Monday, October 31, 2016

5 Ways to Help Your Pup Enjoy Halloween

It’s All Hallows’ Eve!  While humans may look forward to the fun ahead, Halloween can be a very stressful time for dogs.  Imagine having to wear a cumbersome costume while trying to be taken seriously as you attempt to protect the house – which is constantly under attack by strange, short creatures that sort of resemble humans. 

Help your dog prepare for tonight’s festivities by doing the following:

1.      First things first, Take your dog for a long walk or run before the trick-or-treating begins.  Your dog is less likely to be hyper, disobedient, or stressed out once strangers start coming to the door.

2.      You may consider putting your dog in his/her crate in a quiet room away from the front door, so he/she won’t be disturbed by guests coming to the door.  Give him/her a chew toy to work on and turn on some soothing music to keep your dog’s attention in the room.   You may also want to leave the front door open so no one rings the doorbell, just for good measure.

3.      Be sure your dog is secure inside the house. If your pup likes to bolt as soon as the door is open, make sure you have him/her on a leash, or behind a barrier, while answering the door.  You do not want to spend your Halloween night chasing after your dog.

4.      If you are taking your dog out trick-or-treating with you, put a glow stick or some sort of light on him/her (or the leash), to ensure drivers can see your dog.

5.      Don’t let anyone feed the dog.  Watch children closely as they are usually ready and willing to share their plunder. No chocolate, candy, or anything with refined sugar in it.  
Additionally: If you have a black cat, try to keep him/her indoors tonight. 

Have a happy and safe Howl’oween!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Howlo-ween Tips for Treats


October is a busy month, full of weekly Halloween events for you and your pup.  Lots of contests, chances to win prizes, and goodies for everyone.

Interested in Competing in an upcoming costume contest?

While your dog is adorable all on his/her own, these contests do require a little more effort than just a cute face (or so I’m told).  So your pooch will need a costume.  The questions you may ask are:
Will it be Store-bought?
Or will it be Homemade?
Will I match my dog?
And what category will we compete in?
Most costume contest categories include: Best Look-Alike Costume; Cutest Costume; Most Original or Creative Costume; and Best Overall.
Keep in mind, just because your costume is store-bought, does not mean it can’t still be creative.  I usually use store bought costumes for my dogs, while adding my own twist.  For example, one year I bought my dogs the cutest monster costumes. So, I got my own monster costume, made a small prop bed with a girl in it, stuck that on top of an umbrella, and Voila! We were “Monsters under the Bed” (as pictured above).
And I am always surprised by the new costumes I see at events every year. So let your imagination go wild!

What about Howl-o-ween on a Budget?
If you still would like to compete but don’t want to spend money on a costume, you can put something together with things you find around the house.  If MacGyver can make wire cutters out of a stick of gum and a paperclip, surely you can put a costume together with items already available to you (assuming you, in fact, have more than a stick of gum and a paperclip).

The internet is full of ideas and How-To videos if you need a little help.
Examples you might try:
*Super Hero – Use an old pillow case or sheet to make a cape.  Secure it to the collar using safety pins
*Ballerina or Jazzercise-er – Use old socks or sweat bands around the legs and possibly a tutu (if you have one). Even better if you have a leotard.
*Celebrity Impersonator – Any celebrity you can think of has some signature look that you can probably duplicate with clothes you already own.  Again, safety pins will be your friend if your dog doesn’t exactly fit in your clothes. And hair piece can be made out of yarn, toilet paper, paper plates; you name it.   
*Box of Something - There is really no limit to the number of things you can create using a cardboard box. Even if you can’t find one around your home, you can find one in a dumpster nearby.  Your dog can be any product, from a box of Cereal to a box of Beers.  Or, with a little paint, you can create another object, like a car, Lego, Dog toy or product (like Puppy Surprise), etc.
Whatever the costume, just make sure your dog is comfortable and safe while wearing it.  
Costume Rules:
  *Dogs should be able to move properly in their costumes – such as walk, sit, lay, and go potty.
  *Dogs should be able to breathe regularly and drink water (i.e. No masks or boxes over the head/face)
  *Dogs should not be able to chew on their costume or be choked by it.