How to involve your pets in Halloween fun
Halloween can be a fun time for families and it’s easy to include your pets. Karan White from Doxies Down Under shares her tips (and enthusiasm!) for how to get them involved, and keep them safe and happy.
Halloween, or Howloween, is a big thing in our house. We often celebrate the occasion for the entire month and a new costume a day is not unheard of. This year though, we’re in the process of a big move interstate, so we’re keeping it low key.
Regardless of how you embrace the spirit of the celebration, some basic tricks (and treats) apply to making sure your pet enjoys Halloween with you.
First, it’s important to understand your pet’s comfort level when wearing costumes. We have four pets in our home and for one, costumes are an absolute no-go zone. It’s no fun for anyone if your pet is uncomfortable or unhappy.
For the pet that has a low tolerance for costumes, a simple bandanna will do the trick. Pick up some fabric, cut in a triangle and your bandanna is done! If you have a sewing machine, you might prefer to sew a double-sided bandanna. Or, simply order one online. There are so many gorgeous Halloween fabrics available, including glow-in-the-dark fabrics. Your pet will never feel under-dressed in a bandanna.
If you have a little extra time and crafting skills, you’ll find plenty of inspiration on Pinterest for a fun and unique costume.
And of course, the fail-safe is a ready-made costume. With the increased popularity of including pets in Halloween celebrations, there’s a huge range to choose from and you’re sure to find one to suit your budget too. You’ll find costumes under $10 in discount stores and if your budget is higher, online shopping will give you lots of options.
Regardless of the costume you choose, you must ensure that your pet is completely comfortable wearing it, that the costume does not restrict breathing or movement and that there are no loose parts capable of choking your pet.
Tips: shop early to ensure you find a costume in the right size for your budget and consider swapping costumes with friends and families for those all-important social media photos!
You know what they say about working with pets (and children). Not all pets love having their photos taken, so again, you first need to consider the comfort and enthusiasm of your pets.
If you don’t generally take photos of your pets in costume and surrounded by props, it’s likely you won’t nail the photo first time. Be patient and don’t take any frustration out on the pet.
Planning and fun are going to give much better results:
- Plan your props and scenes
- Exercise your dog beforehand to work off any excess energy
- Have some (healthy) treats on hand for rewards between takes and give lots of cuddles and pats
- Have a helper or two—the photos can be something the whole family can enjoy!
Tips: if you have children, involve them in making props for your photos (papier mache pumpkins will be a hit) and shop for props the day of Halloween or immediately after for highly discounted supplies. Add them to your props cupboard for next year.
Don’t let Halloween become ‘fright night’ for your beloved pets. Follow some basic safety tips and discuss them with your family so everyone knows how to keep your furry friends safe:
- Trick or treat lollies are not for pets. Many of the ingredients in lollies and chocolate are toxic, so be vigilant with this safety rule.
- Do not leave any pets in the yard during Halloween. Some pranksters may not be as respectful of your pets as you are, so make sure all your pets are secure and comfortable in a crate, laundry or quiet room. Cats should be confined several days before and after Halloween, especially black cats, who sadly are at high risk for cruelty-related incidents.
- Ensure your pets are micro-chipped, your address and contact details are up-to-date and all pets are wearing a collar with an ID-tag. If they do escape, you’ll have a much better chance of being reunited with your beloved animal if their ID is visible.
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