There’s no denying it – Halloween in Australia is here to stay. Although some criticise it as an imported, commercialised celebration, it doesn’t have to be that way. Celebrate the spooky holiday this year, which actually has its origins in pagan harvest festivals, by having some COVID-safe fun with your best furry friend. Here’s information on Halloween dog costumes, treats and toys, everything you need for a memorable Halloween.
Dress up your dog
According to some not-so-reliable sources, the top 5 Halloween costumes for dogs this year, in no particular order, are Hot dog, Superhero, Cat, Bumblebee and Pumpkin. We’ve tracked down some places where you can buy your pet a fun costume.
Turn your dog into a Bootique Buzzy Bee with this bee costume from Petbarn.
Petstock sell this cute Cutest Pumpkin in the Patch t-shirt for dogs in a number of different sizes.
Turn your dog into a mini monkey, mini werewolf, a hot dog, a shark or more with a costume from the hilarious and extensive range of dog costumes available at halloweencostumes.com.au.
Hot tip: If you plan on dressing your dog up on Halloween it might help to have a few practice runs before the actual day.
Spoil your dog with some pet-safe treats
Chocolate and candy are synonymous with Halloween but we all know that they don’t mix well with our four-legged friends. To keep your pet safe, ensure that all chocolate and candy are kept well out of their reach and ensure that any visitors to your home are made aware of the dangers of feeding these things to your dog. Your pet needn’t miss out on all the fun though. Here are some places where you can purchase dog-friendly treats:
Treat your pet to some canine confectionery, some pumpkin and oat flavoured treats, a personalised dog treat and more from the Gourmet Dog Barkery. Their Belmont store is currently closed due to COVID, but online ordering is still available.
The Dog Shop Warners Bay offer crazy dog bone biscuits, frosted sparkle cookies and more. Click and collect kerbside or arrange for delivery.
Pumpkin-flavoured treats are available from Pickle & Pumpkin K9 Treats, grab a bag of smashing pumpkin training treats or a large bag of smashing pumpkin treats.
For more, see our article on Where to Find Yummy Dog Treats in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & Hunter.
Bake some homemade dog treats for your dog
If DIY is more your thing, give these homemade dog treats a go. My kids and I bake these treats for our dog using a recipe we’ve had for many years:
Homemade Doggie Treats
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup mashed banana (2 bananas)
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup wheat bran
Preheat oven to 150 degrees. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Stir together egg, peanut butter, banana and honey in a medium bowl, blending thoroughly. Stir in the flour and wheat bran and mix well. Refrigerate dough for approximately 1 hour. Turn dough onto a floured surface and roll to 2cm thick. Cut into desired shapes with a cookie cutter and place on prepared tray. Bake biscuits in preheated oven until dried and golden brown (approximately 30 minutes to an hour). Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Makes approximately 20 bone-shaped biscuits.
If you want to bake some treats with a Halloween twist, you could try these Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Dog Treats from the Eating Bird Food website.
Treat your dog to a Halloween-themed toy
There are some great Halloween-themed toys around this year, here are some of our favourites:
These cute 4 Pack Pet Toy Halloween Balls from Kmart. Kmart also have a small range of Halloween plush toys for your pet, which might suit smaller dogs (I know my dog would tear them to pieces within minutes!).
Carve a dog-themed pumpkin
Here’s an activity for the serious dog lover! Buy a carving pumpkin and prep it for carving by giving it a good wash and dry. You might want to experiment with your design on paper first or use a washable marker to draw a freehand design straight onto your pumpkin. Get carving! Use a long, thin kitchen knife for best results.
Do a quick Google search and you’ll find some amazing dog-themed carved pumpkin designs on the internet. Use one for inspiration or attempt your own design. Don’t forget to share a picture of your result by tagging #newywithdogs.
You’ll only have a couple of days to enjoy your pumpkin before it starts to go soft, so don’t carve it too early before Halloween.
Grab a takeaway puppaccino for your dog
See our article on Dog-Friendly Cafes, Restaurants & Bars in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie & Hunter and spoil your pooch on Halloween by taking them on a coffee/puppaccino date. Due to COVID and regulations changing regularly, be sure to ring ahead first and confirm that your order can be placed.
Take your dog on a Halloween walk around your neighbourhood
Skip your regular route and take your dog for a walk around your neighbourhood instead, keeping an eye out for decorated houses and dress-ups. Just keep in mind that your dog might not take kindly to a little person dressed as a ghost, so use common sense, practice safety and keep your dog on a short lead at all times so that they are ready to be scooped up quickly if the need arises.
You could also arrange a puppy play date at one of the local off-leash areas and suggest that all their doggy friends come in costume for a very Halloween-themed play. At the very least it will make for some good photo opportunities.
Keep your best mate safe and calm
However you choose to celebrate Halloween with your dog, keep them safe. If your dog is nervous, and there happens to be a lot of extra noise and action in your neighbourhood on Halloween, it may help to keep them inside or contained to the backyard. If you do head out for a walk, ensure that your dog has clear identification on their collar in case they do get spooked and get away from you.
How will you celebrate Halloween with your dog? We’d love to see your photos. Share them with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or tag #newywithdogs.
Meg was born in the Newcastle area and grew up around working dogs. She is Mum to two energetic children, six chickens and an eight-year-old kelpie collie cross named Jasper. Jasper’s favourite activities include long runs, swimming and chasing kites.