Families across the country are hopping at the chance to celebrate the onset of Spring, complete with sunny days, blooming flowers and Easter egg hunts! That’s right, this weekend is when families and friends gather to celebrate the joyful Easter holiday.
During holidays like Easter, it is especially important for families to recognize the ways their decisions impact animals, and to make conscientious, intentional choices to build a more humane world. We encourage families to follow our tips for celebrating a humane Easter:
- Never Give Animals as Presents
Animal shelters across the country take in many unwanted rabbits during the weeks and months following Easter. Live animals should never be given as unexpected presents. Most families are unprepared for the reality of pet ownership and small animals like bunnies, even though they are adorable, require a lot of work and attention just as any pet does. Each family should be prepared to house, feed, love and care for a rabbit for at least 10 years before bringing one into their home.
- Keep Candy Away from Dogs and Cats
Many parents find it hard to avoid sneaking into their child’s Easter basket before the holiday, and pets are tempted by holiday treats too! Candy and chocolate can affect an animal’s nervous system if ingested and xylitol, an ingredient found in sugar-free candies and gum, can be toxic to dogs and cats. The colorful plastic grass and eggs found in Easter baskets can also prove dangerous: pets love to nibble on them and, if ingested, these decorations can lead to a blockage of their tiny digestive tracts. To keep pets safe, keep Easter baskets and candy on high shelves, away from the reach of a curious dog or cat.
- Do Not Indulge the Dog
Festive meals are an important aspect of most holidays. As you sit down for your feast, make sure your pet is not given table scraps of pork roast, ham or other fatty cuts of meat. Dogs and cats can develop digestive issues or pancreatitis if they consume excessively fatty foods, and the twine that is often used to hold these cuts of meat together can block their digestive tracts.
- Dye Eggcelently
Eggs are an ever-present part of Easter celebrations. As you dye eggs and hide them in the backyard, have you ever considered where those eggs come from? When perusing the aisles of the grocery store, you can take an active role in the promotion of farm animal welfare by seeking out and purchasing eggs from American Humane Certified™ farmers and producers who treat their birds with care. Humanely raised hens have adequate space, air and water quality, heating, lighting, shade and the ability to engage in natural behaviors. So be sure to look for our seal on your next carton of eggs!
- Set a Humane Table
More people than ever before are concerned about the welfare of animals on farms and ranches. Home cooks can choose to set a humane table for their holiday feasts by seeking out products from farmers that go above and beyond industry standards to do right by the animals in their care. Seek out protein products that carry the American Humane CertifiedTM seal. Set an example for your children this Easter by choosing foods that come from humane farms.