Photo via Pixabay
Who says Halloween is just for kids? If your pup is a social butterfly and loves lots of attention and adventure, Halloween might be right up his alley. This is one holiday where ideas abound for including your four-legged friend, from hosting a costume party to trick-or-treating together. Read on for ways to make this your dog’s favorite holiday.
It all starts with safety. Halloween is the second most common time of the year for pets to become lost, and according to veterinary professionals, it’s right up there with the 4th of July for the number of dogs treated in clinics.
If you’re considering taking your dog along when trick-or-treating with your children, you need to be prepared. If you don’t normally take your pup on a walk at night, make sure you have the right gear for nighttime walking. You’ll need a reflective dog leash, harness, and/or collar. Blinking lights can also be clipped on to your dog’s collar or harness. It’s not every day that your dog sees people in costumes, so watch him carefully for signs that he feels threatened or uncomfortable.
Keep Him Away from Candy
It’s all fun and games until Rover gets into the Halloween candy. Because chocolate contains both caffeine and theobromine, it is deadly for dogs. Another concern is candy or gum that contains xylitol, a non-caloric substitute for sugar. It is highly toxic (even deadly) for dogs. Sugar is always a concern when it comes to your dog’s teeth, but if caramels or taffy get stuck in your dog’s teeth, the concern becomes even greater. Also, if your dog consumes a large amount of hard candy, it can clump in his stomach, creating the risk for an obstruction.
Along with candy, there’s the wrappers. Many dogs eat the wrappers right along with the candy. If these wrappers are foil or cellophane, it can lead to gastrointestinal irritation and bowel obstruction as well. Making sure you dog doesn’t get sick is an important step to ensuring he enjoys himself this Halloween!
Dress to Impress
Halloween is all about the costumes. It’s been reported that dog owners in the U.S. spend $350 million a year on costumes for their pets! If your dog barely tolerates wearing a collar, you’ll want to skip the costume, or you could try transforming him with non-toxic face paint instead. If your dog loves dressing up, what says togetherness more than these matching Halloween costumes?
Whether you decide to buy your Halloween costume or use one of these easy DIY ideas, make sure your fur baby has a chance to get used to it before Halloween. Use plenty of treats so he associates the costume with fun. Speaking of treats, if you plan on taking your dog trick-or-treating in his costume, it’s a good idea to go for a trial run before the big night. Make sure it’s not too hot or restrictive.
Find a Fun Local Activity
Check out fun local activities where you can take your dog. Some communities host local dog costume contests or neighborhood pet parades. Many pumpkin patches welcome well-behaved dogs, too.
Bring the Fun to You
No exciting dog-friendly events happening in your neighborhood? That’s okay—you can bring the party to your pup, instead. Host a Halloween party with all your dog’s best pals (and their owners). The pups can enjoy entertaining each other while you enjoy watching them and catching up with your friends. For a special treat, try this recipe that leaves all dogs howling for more!
As you celebrate this fun-filled holiday, may you celebrate being a dog parent most of all. This might mean leaving a big bowl of Halloween candy on your porch while you and your furball cozy up in the family room together with a scary movie. When it comes to the best Halloween of your dog’s life, remember that it’s really all about spending time together.