It’s that time of year again when all the ghosts and goblins appear. Unfortunately, it’s a little different this year for all of us, including for our precious pups. Instead of Halloween, during COVID-19, maybe we’ll just call it Quarantine-o-ween! Just sayin’.
There’s no need to cancel Halloween, though. Simply alter your plans to comply with the health and safety precautions in your area. For years, Halloween has already seen kids wearing masks, so this year might just be the most normal thing we’ll be doing all year. Kids wearing masks outside. WOW! It’s almost a no-brainer.
However, if you’re not comfortable trick or treating door-to-door, we’ve put together a list of Halloween tips for you that will still provide your kiddos and pups some scary and fun-filled moments. Here are our top 7 tips for a festive Doggie Halloween during COVID-19.
1. Find a fun costume
(The costumes pictured here are available from Amazon. Click on each image for more info.)
Be sure your dog is not allergic to any of the fabrics. Also, be sure the costume is the correct size. Do not buy costumes that have parts that might fall off or be chewed off and become a choking hazard. You want to create wonderful memories, not disastrous ones. And speaking of great memories, take plenty of pictures to share with friends and family.
2. Give your dog Halloween treats
While preparing treat bags or treat pumpkins for your children, don’t forget Fido. It’s a known fact that dogs are quite motivated by positive reinforcements. As you dip into your treat bag and grab a piece of candy, open your pup’s bag of treats and give them something as well. This could be a good time to have him do an old trick or perhaps teach him something new and reward him with his very own Halloween treat.
Have a Halloween Party. If you live in an apartment, this might not be feasible. However, if you have a backyard or a large common area where your pets can gather along with other pet owners in your apartment complex, this might work well, even during COVID-19. Social distancing outside is much easier. Humans wear masks. PETS… NEVER WEAR A MASK!! EVER.
This little Halloween party can be great fun for all. Especially our furry friends. Have plenty of fresh water for drinking. I suggest a child’s wading pool filled with water so they have plenty to drink. The wading pool has always worked well for us when we’ve had backyard get-togethers with friends and family and all their pups. I might add that there’s always that one doggie who decides he’d rather do his drinking from within the pool. I can assure you it will not be a dull Halloween Party.
4. Leaf piles and walks
Autumn is leaf season, and raking leaves into piles in your yard can be a fun thing for your pups. It also helps to burn off those Halloween calories he consumed while trick or treating. Besides, running full speed ahead and pouncing into a pile of leaves offers an excellent opportunity for photos and videos.
NOTE: Before you allow your doggie to jump into the leaf pile, be very sure there’s nothing below the stack that could harm him. Fresh piles are okay. Old leaf piles are NOT! Why? Because there’s dampness that attracts mold and bugs. So, avoid all leaf piles while walking or hiking unless you know for certain they are fresh and safe.
5. Have fun on the farm
Pet-friendly pumpkin patches and hayrides during Halloween are great. Be sure your dog is on a leash and minding his manners with the other pets in their Halloween costumes. Don’t forget to bring along water and a collapsible bowl. And please, do not forget pet waste bags. Seeing other pets in their Halloween costumes might be distracting and even stressful for some doggies and having to eliminate themselves is a given. Pick up and dispose of your pet waste. Use good common sense and good manners.
Because of COVID-19, there may be fewer pet Halloween parades and hayrides. Check with your local farm to be sure if you can still bring your dog along.
6. Neighborhood parade
Gather the parents in your neighborhood to put together a Halloween parade for kids and pups. All in costume, of course. It would be a way for all to be outside practicing safe distancing and still enjoy Halloween.
7. Cookies, cuddles, and strolls
If all else fails, you still have several fun things to do for you and your pup. Purchase matching costumes and take a walk around your neighborhood. Bake some Halloween cookies for yourself and your family. Go to our cookie of the month recipe and make a batch for your best buddy. I assure you; he’ll love them, especially since you made them for him. Curl up on your couch with Fido and put on a Halloween movie that you’ll both enjoy. There are many cute ones out there. And just in case you have a few trick or treaters, leave a bowl of candy on the porch for them.
Note: If you do venture out after dark, be prepared for scary noises or strange Halloween occurrences. After all, it is the spookiest night of the year, and you have no idea what you might encounter with your pup. Be sure your fur baby is wearing proper identification and is microchipped. If he hears a sudden loud noise and panics and breaks away from you or slips out your front door, you want to be sure he has the proper ID on his collar, including a tag with your cell phone number. When walking at night, there are many options you have for purchasing reflective gear.
Be safe, and have a blast. Your doggie will love just being with you. Happy Howl-o-ween!