Time to dress up your dog in his best vampire, werewolf or zombie outfit ’cause it’s Howloween! Just in time for this frightful holiday, we’ve got the scoop on tips to keep your dog safe, events and some thrilling costume ideas.
Howloween Safety Tips
- Never, ever give your dog chocolate. Pet parents should read up on How To Treat Your Dog For Chocolate Toxicity, so if you pooch happens to get into the stash of Kit Kat bars you’ll know what to do. Remember, even a small amount of chocolate can do damage. The most common symptoms include hyperactivity, muscle tremors, vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate and increased urine output. Severity of chocolate toxicity depends on the amount of chocolate and the size of your dog. Call your vet immediately to have him administer a vomit-inducing agent if your dog eats chocolate.
- It’s usually best to avoid trick-or-treating with your dog. Instead, be sure he’s safe and comfortable in his either his crate or room. It’s a good idea to teach your dog to go to bed when the doorbell rings before the 31st.
- Light up pumpkins make cute decorations but electrical cords are hazardous to your dog. Try to discourage your dog from chewing on the cords, otherwise he may get electrocuted. The best practice is to keep cords hidden, off the floor and turned off while you’re not at home.
- Orange candles may add to the ambiance, but these can be harmful to your pooch. According to i Love Dogs’ Ask a Vet, Dr. Patrick Mahaney, “Besides the pain and suffering burned pets must endure, your entire family may be at risk if a pet knocks a candle over and causes combustion of flammable household materials.”
- Those who aren’t fond of taking your pooch out on Howloween can snuggle up and watch the five scariest movie dogs ever.
Hound-Friendly Halloween Events
If your pup already has his costume pressed and ready for the big day, these events will definitely get him into the Halloween spirit.
- Join the spcaLA for its annual Pet Parade & Costume Contest at the Marketplace in Long Beach, Calif. On Saturday, October 27, pups will compete in a costume parade from 1 to 3:30 p.m. There is no fee to register, so what’re you waiting for! Register your pooch now.
- Pups in the SoCal area can also enjoy the 12th Annual Haute Dog Howl’oween Parade in the Belmont Shore area of Long Beach. The parade begins at 2:30 p.m. on October 28 in Livingston Park. Hundreds of dogs are expected to attend, dressed up head to paw in their favorite costumes. Advanced registration is just $10 per pooch, with all proceeds going to the Community Action Team and its partners. When the parade starts, all costumed dogs will be judged and eligible to win prizes.
- For those who reside in New York City, the 22nd Annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade will bring out the fiercest little monsters in the city. The parade will take place at the Tompkins Square Dog Run in Manhattan’s East Village on Saturday, October 20, at noon with new prizes every half hour for dogs in costumes, and tons of treats. Pet parents who plan to parade their pups are encouraged to bring a donation.
Now on to the best part about Halloween — dressing up your pup! The National Retail Federation released its survey of top dog costumes for 2012. The No.1 costume is a pumpkin, followed by outfits such as devils, hot dogs, bees and super heroes.
- Many of the costumes topping the list can be bought for relatively cheap at Target.
- For those who don’t like mainstream dog costumes, Sweethoots on Etsy hand-makes crocheted dog hats which are available in an array of awesome designs. Options for hats include Viking warrior, Yoda, garden gnome or lion. ($10-$20)
- If the recent Hollywoof craze of superhero movies has you dressing up like Batman or the Avengers, the Etsy shop Sewdoggonecreative offers a Captain America or Batman costume to complete your super pooch’s look. ($28-$35)
PHOTOS: Randy Pertiet