[Updated October 2023]
For many of us, Halloween is the one day of the year when we can really dress up and escape the everyday. From creepy costumes and spooky music to party games and tons of chocolate, it’s no surprise that so many people adore the spooky season.
Unfortunately, our dogs may find Halloween even more scary than we do – with strange sights and unexpected sounds and smells all around.
Luckily, we’re on hand with a list of dog-friendly activities to make Halloween more fun! Read on to find out more…
Go to a pumpkin patch (or an apple orchard!)
This classic autumnal tradition is the perfect way to spend some quality time with your furry best friend. Explore the farm, pick out the perfect pumpkin and let your dog lead the way in a corn maze. Just make sure that the farm is dog-friendly before heading out!
After your trip, you could try your hand at carving a pumpkin. You could keep it simple with just a paw print, do a classic ‘scary’ carving, or could even try to carve the pumpkin to look like your dog.
Even better, did you know that pumpkin is safe, in moderation, for your dog to eat? Let your pup nibble on the scraps, or make them their own Halloween-y treat.
Do some apple bobbing
You shouldn’t let your dog bob for whole apples as it can be a choking hazard. Instead, cut apples up into little slices and let them bob for those. You could also let them bob for very spooky seasonally themed treats* (*their usual treats).
- Step one: fill up a few large bowls with water
- Step two: top up with apple slices or treats
- Step three: release the hounds
This game is great if you’re having a puppy party, but make sure there are plenty of bowls to go around, and always supervise pets when they’re playing in, or with, water. Also, keep in mind that any dogs who are overprotective of their food should probably sit this one out.
Have a Halloween movie marathon
There are so many Halloween classics where the dog is the star of the show. Think Scooby-Doo, Frankenweenie or The Nightmare Before Christmas. Extra-scary ones like Cujo should probably be avoided.
This is the perfect activity if you want to avoid all the Halloween chaos. Instead of worrying about outings and activities, you can snuggle up on the sofa with your canine companion and ease into a spooky movie marathon.
Plus, if you leave a bowl of sweets or chocolates on your doorstep, the trick-or-treaters will take care of themselves!
Take them trick or treating
Trick or treating shouldn’t just be for the kids. Your dog loves walkies, and many dogs love meeting strangers, so why not take them with you?
Of course, this may not be for all dogs - make sure to choose activities suitable for your pet. Dogs that are more nervous might prefer to go for a walk earlier in the day when things are calmer and quieter.
Step one: find a canine-friendly route
Take your pup around a well-lit, dog-friendly neighbourhood. This way, they’re more likely to be given treats and can bump into furry friends.
Step two: gather the kids and grab a lead
Enjoy a wicked walk, but always keep an eye out to ensure your dog isn’t spooked by all the costumes and strangers. We also wouldn’t recommend letting the kids go trick or treating with the dog alone. Your dog – and children – should always be supervised on the scariest night of the year.
Step three: time for the treat
Some homes may be prepared for doggy visitors, but bring a bag of dog treats with you just in case. You wouldn’t want your pup to feel left out! After you’ve returned home, make sure to give them lots of attention for being so good.
Buy your dog a spooky new toy
The ‘treat’ in trick or treat doesn’t always have to be so literal. Halloween-themed dog toys can do the trick! Surprise your dog with a new terrifying toy and have some frightening fun together. Pets At Home has an entire range of fab-boo-lous toys perfect for your pup.
YuMOVE Calming Care One-A-Day
- A yummy chew for dogs who are stressed and nervous
- One tasty treat a day
- Helps reduce stress in dogs
- Supports calm behaviour
Does your dog get stressed out during spooky season? If so, consider giving them YuMOVE Calming Care to ease anxiety, help reduce stress, and support calm behaviour!