Autumn provides lots of exciting sights, sounds, tricks and treats for children of all ages, many involving a sizable orange vegetable. Paws, however, can’t carve jack-o-lanterns, and dog diets don’t include pumpkin spice lattes. How can your canine companion get in on the seasonal pumpkin experience? Here are five ideas to help your dog explore:
SEE the Pumpkin
Your four-legged friend may lack the opposable thumb to work the carving knife, but you can take the initiative and create a seasonal buddy for them.
Slice up that pumpkin with the face your dog, and dog lovers who come knocking at your door will appreciate it!
It may even be a candlelight tribute to your dog’s visage, or highlight their achievements.
Unless your dog shares your twisted sense of humor, frightening feline faces may not be the way to go…
TASTE the Pumpkin
It’s good to know that pumpkin can be good for your pooch. Pureed pumpkin and pumpkin seeds are great for dog digestion, diet, and urinary health.
That taste sensation can take on many shapes, and recipes abound for autumn and Halloween treats. Frequently you’ll find pumpkin in dog food and many pre-packaged snacks, but in the spirit of the season, make something special that says how much you love your dog! One favorite combines pumpkin with peanut butter:
Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Dog Treats (from the ASPCA website)
- 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup fresh or canned pumpkin (not seasoned pie filling)
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup water as needed
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, pumpkin, peanut butter and cinnamon in a bowl.
3. Add water as needed, but the dough should be stiff and dry.
4. Roll to 1/2 inch thick and cut with holiday cookie cutters.
5. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until hard.
If you’re strict about health, or if your dog has a sensitive stomach, Honest Kitchen shares a gluten free recipe for Halloween Bon Bons that’ great for sensitive or fussy dogs.
CHEW the Pumpkin
If your pet is craving what you’re carving, but you’ve already given him the recommended daily dose, let them sink their teeth into something a bit more plush like a pumpkin dog toy.
Autumn appropriate chewing aids are available from Amazon and other retailers, providing plenty of fun as your anxious dog awaits his next pumpkin-packed meal.
BE the Pumpkin
Your dog can get into the pumpkin mania—literally—by sporting a dog pumpkin costume for seasonal activities.
Many cities have canine costume competitions and gatherings where you can show off how good your dog looks in orange.
Petco and other stores offer pumpkin ensembles that will help your dog squash the competition.
Be prepared, however, for a little revolt if your dog isn’t accustomed to wearing canine clothing.
You might have to go for solidarity and wear your own pumpkin costume so the two of you will be comfortable and cute together!
WORK the Pumpkin
That fetching face may be the best way to make sure you and your beloved dog score big when you go trick-or-treating together.
Put your pooch in an adorable costume, add a pumpkin bucket, and watch how fast it fills up with human and canine contraband.
If you’re staying in with your dog and handing out treats on Halloween, make sure you have pumpkin dog treats for four-legged participants and impress your dog-loving neighbors! At the end of the season, the real treat has less to do with pumpkins than how you creatively celebrate together.