for You & Your Hound
Halloween is fast approaching, and with that, dog fancy dress season! Here are some tips to help make it an enjoyable experience for both you and your hounds.
If this is the first time you are celebrating Halloween with a family dog you probably have lots of questions about what you can do and how you can include them.
Are full dog fancy dress costumes ok?
Dressing up is a huge part of the fun of Halloween, but just because we humans enjoy throwing on crazy outfits doesn’t always mean your dog will. Remember, not every dog enjoys wearing clothes or fancy dress costumes.
As much as you may want your companion to be part of the spooky celebrations it is important to think ahead and not put them in clothes that they will find uncomfortable.
If you already have a costume picked out for your dog it’s a good idea to do some dress rehearsals before the night of Halloween so you can observe their behaviour and get them used to wearing their new threads. Put on your costumes at the same time too, so they know what to expect and remember who you are!
Check if they look comfortable, that they have total freedom of movement and can still curl up in a ball if they want to, and make sure they wont get too hot. Standing still to test some clothing is one thing, walking around all night when they are a bit anxious is another so err on the side of caution.
If your dog is used to wearing clothes, or you are sure they are comfortable, the key elements we should all watch out for are:
- Freedom of movement – pick a costume that is made of stretchy fabric, such as a lightweight cotton jersey, and if there is a choice it’s always better to size up than go for a tight fit.
- Comfort – Ensure they are able to do all their normal activities. This includes running, sleeping, stretching and going to the toilet!
- Temperature – ensure your dog will not overheat. Lightweight, breathable fabrics might be a bit more expensive but they are always a safer option than, say, wrapping your dog in a black bin bag (don’t do this!) – which is going to make them overheat very quickly!
At Blas & Co we always launch a collection of Halloween themed clothing and accessories at the beginning of Autumn. To see what we have available this year visit our halloween collection.
What Can I Do If My Dog Doesn’t like Fancy Dress Costumes?
If your dog doesn’t feel comfortable wearing a full outfit, or you are worried the one you have isn’t suitable, then a great alternative for Halloween dog fancy dress costumes are neckwear accessories, such as bandanas, bow ties or neck ties.
These cute accessories can bring help include your dog in your families Halloween theme without getting in the way of their usual activities, and without breaking the bank!
Neck accessories are very handy for larger breeds of dogs too – such as greyhounds and lurchers – as there aren’t as many fancy dress choices available off the shelf for big dogs when compared with small and toy breeds.
We have a selection of Greyhound and Whippet bandanas, as well as other neck accessories for you and your hound, available all year round! Visit our accessories shop to find out what is available at the moment.
How will my dog react to Trick or treaters?
It’s worth repeating that while Halloween is a fun time of year for us it can be a rather scary experience for your dog if they are not used to it, particularly if they are a new addition to your family.
Rescue greyhounds usually take a little time to get settled in and become familiar with your family, friends and the neighbourhood they now call home. If you introduce a lot of loud, excited people in fancy dress costumes you can imagine how unsettling that might be.
If you dog loves being the centre of attention and getting involved then by all means let them join the party! They might love it as much as you do! But don’t force them to be outside with strangers if they don’t want to, and always make sure they have a calm place indoors to retire too if they need.
Be aware that lots of visits from trick or treaters to your door may also spook your dog. If you live in a busy family neighbourhood, consider keeping your dog somewhere in the house away from the main entrance to avoid negative interactions with anyone knocking on your door.
If you are worried about this you can always put a note on your door explaining your dog is anxious, and politely asking them not to knock. Most people will understand and do the right thing.
Keep the Sweets Away from Long Noses
Don’t forget that the huge bowl of tasty goodies near the door can be just as tempting for you dog as it is for you!
Make sure you keep it in a safe place and well out of reach of your dog at all times. Making sure everyone in the family knows that they are not safe for the dog to eat.
The last thing you want is an emergency visit to the vets to spoil the enjoyment of the evening!
What Else Can I Do to Make My Dog Feel Safe?
Generally for all dogs it’s a good idea to walk them bit earlier than usual on Halloween in order to avoid the busy streets with adults and children dressed up in all sorts of scary costumes – this is particularly important if your dog is anxious or reactive, but it is a good idea for all dogs.
If you are staying indoors for Halloween evening you may want to consider taking your dog for longer than usual walk to get them as relaxed as possible before the festivities start.
Maybe put some calm music on and provide them with a safe place to go if they choose to, away from all the hustle and bustle, and most of all let them know you are there with them so they feel safe and protected.
Make It a Fun Experience for Everyone!
It might seem daunting to celebrate Halloween with your dog for the first time, not knowing how they will react, whilst also keeping them feeling safe and calm. But if you are always there for them and always ready to comfort them you will quickly discover what they can and cannot handle.
Halloween can definitely be a fun and enjoyable time for all the family so just be mindful of their needs and make sure to include them in a way that they feel comfortable.
Make it fun for everyone in their own way!
You never know, you might end up with a couple of Greyhounds that just do this whilst everyone else is celebrating… 🤣 🙈