What Halloween Means for Your Dog
Halloween is the one day every year when you can transform yourself into anyone you want to be — from a superhero to a naughty nurse. It’s even more fun when your dog gets to do the same, becoming a Minion or a pink hippo for a day. Halloween for dogs offers the chance to include your pooch in the season’s creative costume frenzy.
Halloween for dogs is becoming increasingly popular as costume options expand. But however you dress up your dog, make sure he’s safe and comfortable. Don’t restrict his movements or force him into a stifling costume. It’s fun to take pictures of your dog looking adorable, but make sure he’s enjoying himself too!
Halloween for Dogs Who Love Attention
What dog doesn’t love being the center of attention? Halloween for dogs in costume means no one will be able to overlook them. Whether you’re having people over for a Halloween gathering or going trick-or-treating together, let your dog enjoy all the extra attention that’s sure to come his way.
One caveat to Halloween for dogs: keep the safety of your dog and others a primary concern. If there’s any chance your dog may be aggressive toward children or other pets, keep them safely separated. Also, ensure your pup doesn’t endanger himself or others by getting underfoot in the midst of raucous celebrants. It’s advisable to keep your dog on a leash; show off his costume when he’s safe by your side.
Halloween Candy for Your Dog?
To be safe, just say no. Halloween can be a hazardous time for your best buddy if he gobbles up dropped treats or sweets offered by a well-meaning trick-or-treater. There’s a sharp increase in calls to veterinarians and pet poison centers during this season because dogs too often ingest candy or decorations. Hazards to watch out for include:
- Chocolate. Chocolate of any type is toxic to dogs. While a small amount may only cause diarrhea or vomiting, a large amount of chocolate can lead to internal bleeding, seizures or a heart attack. Small dogs are sensitive even to very small amounts of chocolate, including the small bits of chocolate in chocolate chip cookies!
- Dark chocolate. This type of chocolate is especially dangerous to your dog. Keep it off the floor and away from your pet.
- Wrapped candy. Eating wrapped candy, with the wrappers still on, can lead to intestinal blockages. And most candies aren’t good for your dog’s health.
- Sugar-free candies. These candies can contain xylitol, which is toxic to dogs. Like chocolate, keep it away from your little pal.
Few dogs have self-control when it comes to food. Most dogs gorge themselves on anything they’re able to get into. Don’t leave candy or even small treats — such as raisins, grapes or other human goodies — where your dog can reach them. Halloween for dogs should never put your pooch at risk for illness or choking.
Cautions for Halloween Decorations and Costumes
Halloween for dogs can present dangers caused by decorations. If your dog knocks over a lit jack-o-lantern, for example, he can start a fire. So keep lit candles and electrical cords away from your dog, and avoid leaving your pet alone with potentially dangerous decorations—which can also be hazardous if your pup eats them.
Remember that dogs love to chew. Anything dangling off your costume or theirs can be a hazard. The rubber eyeballs, fake blood and glow sticks may look mighty tempting to your little guy. If your dog is wearing a costume, make sure he can breathe easily and won’t get caught on anything in your home, at a party or out trick-or-treating.
Celebrating Your Dog’s Unique Personality
Halloween for dogs can be fun or frightening, depending on the personality of your furry friend. Is he playful and rambunctious? Does he strut around like a proud peacock? Is he a devoted sidekick? His unique personality can point you toward an appropriate costume.
Bear in mind that some dogs get caught up in the excitement of a special occasion while others may feel intimidated or overwhelmed. If your dog seems overwhelmed by all the commotion or is uncomfortable with a big costume, try a simpler approach. Dress up your dog in a way that allows him to be part of the festivities without needlessly scaring him.
Simple Costume Ideas
If your dog’s reluctant to wear an elaborate costume, he can still be part of your special day. You can celebrate Halloween for dogs with a quieter personality by adding just a simple touch. He’ll know it’s a special day and enjoy spending time with you, which is the main objective, right?
Here are some examples of simple ways to dress up your dog or add a festive look:
- A shark fin, especially if your dog likes to swim!
- Fun polos, dresses and T-shirts with fun sayings and designs
Going All Out with Elaborate Dog Costumes
Some dogs are more comfortable than others in fancy or elaborate costumes. You can dress your dog so you both get totally into the spirit of the holiday. Consider:
- Turning your pooch into a completely different animal, such as a tiger or even a lobster!
- Dressing him up as a taco or cheeseburger.
- Transforming your dog into Darth Vader, Wonder Woman or Captain America.
- Finding other cute costume ideas.
Get creative! Match your dog’s outfit to your costume — or your child’s. Then find a local event and step out, confident your family knows how to do this October holiday properly!
Enjoy Halloween with Your Dog
When Halloween rolls around, it’s a day that reinforces how special your pet feels as part of your family. Use your imagination to create a look that people are sure to notice and remember.
Once you’ve done all the hard work of assembling the perfect costume for your little guy, show it off! There are events that celebrate Halloween for dogs who wear costumes in New York City and around the country. For example:
- Annual Halloween Dog Costume Party in Manhattan
- Bark or Treat in Philadelphia
- Bark or Treat Halloween Canine Cruise from Alexandria, VA
- Costume Pet Parade in historic Smithville, NJ
- The Great PUPkin Dog Costume Contest in Brooklyn
- Halloween Harvest Festival and Canine Costume Contest in Queens
- Halloween Howl and Healthy Dog Fair in Manhattan
- Howl-O-Ween Dog Costume Contest in the Bronx
- Pawlloween also in the Bronx
- Spooky Pooch Parade in Chicago