Halloween is swiftly approaching, which means everyone in the family is searching for the right costume and looking forward to sweet treats. As many people consider their pets to be a part of the family, it is important to know the dos and should don’ts of celebrating with your furry friend. There are a lot of activities and ideas to help you enjoy Halloween by including them.
DIY Your Way to a Safe Halloween With Your Pet
First, before you decide to celebrate with your pet, learn about what is and is not safe to feed your pet. Most sugary treats you receive at Halloween won’t be good for your pet to eat. However, there are a few sweets that won’t harm them as long as it is in a small quantity.
Most dogs, for instance, can handle about 10 grams of the following: candy corn, Jolly Ranchers, Lemonheads, lollipops, Skittles, Smarties, sour candy, and Starburst. Keep in mind, 10 grams is a very small amount. A single Jolly Rancher is about 6 grams. As you probably know, it is recommended that dogs stay away from chocolate altogether and it is especially dangerous in smaller animals.
This is where teaching your children about candy and pet safety comes in. In addition to teaching kids about rationing their candy and brushing and flushing after sugar, you should also include some information about how they can help keep your pets safe. This includes how they can store their candy to keep it away from your furry family members.
Explain the dangers of your pet eating candy to your children. Then, demonstrate how they can put their Halloween treats away. It is best to keep them off counters or any place your pets can reach. It is also recommended that you store the candy in a sealable container. You may even find it helps keep the candy fresh longer.
There is no doubt your pet probably has a strong bond with your children and vice versa. Oftentimes, your pet can teach your children things about biology and life in general. Take the event of Halloween to help your child better understand your pet’s health.
To combat the desire to serve your pet sweet treats on Halloween, you can make them something special. There are a number of recipes out there for homemade dog treats and you can even shape it into something festive for the holiday.
You can check out this homemade chicken veggies dog oatmeal recipe or find a Halloween-specific treat recipe. Depending on your pet’s likes and dislikes, you can determine what you will prepare for your furry friend. This will save you a lot of worry and won’t make you feel like your pet is being left out of the festivities.
Another way you can DIY your pet’s holiday is to make their costume. Popular pet stores like Petsmart have already-made costumes, but you may find making one at home to be cheaper and more memorable. Your homemade costume doesn’t have to be lame either.
People have created everything from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to a lion to a NASA astronaut for their pets. You can check the web for DIY dog costumes for Halloween and get step-by-step instructions on how to create your own.
If you decide to make your own pet costume, you may also want to search for local costume contests. Many pet-friendly venues will hold contests and there may even be a competition at local Halloween events. Prizes may vary from cash winnings to a special-something for your pet to enjoy.
Whether your pet is in a homemade or store bought costume, ensure they can see and walk in the costume. You should not purchase or make a costume that ends up becoming a hindrance for your furry friend.
Create a Board Book
Many people use board books to document their children, but you can create a board book to celebrate your pet’s Halloween too. Consider starting a holiday board book for your pet, especially if you regularly include them in the festivities.
On Halloween, you can take a photo of their costume. Christmas you can snap a photo of them in a sweater, in front of the tree, or with their presents. Then you can continue this for all future holidays. It will be something you can cherish forever.
Outside of board books, you can search for other crafts to do with your pet as well. If you have an area you can get dirty, consider making a paw painting with your pup. You can also search for other pet-friendly games online to help you and your animal celebrate the day.
Handing Out Candy With Your Pet
If your pet is kid-friendly, consider handing out candy to the neighborhood with them. Continuing to socialize them with kids and other people will help them maintain good behavior. If you’re trick-or-treating with your kids, you can bring your dog along for the fun.
Many dogs may bark or do something like jump up that may scare the children. If that’s the case with your pet, you may want to keep them inside or secluded in the backyard during trick-or-treating.
Volunteer Your Pet
Similar to the way kids and pets have a strong bond, pets can help other individuals as well. Consider visiting nursing homes with your pet in costume. Once you register your pet as a therapy animal, you can volunteer them at local nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Imagine how much your dog in costume might make someone’s day!
There are a few ways you can go about getting your pup registered. Puppies for Parole is one of the more popular programs that trains dogs to become support animals. You may also consider looking for Lutheran Senior Services (LSS) communities in your area. Many of these communities are looking for dogs to volunteer.Having your pet volunteer will not only socialize them, but it will also help so many other people. Animals don’t discriminate against people or see their age or condition, making them a perfect companion for those in senior living facilities.
You may also want to look around for events that help to support those in need of service animals. For example, Katy, TX, is sponsoring a Halloween Pawty, which includes a costume contest. All proceeds go to the Greenawalds Service/K9 program as well as the rescue dog program.
Enroll in a 5K
Around Halloween, there are also a number of Halloween-related races that go on. You may consider entering you and your dog into a spooky 5K. Seeing other dogs and their humans dressed up is always fun and most of the time, the 5K cash will go to a good cause.Just keep in mind, if you and your pup are going to be running, you’ll want to dress them (and yourself) in a running-friendly costume. For example, you probably won’t want to DIY a sheet ghost costume for your dog to run over three miles in. Instead, consider something that will stick to their body more easily.
It is also important to remember that if your dog isn’t used to running (or walking) three or more miles in a row, a 5K may not be the best idea. Consider a shorter race. Many places also do a one mile run/walk prior to the 5K. You can find pet-friendly events online.
Inclusive Pet Activities
Not everyone has a dog. Though they are more likely to be able to engage in Halloween activities, that doesn’t mean your cat can’t get involved too. If your feline is agreeable to a leash, consider walking around with them or registering in a pet parade.
If you register your cat in anything public, be sure you know they are good with other animals of all shapes and sizes. It is likely you’ll come into contact with other cats as well as small and large dogs. If your feline friend is skittish, celebrating Halloween out of the house may not be a great idea.
Much of the time cats are less agreeable to costumes. If this is true of your pet, you may want to think about just grabbing a Halloween-themed collar for them. Another thing to consider is grabbing a few Halloween-themed toys. This can be another treat to give your pet to celebrate the holiday.
It is also worth noting that if you have a black cat, it is a good idea to keep them indoors on Halloween and around the holidays. Even if your cat is known to come back, many people target black cats around Halloween for acts of violence.
Don’t Forget to Have Fun
While watching out for your pet’s well-being over the holidays can be stressful, don’t forget to also have fun. Your pet will pick up on your anxiety and not enjoy themselves as much if you are overwhelmed.
Also, be sure to pick activities, costumes, and treats that cater to your pet’s needs. Not every dog or cat is the same. Some dogs do great around kids, while others do not. Many cats will need to stay inside and wouldn’t enjoy being dressed in anything. Just remember to consider your pet and, of course, have a blast!