet will be triaged immediately. Best of all, you stay by your pet’s side the entire time!