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Celebrate Halloween with a Dog Costume Party!

When I was growing up in France, we never even knew that Halloween existed. It was never mentioned in the media and I never saw gangs of children - in dubiously spooky costumes - wandering our streets soliciting sweets by threatening tricks.

So it did come as a surprise after many years living Down Under to discover that we are following so closely those American traditions. Though celebrations with our dogs remain subdued here, usually confined to the home where we secretly dress up our pooch (when size allows…) in a silly outfit for a bit of fun, our Yankee friends do go all out.

They organise the famous annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade, which is the biggest Halloween costume contest held anywhere in the world. Last year’s parade featured hundreds of pooches dressed in cute and creative costumes which attracted thousands of spectators.

The “Top Dog” wins Best in Show and bragging rights at the local dog park. Some owners plan these outfits months in advance and most are designed and custom-made at home.

Here are our picks of the crop from the 2014 Halloween Dog Parade:

Photo Credit: MASHABLE / ANNIE COLBERT

Photo Credit: MASHABLE / CHRISTINE ERICKSON

Photo Credit: MASHABLE / ANNIE COLBERT

Photo Credit: MASHABLE / CHRISTINE ERICKSON

Photo Credit: MASHABLE / ANNIE COLBERT

Sadly we could not find any such events happening around Australia, so why not be a trend-setter and host your own Halloween dog party, complete with dog costumes? 

Devil-dog-costume-Fluppies
Devil Costume - available at www.fluppies.com.au

Dogs make our life better, even Howl-oween. To host a successful event, here are our some simple tips:

#1. DOG COSTUMES

Halloween-dog-Batman-costume
Batman Costume available at www.petthreads.com.au
As the host, you can’t compete in the contest, but your pooch will set the costume attire bar for other canine invitees. In other words, you want a well-dressed dog. 

When you try to decide what costume your dog will wear, consider the natural look of your dog and go from there. 
Of course you could also display your pet’s inner super hero?

This Batman Dog Costume by Pet Threads features a flowing cape, yellow belt and bat symbol (sizes: XS-XXL).



#2. THE GUEST LIST

Although you may be tempted to invite all kinds of pets to your party, it’s best to take time to consider your guest list carefully. Inviting cats to a party with dogs could be a pet Halloween party nightmare. Also think about whether or not all your dog guests will get along well.

If your party is held in a dog park or a similar public location instead of your backyard, encourage guests to bring leashes.

#3. REFRESHMENTS

If you’re going to host a dog Halloween party, you’ll need to have refreshments for people and puppies. To eliminate the possibility that the two types of cuisine get confused, causing your human guests to eat the canine treats, make sure the refreshments you provide are clearly labelled for the dogs, have plenty of water as well as an abundance of treats. 


A selection of bones as well as some chew toys for entertainment will create an appropriate atmosphere for Halloween night.

#4. A COSTUME CONTEST 
DOGUE Skulls Shirts from www.dogue.com.au 
Rather than trying to corral canine guests and parade them in their costumes for the contest, provide a doggy bag for each dog with its name on it. 

Give each human guest five special treats that they can use to vote for the best costume. To place their vote, guests put a treat in the doggy bag of the dog they wish to vote for. Nobody is permitted to vote for their own pet. The dog with the most votes wins a prize. All of the dogs get to take home their votes as party favours. 
Tip: to avoid hurt feelings, place one treat in the bottom of each bag ahead of time.
These funky Skulls Shirts from DOGUE will give your pooch some edgy charm on Howl-o-ween night!

#5. ENTERTAINMENT IDEAS



In addition to the fun that will happen with the pet costumes and the dogs interacting with each other, organize some Howl-o-ween games. 

Have pet owners show off their dogs’ tricks for some treats. 


Place a number of floatable chew toys in a small pool, that is low enough to the ground for the dogs to bob for.

With only 12 days left to Howl-o-ween, there’s no time to waste to plan your pooch party and we hope you all have a howling good time!
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