Seven Fun Tips For a Great Howl-O-Ween Party With Your Dog
Adults are enjoying Halloween again in record numbers and are extending that enjoyment to their best pals. A recent survey we conducted shows that more than 50% of our customers are getting costumes for their dogs. So, if the dogs are all dressed up, why not throw them their own Howl-o-ween party? We have hosted a dog Halloween party/parade for three years; it’s become a neighborhood tradition.
Here are seven tips for having a howling good time with your dogs this year:
1. Start with a lighted dog walk. Break out your lighted collars and leashes, and take them on a short neighborhood walk. We call it a parade. This gets their energy out, makes a great show with all of the lights, and helps bond your dogs with the neighbors. Kids love the parade because they get to wear their Halloween costumes too.
2. Have the party in a dog-friendly location. In our neighborhood, we fence off our front yard and use our garage for food and drink stations. We use HIGH tables, plastic glassware and only serve finger food. The dogs get their own treat station. Water bowls are placed outside.
3. Tone down the music. We don’t recommend scary or loud music, the dogs are already over-stimulated and the goal is to create a warm, friendly party so everyone is relaxed.
4. Monitor The Dogs. Invite only socialized dogs and monitor the party at all times to keep everything under control. We only allow dogs that are neutered or spayed to reduce overly-friendly incidents.We strongly recommend that owners watch closely how many treats their dogs receive and have several different kinds of treats to suit each dog’s needs. Provide a dog-time out bin (a fenced in area) for dogs to calm down and separate them when they are too rambunctious.
5. Make it a contest. We recommend having the contest directly after the walk/parade. Most costumes don’t stay on dogs too long and they are normally raring to run off some energy. We give prizes for the Cutest , Funniest & Most Original Costumes along with a Grand Prize winner for overall excellent costumes. The categories are up to you. We have a rawhide on a string that is inscribed with the name of the grand prize winner. The owner wears it for the night and brings it back the next year to pass on.
6. Add some doggie games. Our favorite is Bobbing for Puperoni. We fill a tub with water and have each dog individually bob for sausage-shaped snacks. The dogs love it and we have towels nearby if they get too wet. Make sure all dogs are supervised and only dogs that are comfortable near water participate.
7. Don’t forget tradition. We have a pumpkin carving contest. We use small pumpkins and everyone has to make a pumpkin that looks like a dog. We supply pine needles for whiskers, dog noses and smiles, so they can add it their pumpkin. We let the kids judge which one they like best.
Enjoy a safe and fun Yappy Hour, Top Dog