Easter is coming up soon, which means that (for many of us), it’s time to start thinking about how we’re going to help the Easter Bunny fill all those fun little baskets.

It’s also a good time to remind our fellow animal lovers that although Easter is a relatively animal-centric holiday, the occasion can sometimes pose threats to our nonhuman friends. For example, plenty of well-intentioned people have given animals like rabbits, chicks, and ducklings as Easter gifts — but this is NOT a good idea. Each year, an overwhelming majority of these gifted animals end up injured, in shelters, abandoned, or worse. Domestic animals can make great companions, but giving one as an impulse buy is never a good idea.

During your Easter celebrations, please also remember to keep harmful products, plants, and food out of your pets’ reach. Common hazardous items include lilies (most are poisonous to cats), artificial grass, chocolate, candy, small toys, and plastic eggs.

On the bright side, there are virtually unlimited animal-friendly Easter gift ideas. Here are a few of our favorites:

  1. Books: Many are sized perfectly for an Easter basket, and they’ll deliver enjoyment long after all the chocolate and pastel-colored candies are gobbled up. Thinking of picking a title from Patrick McDonnell? Try Thank You and Goodnight or The MUTTS Spring Diaries — both make great gifts!
  2. Art Supplies: Nurture your little artist’s imagination! Depending on the age of your kiddo, options may include sidewalk chalk, stickers, sketch pads, modeling clay, crayons, or acrylic paint sets.
  3. Plush Animals: Have you seen our fair-trade Mooch and Earl Plush Pals? They’re hand-knitted by local artisans in Zimbabwe!
  4. Seeds / Gardening Supplies: Shopping for a child who likes to get his hands dirty? Show him the joy of gardening! If you already have a patch of fertile soil, surprise him with a few packets of wildflower seeds — and, of course, a promise to help him plant them. Don’t have a spot for a garden? No problem. Just include a colorful little flowerpot, too!
  5. Sports Equipment: Does your child like to run and play outside, or does she have a favorite sports team? Treat her to a frisbee, some team-branded merchandise, or a baseball and all-synthetic baseball glove (cruelty-free and easier to break in, too)!

Do you have other suggestions for animal-friendly Easter gift ideas? We’d love to hear them!

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