Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Want to give canine trick-or-treaters a ghoulish good time this Halloween? Of course you do, and one fun way to do so is to host a Howl-O-Ween party designed just for dogs. It’s a great way to let dogs socialize, and for you and your friends to have some fun, too. Here are some tips – from venue to treats and more – to make sure your pet’s Halloween party is safe and they have a howling good time.
Perfect Pawty Venue
The first thing you will have to decide is where to hold the party. Outside is best, but not always possible if the temps are starting to dip in your area. Consider getting together in a dog park or a fenced in backyard. You’ll want lots of room for the four-legged guests to run and play games.
If you do need to hold the party indoors, make sure you have enough floor space and easy access to the outside. If you don’t want to use your own home, check into pet schools or other indoor facilities.
Wherever you host the party, you’ll need separate spaces for food, bathroom and quiet time.
Not So Chilling Decorations
Don’t go too frightening with the decor. You don’t want a bunch of nervous or stressed dogs on your hands, but there are still plenty of other options. Think more along the lines of "interesting things to sniff" rather than something that makes scary noises or pops out. Hay, pumpkins and leaves are always interesting to dogs.
Incorporating dog bones and skeletons into the theme would be perfect for a doggy Halloween. You can also set up a graveyard for them to wander, with a few loose “body parts.” Just make sure there are enough to go around – you don’t want to start a dog fight over a plastic foot!
Make Costumes Optional
cute pet costume or they at least tolerate it. Others would rather chew off their left paw than be restricted by clothing. My dogs fall somewhere in between; there is no way any of them will wear a full costume, but they don’t mind a hat or towel cape now and then.
So before you go out and buy that adorable Superdog getup or hot dog bun, you might want to see if your dog is comfortable in a tee shirt. Remember, you will be taking your pet around other dogs, so you don’t want him to be wearing anything that makes him testy.
The snacks will probably be the paws-down favorite part of the Halloween party for the dogs. You can set out festive bowls of CANIDAE Snap Bits, Snap Biscuits or TidNips dog treats just like you would candy and chips for a child’s Halloween party. You can bake pumpkin cupcakes as treats. Rice Krispie treats (modified for dogs) can be formed into pretty much any shape you can think of, including bones, bats and pumpkins. Make sure you also set out plenty of water dishes so your canine partiers can stay well hydrated.
You’ll want to have some fun, Halloween-inspired games at your party to entertain your furry guests. Catch-the-body-part is always a hit. You could also set up a short hay bale maze for the dogs to go through, with CANIDAE treats or favorite toys to give them direction hints.
If you have trees or anything else tall that you could string a line from, you can zip a ghost along for them to chase and catch. To make the ghost, just stuff a round plush toy into a white pillowcase and tie it off.
Do you and your dog do anything special for Halloween?
Top photo by Don Hankins
Middle photo by cyberastrofolkie
Bottom photo by reader of the pack
Read more articles by Tamara McRill