By Mel Lee-Smith
Published: 10/16/2020, edited: 10/16/2020
Not all pets like socializing, and that’s okay! There are plenty of ways introverted pets can have a hauntingly good time this spooky season. We’ll delve into activities to “creep” it festive while social distancing!
Kids cheering, music blasting, and sound effects can frighten an introverted dog, but not in the fun-spooky way. These unfamiliar sights and sounds send many dogs retreating under the bed. Instead of letting Fido weather fright night alone, make a blanket fort where you two can hang out together.
Bring your laptop and enjoy some scary movies and dog-safe snacks together. Apple slices with peanut butter and air-popped popcorn will be a big hit — just skip the salt and butter on Fido’s. While every floofer loves a good snack, your presence will be the best treat of all.
Rev up for fright night with a spooky ride around town. A drive-through haunted trail might be tempting, but masks and jump-scare tactics can make introverted dogs fearful. Stick to milder “Howl-oween” trips, like riding around the neighborhood to look at the lights and yard decor.
Enjoy fright night away from other ghosts and ghouls is with a DIY doggy casino. With the right supplies and some ingenuity, you can make a variety of homemade dog puzzles for next to nothing. Even a muffin tin and tennis balls can be transformed into a tantalizing treat puzzle. Just place some tasty morsels in a few of the tins and place tennis balls over the top — your dog will do the rest!
Use other everyday household items like cardboard boxes and toilet paper tubes for more elaborate designs — get creative! Use scissors to create flaps for your pup to lift or make a false wall to hide the goods. The “pawssibilities” are endless!
Put a puppyish spin on the sensory bin concept for an all-treats-and-no-tricks game.
First, fill a plastic tote with toys, bones, plushes, dog-safe veggies, and anything else you think your pup might like; then cover all the goods with kibble! Give the goody bin a good stir, and it’s ready to go! Fluffy will have a blast digging for the hidden treasures (and eating kibble all the while!) Make the activity even more festive with themed treats and toys.
Pet-friendly art projects are another way get in the spirit when spending Halloween with an introverted pet. Let your pup lend a paw while painting pumpkins. Simply squeeze some non-toxic fingerpaint on a paper plate, dip your pup’s paw pad in it, and firmly press their paw onto the pumpkin. You might want to do this outdoors since this can get messy.
Pro tip: use a ceramic pumpkin so you can keep their paw art for years to come.
Treat. Piñata. Need we say more? The process is like any paper mache craft. Cut the paper into strips and adhere it to your mold (in this case, an inflated balloon). Instead of glue, you’ll apply a non-toxic mixture of flour and water with your paint brush. Cover the entire balloon, except around the knot. Once it’s dry, you’ll pop and remove the balloon by the knot, then put treats in the cavity.
Check to make sure no balloon pieces remain inside the piñata, since they could cause a blockage if your pup accidentally ingests them. Use scissors to poke a few holes in your creation; these will dispense treats as Buster plays. Your mutt will be begging for a refill before the night’s out!
Sometimes the simplest activities bring us the most joy. Let your dog get some use out of that freshly-fallen foliage, and don’t be afraid to join in on the leafy fun! Keep your camera handy — this is bound to get cute!
Is it even Halloween if you don’t dress up? Up the ante this year by entering your pet in an online costume contest. Who knows? Your pup’s ensemble might win them a year’s worth of free kibble!
Need help deciding on a costume? Check out these hilarious doggy duds.
Even the most Halloween-hating of howlers will learn to love the holiday with these fun diversions. Try an activity or two; it might turn out to be the best Halloween Fido’s had in fur-ever!
Happy spooking! 🐾
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