It’s almost that time of year when some of us carve scary pumpkins, put up a tonne of orange decorations and prepare a bowl of candy for the kids that run from door to door shouting ‘trick or treat?!’
It can be an incredibly fun time of year for kids and adults alike but what about your beloved pooch? Many dogs love to get involved with whatever you’re doing and Halloween is no exception. So, whether you have kids who love to celebrate Halloween, want to involve your dog in your spooky plans or make new plans with your pooch, there’s something for you both to enjoy.
We’re going to share with you 7 things that you can do with your dog during the Halloween season. George, the Cockapoo we look after occasionally, is quite used to having to dress up during particular seasons. Thankfully, he agreed to participate in my mini Halloween photoshoot! No Cockapoos were harmed during this photoshoot… It only took a few treats to persuade him.
1. Halloween dress up and photoshoot
For this one, obviously it depends on your dog’s temperament and how patient they are prepared to be. Perhaps it depends how much your dog loves a bribe too… Or maybe your dog already loves dressing up and will not mind at all.
Nevertheless… if your dog can handle it, why not dress your dog up in some adorable Halloween costumes such as a pumpkin, a hot dog, a ghost or even a mermaid?
It’s also the perfect opportunity to take some super cute (or spooky) pictures of your dog.
I’ll be honest, there are not many dogs that I look after who could handle this. Oz the Cocker Spaniel is too excitable for me to be able to dress him up. He is still a puppy. However, George is perfect for this kind of activity because he stays still long enough for me to do what I need to do to make him look Halloween-y.
This doggy costume is one for the superhero lovers. Wonder Woman is known for having superhuman speed and agility, so let your dog be seen in the crisp Halloween winds as if he is flying.
Picture this… Your pooch dressed as a wizard, you dressed as one of the main characters in Harry Potter such as Dumbledore, Voldemort or even Hagrid. What could be a better combination?
One thing I will warn you about when ordering your dog’s costume online is to make sure that you check the sizing carefully. I bought George the Cockapoo some bat wings that were supposed to be for small dogs, unfortunately it would be better fitted to an incredibly tiny dog or cat.
If all else fails you, do not forget that you could always go with the all time classic bedsheet with eyes cut out of it. That’s a good alternative, right?
For those of you who wish to have a little photoshoot with your dog too, you might want to try some mood lighting. If you own a bright photography light, try using an orange light to set the mood.
Once you’re done and dusted with the dress up and photoshoot session, you’ll both be ready to go trick or treating.
George had his eyes firmly on the biscuits I was holding to trick him into thinking I only wanted to treat him.
2. Take your pooch trick or treating
If your dog loves the outdoors and is not too afraid of people dressed up, why not take him trick or treating with you? Your dog will get a good walk out of it and will get to socialize and meet lots of new people. This is great for dogs as they honestly love humans.
Cuteness reported that when dogs meet and smell humans, it stimulates pleasure for them more than it would when they meet other dogs. Who knows, your dog might even help you and your kids socialize with others in the neighbourhood as well. Dogs are a great conversation starter and nobody can deny that dogs in costume are one of the most adorable things on the planet.
Allow your dog to join in with your trick or treating and he will still love you. Exercise, his own treats and being around lots of humans is really all he needs to stay happy for this event.
George absolutely adores being around people and when he is outside he loves to join in with anything that goes on.
3. Watch a scary movie or two
If you’re more of a stay-at-home kind of person when it comes to Halloween (which I do not blame you for, I am too!), you could always get into the spirit of this season by watching a scary movie. If scary movies aren’t your thing either, you could watch Halloween episodes of TV shows.
If your dog is a particularly cuddly dog who loves to be close to you, he’ll love to snuggle up with you on the sofa while watching a film. Some dogs fall asleep, others watch the TV. It all depends on the sounds and what they can see.
Movies for your family Halloween night-in:
- Coraline (2009)
- The Haunted Mansion (2003)
- Monster House (2006)
- Hotel Transylvania (2012)
- Scooby-Doo (2002)
- Casper (1995)
Movies for your scary Halloween night-in:
- IT (2017)
- Halloween (1978)
- The Exorcist (1973)
- A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
- Green Room (2015)
- The Conjuring (2013)
Dogs react to sounds. In fact, dogs can hear up to four times further than we can according to Wag!. Remember that one way that dogs understand emotions is by sound, so if they hear you gasp or scream at something you reacted to on the TV, it’s likely that they will look to see what the fuss is about. They react to your body language too, so if you’re suddenly rigid, they will know that something is up.
Other than that, enjoy your time lounging about with your dog during this spooky season. I’m sure they will love to spend quality time with you while chilling on the sofa.
4. Find a dog-friendly pumpkin picking patch
You may well go to your local supermarket to buy your yearly pumpkin dose. We all know that feeling of wanting our pumpkins to look better than our neighbour’s. So we spend hours cutting, scooping and carving them to perfection.
However… have you considered that there’s a more active way to get your pumpkins this year? One that benefits both you and your dog?
If you’re someone who invests a lot of time into Halloween because you like to give your house (or doorstep) a make-over, consider looking for your nearest dog-friendly pumpkin picking patch.
This means not only do you get fresh pumpkins that you have hand-picked yourself, but your dog also gets some exercise and to socialize too! Pumpkin picking can be great for all the family or for just you and your four-legged best friend. Not to mention the fact that you can support local businesses.
Pumpkin picking patches tend to have a range of pumpkins, all of different types and colours. You’ll get to pick the best out of the lot and your dog will enjoy a trot through the fields with you too.
George is 100% adorable and he knows it, even when he is trying to be devilish.
You’ve all probably heard of apple bobbing, but just in case you haven’t, I’ll fill you in. It’s when there’s a bucket of water filled to the top and apples are placed in the water. The apples will float and the idea is to get them out using only your mouth.
It’s slightly harder than it sounds, particularly as many apples are bigger than our mouths! However, there’s no reason why your pooch cannot join in with the fun. Behold… doggy-bobbing.
It is up to you whether you still use apples but you could always substitute them for tennis balls or something similar. Just make sure that whatever you use, they will float to the top of the water. Otherwise, it will be pretty difficult for your dog to get them out from the bottom of a bucket full of water!
Once you have chosen an appropriate object or food, encourage your dog to try and get them out of the bucket and praise them once they do to let them know they have done well.
You can teach this to your dog so that they learn a new trick, or you can simply involve them in your Halloween party games! Providing your pooch is interested in what is in the water, hopefully they will want to join in with what you’re doing.
‘If I’m cute enough and stay still long enough for them to capture my beautiful ginger face, they’ll give me a delicious treat, right?’ – George the Cockapoo
6. Halloween pet party
Just as us humans enjoy socialising with our friends and having general human interaction from time to time, dogs like socialising with their own kind too. If you’re not that into big human Halloween parties (I don’t blame you), perhaps you could arrange your dog’s very own pet party.
If you’ve met other dogs along the way that your dog enjoys the company of, or simply know people who have their own dogs, you could invite them to bring their dog in costume. If you’re not up to having them in your own home or you do not have the space, you could always arrange something in your local area.
There are plenty of forums and Facebook groups that you can use to socialize your pup, so there’s no harm in giving it a go if you want to meet people. Your dog will be happy to be surrounded by their own kind and perhaps they can even play with them.
This will be great for your dog’s health as they will get to exercise. Cesar states that dogs need to be socialized because it helps them learn where their place is among other dogs. Obviously we must ensure that our dog understands basic behaviour when socialising but ultimately, dogs do need to be dogs and learn through their own actions, just like us humans do.
Socialising is good for their health. So take the holiday season of Halloween as an opportunity to let your dog make new friends.
Imagine that your dog is dressed as Wonder Woman as she is soaring across the field, chasing off the evil Bat-dog. That’s not cheesy at all…
George is so well behaved and he is already used to being pampered and photographed.
7. Bake Halloween doggy treats
Whether you’re a star baker or not, you could always try baking some Halloween goodies for your pup. With this one, your dog cannot join in otherwise they may well end up causing a kitchen disaster. However, your dog might hang around in the kitchen while you bake them some delicious treats.
If they’re lucky, you might even give them a few sneaky previews of their treats too. You can browse some homemade dog treats that you can make at home for your pup and there’s no reason why you cannot adapt them to be Halloween themed.
Try getting some Halloween cookie cutters or moulds – this way your dog’s treats will look both spooky and delicious. Your dog will be intrigued by any strong smells in the kitchen, so watch out for sneaky doggos that try to steal ingredients when you’re not looking.
George loves a bribe – he is an intelligent dog, so he behaves beautifully for difficult tasks when he knows what he gets out of it!
There’s just 7 things that you can do with your dog during the Halloween season. No matter what you enjoy doing most, whether that’s staying in and watching some TV or going outside to do something active a lot of the time, your dog will still love you.
To summarise what I’ve said in this article:
- Dogs understand emotions by sound and body language, so they might pick up on this when you’re watching a scary movie
- Your dog will love any exercise you give him
- Dogs need to socialize to understand others of their kind
- There’s plenty of homemade dog treat recipes online that you can adapt to match any time of year
Have a lovely Halloween with your dog, regardless of what you get up to in your free time together!
George is so well behaved and you can tell how he is feeling by his facial expressions.