Pet-friendly Halloween: tips to make it less petrifying for your dog

Halloween is usually all about the kids, from carving a ghoulish pumpkin, to turning your home into a haunted house, to deciding what costumes to dress up in on the big night for trick-or-treating.  If you have a dog at home, you may want to try to include him in the fun too. As with other big events, Halloween can be a stressful time for pets as not all enjoy being dressed in costumes, not all like having lots of trick-or-treaters coming to the door, and many of the treats of the season are downright bad for dogs.   Here are some suggestions to make Halloween with your dog a good experience for her and for the rest of the family.


Pumpkin is a very healthy food for dogs whether raw or cooked.  Keep the outer shell of the pumpkin, the stringy innards, and the raw seeds away from your pet, as they are not good for her.  Don’t give your dog pumpkin that has been sitting out on your doorstep, but when you are carving a fresh pumpkin, why not keep some of the flesh to give your dog a little treat.  You could also roast and grind the seeds to add additional goodies on top of meals.


There are plenty of costumes available on the market for dogs, or if you are creative you could make your own. Halloween with your dog can go further with dog and owner outfits such as the Fox and Hound, Hot dog and Vendor, or the classic Dorothy and Toto. Bear in mind that some dogs hate the restricted or hot feeling of being dressed in clothes. So if your dog resists, don’t push it.

Trick or Treat

On Halloween, our doorbell rings almost constantly throughout the evening.  Some dogs go wild when the doorbell rings just once, let alone multiple times.  If your dog reacts this way or you have not had the opportunity to do a lot of doorbell training with her, it is better to take her to a quiet area of the home, away from the front door to reduce her agitation and anxiety.  This is also preferable if you are likely to have young children coming to the door who are not used to or are afraid of dogs.

Join a parade

Around the US there are plenty of dog-friendly Halloween events. Some offer parades, some have vendor booths and many are a good way to raise funds for charity. Check out Dog Tipper’s list to find a fun dog-friendly event in your area.

Halloween treats

We know that chocolate and sweets are not a good mix with dogs, but there is no reason why they can’t be given homemade dog treats using dog-friendly substitute ingredients.  Why not try this recipe for carob cupcakes?


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 Tbsp chicken stock (heated)
  • 1/3 cup carob chips
  • 1/3 cup xylitol-free peanut butter
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil

For the frosting

  • 1/2 cup cream cheese (non-fat or low fat)
  • 1/3 cup xylitol-free peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350˚ F. Combine flour and baking soda in a bowl, sifting together to get rid of lumps. Add egg to dry ingredients. Pour hot stock over carob chips and mix together until carob has been incorporated. Add carob mixture, peanut butter and olive oil to dry ingredients. Mix all ingredients together until just combined. Use a spoon to transfer the mixture to the prepared muffin tin. Fill cups 2/3rds full with mixture. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. While cakes are cooling, mix together cream cheese and peanut butter in the mixer until fluffy and light. Reserve icing at room temperature. Cover cakes with peanut butter icing and offer to your pup.

No matter how you decide to celebrate Halloween with your dog, we wish you a very Yappy Halloween!