Especially for Easter we came up with two fun games: your dog can go on an egg hunt, your cat can tap an egg. Have fun!
Game 1: Egg hunt
Especially for your dog: egg hunt, or find the hidden Easter eggs. No chocolate eggs of course, because chocolate is toxic and therefore an absolute no-go for your pet! Read more about that here. You can make your own Easter eggs!
How to make the eggs
Look up some cute pictures of Easter eggs on the internet. You'll find lots of them, just google 'Easter egg'. Print out the pictures in a size that’s suitable for your animal. Laminate the prints, you’ll need a laminator and laminating sleeves. This ensures that the paper prints of the eggs do not get wet so quickly and remain beautiful. Now use scissors to cut the eggs out of the laminated prints. Make sure that when cutting out the egg shape there are no sharp corners that your animal can hurt itself on, cut the egg as round as possible from the laminated paper. Make a hole in the laminated egg shape. You can thread a strip of fleece through the hole and attach it: this will ensure that you can hang the egg on something and that your animal can pick it up easily.
You can also cut out egg shapes from sturdy cardboard and stick them on colored paper or color them. When doing this, choose safe, non-toxic materials. Fun for the kids to do!
How to play the game
Raise your dog's interest by playfully moving the strip of fleece that you’ve attached to the egg back and forth in front of his nose. Does he want to grab the strip? Very good, reward him for that with some treats from your hand. Next, see if your dog wants to grab the egg attached to the fleece strip off the ground for you. Does he do so? Reward him! If desired, make the strip of fleece wider, so that the dog gets more 'grip' and picking it up becomes easier. Now lay the egg down on, for example, a chair, with the fleece strip in such a way that the dog can easily pick up the egg from the chair via the strip of fabric. Now hang the egg by the fleece strip on a door handle or on a low branch of a bush. Does your dog still dare to grab the egg now? Please note that this is a completely different situation than taking an egg from your hand or from the ground! So do not make it too difficult and do not tie the egg too tightly to the object your dog has to pick it up from. Make sure that the loop is loose, so that the egg can easily be released. With a knot you run the risk that it only tightens and does not give way when the dog wants to grab the strip of fleece. Now you can, still within sight of your dog, hang or lay several eggs in various places. You can do this indoors, for example by putting an egg under a sofa cushion or hanging it from a door handle. But also outside, by attaching the eggs with the fleece strip to a low branch of a bush or placing them in the greenery. Encourage your dog to retrieve the eggs and reward him for each one brought in. Is that all going well? You can really start with hiding the eggs. At first, it should be easy, in sight and low, but step by step it should be a bit more difficult and hidden a bit higher, for example, so that the dog has to get off the ground with his front paws to get the egg.
Give the egg hunt an extra dimension by hiding a golden egg (okay, a golden colored egg). Hide this egg in an extra difficult spot. Does the dog find it? Then, of course, a super reward awaits!
Here’s the egg, boss!
Not all dogs will want to grab and/or fetch the eggs. That’s not a problem at all! As a dog, you can also indicate in a different way that you have found an egg: refer, as it is called with a beautiful word. For example, by walking up to the egg and looking at it, or by touching it with your nose, or just by wagging your tail briefly. Take a good look at how your animal refers!
Are you going on an egg hunt with your dog? Don't leave the dog alone with the eggs and prevent him from breaking them. Count carefully how many eggs you hide to avoid leaving eggs behind. Keep the egg hunt short, that way it stays fun!
Game 2: Tap an egg
Especially for the cat (but dogs can also join in): tap an egg, or give the Easter egg a whack with your paw!
The same eggs that you can use for egg hunts, only a size smaller for your cat. Cats often find smaller eggs more fun than very large ones.
How to play the game
Hold the egg by the strip of fleece and move it back and forth challengingly for your cat. Chances are that your cat will then paw at the egg in an attempt to 'catch' it. Does the cat touch the egg with its paw? Super, reward it with something tasty! You can use the tube of Prins Train & Care reward cream. This video shows you how you can reward your cat with it. In the beginning, it might be a coincidence that your cat taps his paw against the Easter egg. But when he makes the link between the tapping and the reward, he will show this behavior more often. You can attach fun commands to it, such as "tap!" or "ticky! Teach your cat to give the nicest possible slap against the egg by rewarding only the nicest touches. Voilà, a high five!
Will you be tapping an egg with your cat? Don't leave your cat alone with the Easter egg and prevent him from breaking it. Be careful that your cat doesn't get its nails stuck in the strip of fleece or in the hole of the egg. Move the Easter egg away from your cat. This will arouse his curiosity and hunting instinct!