Party Animals, Unite!
We're all about keeping things inclusive, and that obviously also applies to our pets. If you're in the mood to host a Halloween bash that your dog and cat can also get down with, you've come to the right place.
Of course, dogs and cats are different creatures with unique needs. So we're breaking our party tips down for canine and feline parents who need to keep these distinctions in mind. Ready? Let's get into it.
Setting the Stage
Before you dive in, make sure you've considered these basics:
Location: Choose a spot where both species feel comfy. Dogs may be okay with going to a new location to party down. Cats, on the other hand, typically prefer the comfort of their own home. You know your pet best, so keep their comfort top of mind.
Safety Measures: Keep hazardous items and foods out of reach. Ensure that doors are monitored or blocked off so your little escape artist can’t make a break for it. It’ll decrease your stress and the mood will be lighter for your guests.
Guest List: Invite friends with pets who play well with others. Or, if your dog or cat prefer a human-only vibe, people who will appreciate your pet on the guest list.
Space to Roam
Dogs need room to run around, sniff, and explore. If possible, designate an area where they can do all that without tripping over any witches or zombies.
If your dog gets stressed by too many people around, you may need to contain them to a room with a special festive treat where they can decompress. Don’t push them beyond what they’re comfortable with - that’s fun for no one!
Social Pecking Order
Some pups like to be top dog, some are more submissive. Knowing your dog's social preferences can help avoid any dominance clashes during the party.
Offer dog-safe treats but remember that many dogs have allergies. It's best to consult with your fellow dog parents beforehand about any food restrictions. Better yet, encourage them to bring their pup’s favorite snack along.
The Great Indoors
Unlike dogs, most cats prefer to chill indoors. Create a cozy space filled with their favorite toys and maybe some catnip.
No Overwhelm Zone
Cats aren't about that big-crowd life. If you're inviting multiple cats, ensure there are enough hideaway spots for a quick escape.
Cats can be territorial about their food. Separate feeding stations can help keep the peace.
Activities for Both
Pet Costume Contest
Sure, dogs love to strut their stuff, but some cats don't mind a light costume either. Just make sure it's comfortable and non-restrictive. Award a cute pet-friendly boo basket to the winner!
Trick and Treat Stations
Designate separate corners for dogs and cats to play and receive pet-safe treats. Rewards are the name of the game, people.
Tips for Working with a Vet on a Pet Party Diet
Before going all out with treats, consult your vet to ensure you're offering healthy options. Keep a list of approved snacks and avoid any known allergens.
Sample Menu: Dog
Sample Menu: Cat
When Your Pet Prefers the Solo Life: Keeping Reactive Cats and Dogs Chill
Not all pets are social butterflies. For those with reactive or anxious pets, the idea of a party can be stressful for both you and your curious copilot. But don't worry, we've got you covered.
For the Reactive Dog
Create a Safe Space
Set up a comfy, secure area away from the noise and crowd, complete with their favorite blanket and toys. A white noise machine or calming playlist can also help drown out party noises.
Use puzzle toys filled with their favorite treats to keep them engaged. The mental effort it takes to get the treat out will help distract them from the chaos.
Scheduled Pit Stops
Take breaks from hosting duties to check in on your dog, offer some one-on-one time, and give them a bathroom break.
For the Independent Cat
Cats love vertical spaces. A tall cat tree can serve as both a retreat and a vantage point, making them feel safe and in control.
Battery-operated toys can keep a cat entertained for hours. Just make sure it's something they're already familiar with to reduce any potential stress.
Feliway or other pheromone sprays can help calm a nervous cat. Spray it on a cloth and place it in their chosen area.
If you’re throwing a human-only party, these tactics can keep your solo-loving pet occupied and less stressed while you focus on your two-legged guests. No one gets left out, and everyone gets to enjoy the festivities in their own way.
The Ultimate Win-Win
Throwing a pet-friendly Halloween party isn't just about including your pets in the festivities. It's also an amazing way to socialize them and make them feel a part of your world.
Or for shy cats and dogs, including them in a small portion of the fun can stimulate them mentally and make them feel special.
Keep the individual needs of dogs and cats in mind, and you'll host a bash that'll be the talk of the pet parent community.
Lizz Caputo is the Manager of Content Strategy at Figo, animal enthusiast, and owner of a rescued senior American Bully. Her hobbies include checking out new restaurants in her area, boxing, and petting dogs of all shapes and sizes.