Dogs of Oxford: Halloween Edition

The summer heat has finally come to an end (after weeks and weeks of 90-degree weather), and Halloween is just around the corner. So what's the best part about Halloween? Is it the pumpkin-spiced everything? Or passing out treats to costume-clad kids? Or cozying up to watch classic Halloween movies? Or maybe it's all the spooky decorations?

For me, it's 100 percent, without-a-doubt... the dogs.

Halloween-time doesn't just mean humans in costumes; it also means dressed-up pups! I've grown up with three dogs, but my pups back home absolutely do not have the patience for costumes. They tear them to shreds or slip them off within seconds! Here in Oxford, I heartbreakingly don't have any dogs to dress up for Halloween, and I have a feeling my housemate's cat Mia definitely wouldn't appreciate being shoved into a costume.

That's why each year I look forward to seeing all the costume-clad dogs during the Pet Costume Contest at our Uptown Halloween Trick 'r Treat ! It's definitely one of my favorite events in Oxford. Be sure to say hi if you see me uptown at the costume contest this year, but in the meantime, let's do a recap of some of the past years, along with some Halloween safety tips for your pets!

1. Keep your candy stash tucked away

This one's pretty obvious: make sure to keep all Halloween candy well out of reach of your hungry pup. I know how excited you are to dig in, but so is your dog! My dogs at home are often the absolute best at being the absolute worst--if anything is within nose reach, they'll sniff it out. Even if your dog is well-trained, just to be on the safe side, make sure to store it up high at home and keep an eye on the candy bag when you're trick-or-treating in Oxford!

2. Make sure your pet is comfy and safe

Not all dogs like being in costume (take mine for example!), so only dress up your pet if you're certain it doesn't bother them. Don't forget to try its costume on before the day of the event! Even if your pet is totally chill with sporting the coolest costume, don't forget to make sure there are no other potential hazards on it. For example, watch out for small pieces they could choke on or parts of the outfit they could get tangled in, so your Halloween night doesn't end with an emergency trip to the vet!

3. Decorate with caution

My housemates have already started to go crazy with decorating our house in Oxford for Halloween. We have pumpkin tablecloths, fake spiderwebs, a hanging clown doll (that they only brought to scare me) and more fake pumpkins than I can count. This being said, we've also had to be extremely careful with where we decorate because we're dog-sitting this week! Even the most well-trained dogs are naturally curious; they want to know what in the world all these new, exciting toys are. So decorate to your heart's content, but just be sure to keep anything they could choke on or get into on your highest tables and shelves!

4. Keep your pet on a leash

When you take your dog Uptown for a walk, make sure to have a leash in hand! We don't want your pet accidentally darting in front of a car (or an electric scooter) and potentially getting hurt. This also reduces the chance of him or her getting lost! Since there's so much going on in Oxford this time of the year, your dog might get caught up in exploring and take off. It's definitely better to accidentally get tangled up with your dog and its leash than to be frantically running down High Street looking for your missing pup!

5. If you're leaving your dog at home, make sure to lock up

With so many people out and about for Halloween, it's best if your dog is safely locked in your house, rather than outside, if it's not with you (especially during Oxford's Residential Trick-or-Treat). This is for their own safety and your peace of mind. But of course, it's even more ideal if you can be home with your dog or take your dog with you! This way both of you are safe and happy.

I would love to see the costumes you all have come up with this year for your pets! Email your best photos to me at!

Written Oct. 19, 2018
By Melanie Oesch
Enjoy Oxford Public Relations Intern

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