By Sandy Robins
Howl’oween is undoubtedly the most popular event on the doggie calendar
Pooches of all sizes seem to enjoy the camaraderie of taking part in a special doggie parade or even the fun of trick 'r treating in the neighborhood. You can always host your own Howl’oween get-together in the local dog park too.
If you are planning to dress up your dog, be sure to purchase the outfit well in advance and allow your pet to try it out at home on several occasions before the actual day. There’s no shortage of costume ideas for dogs of all shapes and sizes. And while it may be traditional to transform your pooch into pumpkin, a witch or the devil, in fact, anything goes!
The summer blockbuster movies are always a great source of inspiration for Howl’oween costumes. So no doubt this year there are going to be a lot of Persian canine princes, Ironman doggies and Twilight vampires and werewolves. Interestingly, the bee remains the most popular doggie costume of all time.
When selecting a costume, look for soft, lightweight fabrics and no loose ties. Avoid any ornamentation that could possibly be swallowed. Never try to tailor a children’s costume to fit canine needs because children’s costumes often have stronger elastic which could irritate a dog around the head and neck areas.
If your dog simply refuses to dress up, consider a Howl’oween-inspired bandana or a new collar and leash patterned with pumpkins and sculls. A leash with flashing LED lights will add a nice touch and will be useful year-round if you enjoy evening walks. There are lots of other flashing and glow-in-the-dark accessories that can be added to a collar. While the glow-in-the-dark liquid is not usually very toxic, your pal could choke on the tag or suffer gastrointestinal irritation if he swallows it and the liquid leaks out. So be sure to remove such items after the outing and store them safely out of your pet's reach. Always ensure your dog is wearing up-to-date identification tags under his costume.
When it comes to trick 'r treating, chocolate is highly poisonous for dogs and candy is as bad for canine teeth as it is for humans. Most doggy bakeries go to town on occasions such as Howl’oween making biscuits shaped in all sorts of appropriate festive shapes such as witches, bats and devils. So be sure to get your pet his own supply of doggie confectionary.
Dogs that like to carry things around in their mouths may even enjoy a rawhide-shaped pumpkin or cat. Don’t forget to cater for trick 'r treating dogs that come to your home too!
If you are taking part in a doggie parade, make sure that your pet is properly restrained in the back seat or the cargo area of the vehicle during the journey to and from the event. behindthewheelnews.toyota.com
Dress up your pooch just before the line-up, as some costumes tend to be warm. Be sure to take plenty of water along for your pet to lap up en route.
Never let children take charge of the dog on trick 'r treat neighborhood outings; there are far too many distractions. Holding a flashlight and a candy bag is probably all they can handle. Instead, make sure your dog is on a strong leash with an adult on the other end and don't allow your doggy pal to accompany children right up to the front door in case the incumbent witch-dog or barking bat is not welcoming to any visiting canine on its doorstep!
Have fun and don’t forget to take a camera along to capture those magic moments. Or a video cam and post on You-Tube.