Halloween is the perfect excuse to host a party for your dog and her canine friends. Tips for throwing a canine Howl-o-Ween bash are listed below.
Nothing sets the mood for a party better than the perfect invitations. Be sure to address the invites to each individual pet, instead of the humans. Include details such as whether you expect pets to be kept on-leash or off-leash during the event, and whether or not costumes are encouraged.
Games & Activities
It isn’t a party without fun games. If pets are coming in costume, go for a pet parade around the neighborhood and ask a friend or neighbor to crown 2 – 3 dogs as “best dressed.” Not only is it fun to show off each pet’s costume, but a little bit of exercise will burn some energy and relieve tension between unfamiliar animals.
If the party is being held outdoors, be sure to have plenty of toys such as balls, Frisbees, and tug-of-war ropes handy. Consider setting up an obstacle course in the yard, such as a hula hoop to jump through, a picnic table to climb over, or a few PVC pipes to weave through. Take turns sending the dogs through the course while recording the fastest times.
For an indoor party, make sure to have plenty of chew toys and squeaky toys available for distraction. One fun game is musical chairs set to spooky Halloween music. Have dog and owner walk together in a circle, and once the music stops, the last dog to sit on command is out of the game.
No party is complete without a fun craft to take home. Set up a paw print station with non-toxic finger paints (or make your own using cornstarch, water, and food coloring) where guests can paint their pet’s paws with “paint” and then create a work of art by dabbing your pet’s paw on a piece of thick construction paper or canvas. To go along with the Halloween theme, turn each paw print into a spider by adding eight legs. Afterwards, wipe off your dog’s paw with a baby wipe.
If none of the dogs have food aggression issues, a great photo opportunity is to have dogs sit at a table and chairs before letting them eat a special party treat. For a Halloween party, the food can have a spooky theme, such as by providing a small bowl of plain, cooked spaghetti with cooked hot dogs to represent worms and human fingers. After the pets are sitting peacefully, set down the food bowls (disposable cardboard bowls are best), and watch as the pups enjoy this special treat.
A Halloween-themed dog party is a fantastic occasion for taking candid and staged photos of pets. Set up a photo booth in a quiet corner with Halloween props, signs with Halloween phrases, and costume accessories. Hang a simple backdrop, such as a brightly-colored sheet, for guests to pose their pets in front of.