'Tis the season to be spooky! Here's how to host the most fa-boo-lous bash for your four-legged friends.
girl with dog on her lap, both in costume, at a dog Halloween party
Credit: svetikd / Getty

Fall brings us so many opportunities to create more sweet memories with our B.F.F.s, from visiting pumpkin patches and apple orchards to watching Halloween movies and celebrating all things spooky. However, this list wouldn't be complete without a Halloween bash with all their best four-legged and two-legged friends to close out spooky season.

With Oct. 31 right around the corner, we're sharing ideas on how to throw a howl-worthy dog Halloween party.

1. Send Spooktacular Invitations

Invite your dog's best ghoul friends to do the monster mash at your Halloween bash! It's best to keep the guest list small (i.e. about a handful of pups) to ensure the event is safe and stress-free for all. Four-legged attendees should also be comfortable with each other already and up-to-date on their vaccinations.

Etsy has a wide selection of Howl-O-Ween party invites to choose from. There are also digital dog Halloween party invitations if you prefer to go paperless or want to send them instantly.

2. Plan Party Activities For a Wicked Good Time

Halloween is filled with festivities our canine companions can get in on the fun. Get guests in the holiday spirit with quintessential activities like bobbing for tennis balls, tricks for treats, or a Halloween hunt. (Think Easter egg hunt but with dog-friendly Halloween treats!) You could also put on a costume contest for dogs who don't mind—or even enjoy—being decked out in costumes.

Pups and their parents can pair up and unleash their creativity with activities like carving pet portrait jack-o'-lanterns or making paw print pumpkin paintings. (Friendly reminder to only use pet-safe paint.)

Make sure to secure the party space, especially if you decide to host it outside. It's also a good idea that all dogs are microchipped or have a pet ID tag in case any sneak out amidst the fun. Although we never want it to happen, it's important to take precautions just in case.

3. Set Up Dog-Friendly Howl-O-Ween Decorations

When decorating for your party, remember: safety first. Consider swapping scented candles for flameless candles to create a safe, spooky atmosphere and using plush items, like throw pillows and other decor, to spruce up your party space.

Typical Halloween decorations like faux pumpkins, spider webs, and glow sticks are indeed cute but pose serious risks for any inquisitive pup who might be interested in using them as a chew toy. Keep decorations like balloons, banners, pumpkins, string lights, and candy out of reach. Also, avoid using super scary decorations (e.g. loud, animatronic props and sound machines) since they can cause stress to dogs.

4. Dress Up With Your Furry Fiend—Er, Friend

One of the best parts about Halloween is dressing up with your little monster. Decide whether you want your dog to look fetching or fur-ocious and if you'd prefer to make a DIY costume for your dog or buy matching pet-and-owner costumes.

Whichever costume you choose for your dog, make sure it fits and that she can breathe, move, and see comfortably. Never leave your dog unsupervised in their costume, and remove it if your pup becomes uncomfortable at any point.

If your dog dislikes wearing a costume, don't force it. There are other ways to show Halloween cheer, such as with spooky bandanas, bowties, or themed collars.

5. Make Festive Fall Dog Treats to Serve

What would Halloween be without treats? Cook up some homemade fall treats for your four-legged guests to sink their fangs into and find delight in every bite. Satisfy all doggy taste buds by serving a variety of delicious foods, from pumpkin carrot dog cupcakes and sweet potato dog treats to sliced and peeled apples. You can also have pet parents pick a recipe and have them bring their yummy creations for furry friends to try!

6. Prepare Eerie-sistible Goodie Bags for Guests

Give your guests something to howl about with their very own trick-or-treat bags. Place dog-friendly Halloween treats and toys in a pillow case, burlap sack, or Halloween pail to send your spooky buddies home with.

7. Coordinate an Area for Sweet and Spooky Photo Ops

Your dog and her doggy friends are the stars of this Halloween paw-ty. What better way to remember this All Hallows' Eve than with some spooky snapshots?

If you want a vintage Halloween aesthetic for your pet-and-owner photos, set up a DIY photobooth with a simple backdrop, cute props, and a Polaroid camera. You could also hire a professional dog photographer to take photos for the occasion. Either way, you and your guests will have sweet, spooky memories to look back on!

8. Offer a Frighteningly Fun Selection of Toys

No matter whether your Halloween party is indoors or outdoors, your furry guests will need lots of playtime. Keep them entertained with shareable toy options, such as Frisbees, tug toys, snuffle mats, and tennis balls. Remember to leave bowls of water out to keep all dogs hydrated throughout the party.

9. Give Dogs a Quiet Place to Relax

Sure, Halloween is a fun holiday for us hoomans. But there's plenty that can be stressful for our canine companions, like scary costumes and decorations, constant doorbell sounds, strangers, etc. If your pooch or any of her friends are showing signs of fear or anxiety, you'll want to provide a quiet and comfortable space where they can go and feel safe. Once everyone has had their fill of playtime, turn on a Halloween movie and get cozy on the couch for some rest time.