How can your dog join in safely at Halloween?
Halloween should be fun (and a little scary)! If you need an excuse to get into the Autumn spirit, how about making your dog their very own Halloween treats? If you do not have time to make treats, you can try giving them a small amount of seasonal veg instead. We have made a few suggestions below. Stop feeding new food if they have any stomach upset or show any other signs of intolerance. One thing to be mindful of at this time of year is your dog having extra calories and gaining weight. Make sure that you reduce their food portion or take the treats out of their daily food allowance.
This article was written by a FirstVet vet
Did you know that FirstVet offers video calls with experienced, UK registered vets? If you are insured with one of our pet insurance partners, your video calls are completely free. You can get a consultation within 30 minutes by downloading the FirstVet app for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play.
Seasonal veg that you can try offering your dog:
- Carrots: a great snack for dogs! They can be a good substitute for a traditional treat or dental chew. Carrots are low in calories, high in fibre, and an excellent source of vitamin A and potassium. Start off by offering your dog a small amount of plain cooked carrot, or give them the occasional raw carrot to help clean their teeth. You will notice that dogs are not very good at digesting raw carrot but it may make their faeces easier to find on dark days!! If you chop up a carrot, make sure that it is bite sized so that they cannot choke on it. Puppies might like frozen carrots (sliced or diced) to help soothe their gums during teething.
- Pumpkin: often fed to dogs in America, but less so in the UK. The main reason for this is that you need to give them cooked pumpkin and there is more demand for tinned pumpkin in America. Pumpkin is high in fibre and often used to help dogs with diarrhoea or constipation. It is rich in fatty acids, which are good for the skin and coat. You must use plain pumpkin; sweetened or spiced versions should not be fed to dogs. We would not recommend feeding more than a tablespoon per day but you can use the rest of the tin in some of the cooked treats mentioned below. Or, freeze it in ice trays, then thaw and feed as needed.
- Sweet potato: this is high in fibre and can be used as a treat, a meal topper or a perfect hiding place for a tablet. However, it needs to be cooked first. Small dogs can have a teaspoon a day, whereas large dogs can have a tablespoon.
- Butternut squash: another tasty vegetable that dogs can enjoy. It should be cooked and you should avoid adding seasoning. Please do not feed your dog the skin or the seeds.
How about alternating what you put in your dog's KONG at this time of year?
Feeding meals from a KONG can help to manage their weight. It will slow your dog down when it is eating whilst providing a satisfying mental and physical challenge. It also helps to keep dogs engaged, extending playtime with a healthy, long-lasting, mentally stimulating challenge. The KONG website has a range of recipes. I think my dogs will probably enjoy the chicken pot pie recipe the most!
A lot of dogs enjoy peanut butter but it can cause tummy upsets. We would advise that you always check the ingredients on the label as dogs must not eat products with Xylitol in. If your pet has vomiting or diarrhoea, or you are concerned that they have eaten something that they shouldn’t have, such as xylitol, please make an appointment to chat with one of our FirstVet vets, or seek advice from your registered vet clinic. You can find out more in our articles on vomiting and diarrhoea, and poisoning, on our FirstVet website.
If you are feeling more adventurous, why not try making one of the following recipes:
Petplan have teamed up with Battersea Dogs & Cats Home and The Dog’s Trust for their favourite Halloween recipes.
Apple pie bites - use whatever flour you like with these tasty treats, so that if your dog has a gluten allergy, you can avoid causing a flare up.
Pumpkin treats - ten different recipes for your dog.
Halloween and Christmas treats - there are lots of options available. One of our favourite ones is the Laughing Dog Hand Decorated Wheat Free Halloween Dog Treat. Or, try Lily’s Kitchen Christmas Spectacular Treats for Dogs.
However, you could step away from the extra calories and, instead, treat your dog to a toy that will increase their exercise levels during the Winter months. For example, a light up ball or a light up collar or dog tag instead. For more advice about how to make your dog’s day interesting and fun, you can visit Dogs Trust website.
We think we have found some of the best recipes for homemade treats for this time of year but if you have found one that you would like to share or you have created your own recipe, please let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you have any questions or concerns about your pet at Halloween?
Book a video appointment to have a chat with one of our vets.