Spooky season is here! It’s time for us to enjoy pumpkins, sweater weather, and maybe a scary movie or two. But why should humans have all the fun? Let your dog in on the Halloween fun, and pull out the stops for a Halloween bash designed just for your dog.
Not sure how to get your dog into the Halloween spirit? We have you covered. We have snack and costume ideas, activities for you furry and not-so furry guests, and safety tips. If you’re ready to have a howlin’ good time, keep reading for Halloween dog party ideas.
You don’t need any guests going from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde at your dog’s party. Make sure all the dogs you would like to invite are social and can get along. Some dogs that usually get along well may not be as comfortable with a larger group. Be sure to let the humans know how many dogs you anticipate attending, so they can decide if their pup is ready to RSVP yes.
If you’re planning a party, location is everything. Fortunately, dogs aren’t going to be very picky about the ambiance. Figure out how many pups and people you have on your guest list, and find an area that will comfortably hold everyone. If you have a smaller group, maybe a soiree at home is perfect. If you feel like things may be too crowded, look into having a party at a dog-friendly park. Indoor dog parks in some areas allow private parties. This could be a great option if you live in an area that gets a little chilly around Halloween.
Make sure the area you choose is dog safe and does not have anything dangerous around that the dogs can chew. An easy-to-clean location is a good idea as well since spills and other accidents are likely to happen.
There are few things cuter than a dog in a Halloween costume. From dinosaurs to the ever-popular hot dog, the options are endless. You can DIY a costume for your dog, or buy a premade one online or in a retail location. When deciding on a costume for your dog, keep several things in mind:
Do not pick a costume that can entangle their legs and cause injury.
Watch for parts that dangle that could be a choking hazard.
Avoid anything with a constricting fit, especially in the neck area.
If your dog is rolling, chewing, or rubbing, don’t force them to wear it.
Make sure your dog is supervised at all times.
Before the party, try the costume on your dog and try a test run. This way, you can figure out well in advance if they will be comfortable or not. This also gives you the opportunity to remove any hanging parts that may be a danger.
Keep your guests entertained with some dog-friendly games and activities.
Scavenger Hunt- This is a simple set-up and a good way to occupy your canine guests. Before everyone arrives, hide some treats around the yard or park. Save one for the dogs to smell. Have their owners walk them on their leash while they sniff them out. Make sure the treats are fairly smelly, and make sure some are in easy hiding places for dogs who aren’t used to this type of activity.
Bobbing For “Apples”- Fill a shallow wading pool with Kongs, dog safe balls, and waterproof toys or treats. Fill the pool with a small amount of water, and let each pup take a turn “bobbing” for a fun toy.
Costume Contest- Get the humans in on the fun with a costume contest. Let the human guests vote on the cutest costume, best bow-tie, or snazziest hat. Of course, every dog is a winner, so make sure there are enough prizes to go around.
Get creative in the kitchen with dog-friendly Halloween treats. Set up a barkuterie board for your canine guests featuring pureed pumpkin and pumpkin dog biscuits.
For some delicious pumpkin treats for your pup, try out these pumpkin and peanut butter dog treats from Love From The Oven.
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 large eggs
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 tbsp natural peanut butter (No xylitol)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, cinnamon, pumpkin, flour, salt, and peanut butter.
The mixture should be stiff and crumbly.
Slowly add water to help moisten the ingredients. The dough should be dry and thick.
Flour your countertop, and roll the dough out to be about ½ inch thick.
Use your cookie cutters to cut out individual treats, and place them on a greased baking sheet.
Bake for about 35 minutes or until they are hard.
Stick with the Halloween theme by using cookie cutters shaped like bones, pumpkins, and bats.
Keep your Halloween dog party hopping by keeping things safe for everyone involved.
Avoid chocolate for human guests. If it’s dropped or knocked over, it could easily end up in a dog’s mouth and result in a vet visit. For this reason, hard candy, raisins, and grapes should also stay off the menu.
If you decorate, make sure everything is out of the reach of the dogs. Be especially careful if using battery-operated decorations. Batteries can be extremely corrosive if swallowed and will require an immediate trip to the vet.
Avoid glow sticks. To your dog, they look like shiny toys. Although the contents are non-toxic, they can still cause drooling, irritation in the mouth, and upset stomachs if chewed.
Make sure the dogs are supervised at all times to prevent accidents. Keep an eye out for body language that may indicate a dog is feeling overwhelmed.
You have everything you need to start planning your Halloween dog party. Socialization is important to keeping your dog healthy and well-rounded. So why not make it a whole event? You will be building memories with your dog and making it an awesome “Howl-o-ween.”