Halloween Costumes for Dogs

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Do you dress up your dog for Halloween? We do–the kids from the neighborhood love to get their candy from him, and he seems to get a kick out of their responses. We’ve trained him to hold the bucket of candy and it’s pretty darn adorable, if I do say so myself.

In fact, yesterday as Vance and I were out for a walk through the neighborhood, one of the kids from down the street asked Vance what he was going to dress up as this year. I thought that was absolutely adorable. And it was inspiration to finish up his costume for this year, too!

This year, we’ll be dressing Vance up as a goblin, using a green fabric “suit” of sorts, and booties for his front two feet. We’ve already tried on the hat and booties and he took to them quite well–which may have had something to do with the excessive number of cookies we gave him!

If we didn’t have his costume already, though, I’d definitely be considering one of these:

And if we had a little female dog, I wouldn’t be able to resist:

Seriously, how cute are these costumes? Do you dress up your dog for Halloween? (Or just “because”?) And how does your dog react to it. I know some dogs hate wearing costumes, and I think Vance wouldn’t like it if it was just for our own amusement, but he seems to really enjoy clowning around for the neighborhood kids who all ooooh and awwww over him each year.

Taking advantage of pet owners everywhere…

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I’ll admit it: we spoil our dog. We buy him high-quality dog food and good cookies. He’s a Lab, so his grooming needs are minimal compared to some dogs, but we use nice soap, and a great brush. We take him in for “pedicures” because I hate clipping his toenails and was letting them grow too long (plus, it’s only $5 and he loves the groomer).

So, I can understand why marketers think pet owners are a “great” market but it still makes me furious to see the way they exploit us sometimes. Making matters worse? Witness the Canine Castle Kennel:

The Canine Castle Kennel or CCK for short is the world’s first luxury aluminum dog kennel. The kennel is our response to the emerging luxury pet market and the increasing demand to pamper man’s best friend.

Isn’t that insulting? They’re saying because we’re willing to spend big bucks on our pets, they’re going to “rise to the occasion” of separating us from our hard-earned cash by creating a “luxury” kennel. Gross, right?

Our dog is an indoor pooch, but if we kept him outside, he’d definitely need some sort of protective structure, but for that price, we could build something that could double as an entertaining gazebo. Heck, we could buy a pre-made gazebo for that price and have something that was actually pretty in the yard.

(And now I’m wondering if I could convince DH that we totally need one of those gazebo kits because it could do double duty. Nah–he’d see right through me…)

What’s the most ludicrous thing you’ve seen marketed to dog owners lately?

How to stop a dog fight

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If you have a two-dog (or more-dog) household, chances are, they get into fights from time to time. Fights about who gets to come in the house first, or who gets to eat first, fights about who gets to snuggle nearest you on the floor… Fights that, to us humans, seem pretty darn silly!

But, when you look at it as sibling rivalry, it makes a bit more sense–if you have any brothers or sisters, I bet you got into weird territorial spats for no good reason from time to time (I know I did!).

The most common cause of dog fights is when your dogs are unclear about the boundaries. So, it’s important that you make a firm decision about who the alpha dog will be and treat that dog as the alpha. That dog should be petted first, given a treat first, leashed first, and fed first. Always. It may seem “unfair” to us people, but to dogs, anything else is confusing and can lead to snarls and snaps.

Next, make sure you’re consistent with the rules. If the dogs aren’t allowed on the furniture, never let them on the furniture. If they’re supposed to sleep in their crates, always put them in their crates for bed. Confused dogs are more likely to get into fights.

Finally, make sure each dog has his or her own things–a separate food bowl, a separate leash, a separate sleeping area (or crate, or both), separate Kongs. Some sharing can go on, certainly, but of the most important things, each dog needs his or her own.

If you have a multidog household, how do you avoid fights?