This time of year my kids can't stop talking about their favorite treats. You know, from Trick-or-Treating, Halloween parties, the Fall School Carnival, etc. But what about our four-legged family members? I am pretty sure they wouldn't turn down a special dog biscuit or pet treat, right?
Right now it seems like more of a "trick" than treat around our house with a new puppy and kitten being added recently. There is a lot of adjustments to be made and time to be found to make sure everyone feels special. I have been working hard with our existing pets and the kids to give everyone a little more love and be sure not to leave anyone out. So it is always nice to have a few extra bags of treats on hand for a little extra praise for the older pets, as well as positive reinforcement for our new arrivals.
Take Cooper for example.
We recently welcomed an 8-week old Patterdale Terrier into our home, and my Border Collie, Cooper, has been a pretty good sport about sharing us. One key to accepting the new puppy has involved lots of playtime together as a family and some reassuring treats with praise.
The thought to dress Cooper up for Halloween has never really crossed my mind. He is a big, working farm dog through and through. But now that I have a small terrier, I was excited to have the kids help me find the perfect dog costume for Halloween.
Of course one big key to dressing a dog, is positive reinforcement...and making it fun.
Since my Dog 4-H days, I have enjoyed keeping treats like MilkBone dog biscuits and Pup-peroni on hand. Right now our puppy, Huck, is learning to do basic commands like come, heel and sit. For him I keep a long piece of Pup-peroni handy, and break off little pieces as needed. The scent really keeps his attention.
Of course wearing a costume is also a new thing for him. I wasn't sure how he was going to react, but he was more than willing to give it a try for a little treat.
Huck has had to warm up to treats. I am not sure they were offered before he came to live with us. Now I think he can sniff them out anywhere. This little terrier has a great nose on him. I just can't put the treats down, or he might sneak a few while I'm not looking.
With Halloween coming, it was great time to stock back up on our favorite dog treats and select the perfect costume for our new puppy. We found a wide selection at our local Fred Meyers. There was even a display for Trick or Treat Em stocked with some of my favorites.
My favorites for training and treating still remain MilkBone dog biscuits, I like to use the small sized biscuits, and Original Beef Flavor Pup-peroni. Besides being a hit with the dogs, they are also easy for my children to use as rewards.
In order to make Halloween more fun for your your pet, here are my family's 5 tips to keep your pet happy & safe this Halloween.
1. Select a costume your pet can move in. Please be sure your dog's costume doesn't restrict movement or breathing. Since this is Huck's first Halloween we opted for a simple harness style. He can still move his legs and see easily, but he is festive and fun.
2. Make sure your pet is visible. I went with a bright orange costume and paired it with a glow-in-the-dark leash. Another good option would be to put reflectors on the pet's costume somewhere.
3. Try your costume on beforehand. This was our trial-run with Huck's costume. I didn't want him to freak out wearing it on the big night. Also make sure your pet doesn't have an allergic reaction or becomes overly stressed. If your pet isn't up for a full costume, bandannas can be just as fun and easily made out of scrap Halloween fabric.
4. Keep pets away from Halloween dangers like candy, glow sticks, candles etc. There are a lot of spooky temptations Halloween night. Keep a close eye on your four-legged friend to make sure they have a safe experience.
5. Be prepared. If you go out Halloween night with your dog, don't forget your leash, ID tags, water and of course, their own safe treats to enjoy. No one wants to be left out of the fun!
One thing kids catch onto fast is how the puppy will listen if they offer a treat. I love how they are all interacting with each other.
Pets are a big part of our family and I wouldn't have my kids growing up without them. It just makes sense that we would share one of our favorite holidays of the year with our newest addition.
Huck was such a good sport and made an adorable little Jack-O-Lantern!
To memorialize your own Trick-or-Treat pet memories, head over to
Since this is our first Halloween with Huck, I was eager to show him off in his costume. What do you think?
Doesn't this sweet face deserve to be treated too?
Will your pet be dressing up for Halloween? How will they celebrate?