Happy Howl-O-Ween! Spooky season is finally here with trick-or-treating, bonfires, hayrides, haunted trails, and costume parties.
But these activities may not be dog-friendly and might even spook your dog! So, what can you do for Halloween when you want your dog to join in on the fun?
Host a Howl-O-Ween Party
Why not bring all the dogs to one central location?! Host a dog-friendly costume party with your friends, family, coworkers, and anyone else. Whether you have the party at your place or an event center, make the party a dog-friendly space.
Put together a spread of dog-safe snacks, host party games, and bring on the dog costumes!
Getting everyone together in one place provides safety and security. However, because Halloween is a nighttime holiday, it can become scary for real if your dog gets too spooked by outdoor noise.
Other popular spots like haunted houses and trails aren’t ideal for dogs. Especially not with strangers in costumes popping out to scare you!
Create a Dog-Friendly Haunted Trail
If you want to get into the spooky vibe with your dog, organize a dog-friendly “haunted trail.” Instead of masked strangers jumping out from behind trees and bushes to scare you, get a group of fellow dog parents and go on a nighttime walk.
Even though it won’t exactly be haunted, encourage everyone (and their dogs, of course!) to dress up in costume. Before heading to the trail, check with your local area to ensure that the trail is safe to walk after dark. If the trails aren’t open at night, do a neighborhood walk after the swarms of kids do their trick-or-treating.
Make Spooky Dog Treats
Is going out not your chosen activity? Stay inside and bake delicious dog treats! Pick up Halloween-themed cookie cutters and make the spookiest-shaped treats for your furbaby. Keep up with the fall theme by using pumpkin, maple, and bacon to create flavors your dog loves!
After baking treats, cuddle up on the couch and watch scary movies for a cozy Halloween night. If you love the nighttime ambiance but the typical Halloween night movie marathons aren’t your thing, opt for classic dog movies!
Get Creative with Dog Costumes
Do you want more creative dog costume ideas beyond hot dogs, delivery drivers, or spooky spiders? Need to create an easy DIY dog costume? Get creative with the materials you have on hand, like old bedsheets or worn-out clothes that aren’t fit for donating.
Rather than doing the ol’ doggy ghost costume, think of how else you can repurpose old material. For example, have you been enjoying a new TV show? Are you nostalgic for a movie you loved as a child? Think about how you can make an easy costume inspired by a character or theme.
If you have old clothes, dress your dog as you! It’s super easy to take a favorite outfit you used to wear often and fit it to your dog. But if your dog is smaller, use clothespins to gently and carefully pin a shirt or sweater into place so it will fit better. Or, wear a matching outfit with your dog for a fun twist. You could even cut the fabric into a cape and make your dog a superhero for the night!
Regardless of your costume-making direction, take the costume off if your dog doesn’t like it. Some dogs don’t like wearing clothes, so watch your dog’s body language. Even if your dog doesn’t get dressed up, you can still have a fun Halloween night!
Halloween Safety Tips for Dogs
As mentioned, keep safety in mind while implementing all of these ideas. It’s easy to get lost in the Halloween fun, but nothing is more important than your and your dog’s well-being. If your dog seems nervous about a nighttime walk, proceed with caution or find another activity.
When fitting your dog in a costume, besides ensuring that they’re comfortable wearing it, check that there are no loose pieces. Your dog could trip and get hurt or, at the very least, get spooked. So whatever activity you choose, whether it’s you and your dog or the both of you with a group, check in with your dog to ensure that they’re having a good time.
Follow general safety rules for Halloween, such as:
- Walking with a group after dark, especially if you’re going on a nighttime hike or stroll through the neighborhood.
- Bring a flashlight and a charged phone if you want to walk with your dog.
- Listen to your gut. Leave the current situation if something makes you or your dog feel uneasy.
- Be extra aware of vehicles! Kids are twice as likely to be struck by a car on Halloween night, so be cautious if anyone in your group brings their children on a walk. Exercise the same caution with your dog and everyone else’s pet.
- Wear an orange safety vest and have flashlights turned on so drivers can see your group.
Don't be too scared to go out. Just be safe and go out with a group of family or friends if you don't want to walk alone with your dog.
How are you celebrating Halloween (or Howl-O-Ween)?! Got cute, funny, or scary dog costumes for your furbabies? We want to see what you're doing and hear your Howl-O-Ween party ideas! So join us on our official Porch Potty Facebook group!