If you’re anything like us at Calvin & Susie (and we suspect you are), your pets are part of every holiday or special occasion.
Presents under the tree for Snowball; a special turkey plate for Buster. A tuna or beef liver-flavored birthday cake every year. How could you not treat your furry family member? They would never forgive you.
And Halloween is no exception. With the smell of pumpkin spice wafting through the air and bite-sized candy bars everywhere you turn, of course you want to give your fluffy pal a treat (maybe in exchange for that trick you’ve been working on?).
But as you know, human Halloween candy is never a good idea for pets. Not only is Halloween candy packed full of unhealthy sugar for pets, Halloween candy could contain some potentially toxic ingredients. Chocolate and artificial sweeteners, specifically xylitol, could not only make your pet very sick, they could even result in death.
NEVER give your dog human candy. Even if you don’t think the candy doesn’t have chocolate or xylitol in it, you may be in error (how often do you scrutinize your candy’s ingredients?) or there may be hidden toxic ingredients that you aren’t aware of. Plus, small “fun size” candies could be choking hazards.
REMEMBER, if your pet does accidentally ingest Halloween candy, don’t take a chance, call your vet or your ASPCA Poison Control Center (888) 426-4435, immediately (available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year). Some toxic ingredients may not exhibit symptoms right away, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t affecting your pet.
And don’t forget to keep those buckets of Halloween candy out of your pet’s reach! Just because they aren’t good for your pet, doesn’t mean he or she won’t want them!
So how can you include your pet in the “treat” part of trick or treating?
The answer can be as simple as picking up some seasonal treats at the store, or making your own treats at home. Halloween treats don’t have to be complicated, they just have to be safe. (And yummy!)
So here are a few ideas to help give your pet a fun, festive, and healthy Halloween!
Keep It Simple
The great thing about pets is that they don’t know the difference between a treat you slaved over for hours, or a treat you picked up at the store.
So if you’re short on time (because you’re working on that FABULOUS Storm Trooper costume for Buttons), here are some healthy, Halloween-ready goodies you can find at our stores.
Calvin & Susie Yami Jerky
Chewy, sweet, and bright orange, our Yammy Jerky might just be the right “candy” to satisfy your dog’s sweet tooth! And since they are made from just sweet potatoes and nothing else, this is one healthy snack that you and your dog can share.
Lancaster Meat Co. Smoked Turkey treats
Maybe your dog is more into meaty, savory snacks. What meat says autumn more than turkey? And what’s more festive than smoked turkey? Your dog will be begging to do more tricks if you reward him with these treats.
Bravo Healthy Bites Turkey Breast Treats for Cats
As true-blue carnivores, your cat wants a meaty treat, and she wants it now. And while your kitty may not be doing tricks, she just might be purring over these turkey treats. Small bits made from only freeze dried turkey breast, things may get scary if you withhold these goodies from your cat!
Nummy Tum-Tum Pamperin’ Pumpkin Blend and A-peelin’ Apple Blend supplements
Maybe you want to treat your cat or dog to a festive Halloween meal? Or maybe they’ve had too much of a good thing on Halloween and have a little bit of an upset stomach. Nummy Tum-Tum’s blends (in convenient pouches) make great food toppers or treats that have the flavors of Halloween and the soothing tummy taming properties of pumpkin. A treat for both dogs and cats.
Image via Nummy Tum-Tum
All Those “Spooky” Parts
Want to step-up your pet’s “gruesome” Halloween game? Visit the Vital Essentials Raw Bar (at both Kapahulu Ave and Kailua locations) and your Halloween hijinks could feature your dog literally gnawing on a foot. Or a neck. Or an ear.
Vital Essentials Raw Bar at Calvin & Susie
All natural, nothing artificial or synthetic, no by-products, USA made and sourced, Vital Essentials raw, freeze-dried treats may look “ghoulish” but are nothing but nutritious. Giving your dog a nice and tough Bully Stick could be a great way to keep her calm and occupied during the excitement of trick or treaters coming to your door (and promotes oral health to boot!).
Just imagine a tastefully arranged bouquet of Duck Necks, Pig Ears, Turkey Necks, and Duck Feet (to name a few) adorning your table for Halloween. These treats will not only appeal to your dog, but also your inner “creepster”!
Cook Something Up
Cooking for your pet doesn’t have to be complicated, but can be a fun way to give them a little something extra during this season of treating.
Peanut Cookies ’n’ Coconut Cream Sandwiches
Who doesn’t love a cookies ’n’ cream sandwich?
Here are a few ways to make your dog’s favorite biscuits extra special this Halloween!
Recipe with the most “elbow grease”:
You’ll need is:
Calvin & Susie Peanut Hearts
To make the cream:
Put the coconut oil in your mixer and process for approximately 7 minutes on high speed. You can also do this in a blender on the setting for whipped cream or “whipped”. You’ll want to keep an eye on your coconut oil; when it gets light and airy like whipped cream, you’ll want to stop.
Spread a thin layer of whipped coconut cream on a Peanut Heart treat and put another on top to make a sandwich. Et voila! Dog-friendly cookies ’n’ cream sandwiches!
You can make a few sandwiches and after giving one or two to your dog (depending on their size), you can either save them in the fridge, or share them with other neighborhood pups looking for a treat.
Coconut oil is a healthy supplement for most dogs (if your dog’s kidneys or pancreas are compromised, or if your dog is on a restricted diet, you may want to ask your vet first) and it’s tasty too! Good for skin, coat, immune system, digestion, and metabolism, coconut oil is a supplement that can go far beyond Halloween.
Just be sure that your dog doesn’t get too much of a good thing. Small dogs can have about 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds, and big dogs can have 1 tablespoon per 30 pounds. If your dog has never had coconut oil before, cut that amount in half (just a light smear between cookies could be enough of a “sandwich” for your dog). You can increase the amount slowly, and steadily over time. If your dog eats too much coconut oil all at once, they may get diarrhea.
Virgin coconut oil (whipped or straight from the jar) might be the treat that sticks all year round!
Store the extra whipped coconut oil in a tightly sealed jar or tupperware container, and put it in the fridge or a cool place that is under 76 degrees (coconut oil liquifies when over 76 degrees).
BONUS: You can also use coconut oil to soothe dry paws, noses, or irritated skin on both cats and dogs!
Quick and easy sandwich cookies:
Just spread plain/unsweetened (avoid “sugar free” or “low-calorie” as that can indicate artificial sweeteners like xylitol) yogurt between the two cookies. Yogurt has good probiotic properties and can help with your dog’s digestion, immune system, and gut health.
Just remember, that just like with any cookies, always in moderation. Small and medium sized dogs can have about 1 tablespoon of yogurt a day, large dogs 2 tablespoons.
BONUS! Yogurt is a good treat if your dog is under the weather and has to take antibiotics – yogurt can help keep the balance of their gut bacteria and aid in avoiding tummy troubles.
The Honest Kitchen Halloween Brownies
The folks at The Honest Kitchen are well-known for not only having their four-legged “staff” taste their dehydrated foods and kitchen creations, but for also tasting it themselves (don’t do this at home, they are professionals; we do NOT recommend eating your dog’s food).
So you KNOW if The Honest Kitchen has a recipe that it’s not only healthy and safe for doggy tummies, but it’s also delicious. These “brownies”, for the furry carnivore in your home, sound like the perfect fall treat!
2 cups of Honest Kitchen Thrive™ dehydrated dog food
2 cups warm filtered water
½ cup of canned, unsweetened pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
¼ cup of dried cranberries
2 free-range eggs
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup of diced ham
4 tbsp applesauce
WHAT TO DO
Hydrate the Thrive™ using two cups of warm water.
Mix the pumpkin into the hydrated Thrive, and then add the cranberries, applesauce and cheese.
Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk lightly.
Add the eggs to the Thrive mix and combine thoroughly.
Spread in a thin layer onto a well greased baking sheet.
Grate a little extra Parmesan on top if desired and cook at 300°F for about 60 minutes or until the top is firm to touch and slightly crispy.
Cool thoroughly and cut into squares sized appropriately for your dog. You can also dice these into tiny cubes for training.”
(Recipe and photo via The Honest Kitchen, October 20, 2010)
Pumpkin Fish Balls
Alright, this one might not sound so delicious to you, but this is one treat that your cat might go BATTY for! With tummy soothing pumpkin and heart-healthy (and brain and eyes and immune system and skin…) fish oil, the benefits of these kitty treats are “hair-raisingly” wholesome.
1/2 cup Nummy Tum-Tum Pure 100% Organic Pumpkin
1 to 2 tablespoon fish oil (we like Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Pet)
1 to 2 tablespoon coconut flour
OPTIONAL: 1/2 cup drained, canned tuna
OPTIONAL: 100% pure brewer’s yeast for dusting on the treats
Image via Nordic Naturals
Mix all ingredients in a bowl, until the mixture is relatively smooth but firm (if it’s too “soupy” sprinkle in a little more flour). Roll the mixture into small balls, approximately the size of a quarter, and place on the wax paper spaced evenly apart. We prefer to make the balls bigger so cats have to bite into them, instead of trying to swallow them whole – this avoids a choking hazard.
Chill the balls in the fridge. If you choose to, dust the Pumpkin Fish Balls with brewer’s yeast before serving (some cats love the taste). They should keep for about 2 or 3 days, covered, and in the fridge.
Small cats (up to 10 pounds) should only have the equivalent of 1 tablespoon of pumpkin in a day; with most healthy cats doing best on pumpkin only a couple times a week. Larger cats (15 pounds and above) can have the equivalent of 1.5 to 2 tablespoons a day, but again, it’s best if it’s not everyday. (If your cat is suffering from diarrhea, feed pumpkin until symptoms abate. If your cat’s diarrhea does not improve or gets worse, contact your vet immediately.)
Remember these are TREATS! If you like the healthy ingredients, consult your vet on the best way to incorporate them into your pet’s diet! And if you have questions about where to get these ingredients (most can be found in our stores or at calvinandsusie.com), don’t hesitate to ask us.
We hope this gives you some ideas for treating your pet this Halloween. And though we recommend keeping your pet indoors, with their collars and tags on, in a quiet place in your home – safe from raucous Halloween partiers and away from trick or treaters at your door – that doesn’t mean that your pet has to have a boring Halloween.
Not all pets do tricks, but this Halloween every pet deserves a treat!
Stay safe “boos” and “ghouls”!
~Your Loyal Calvin & Susie Blogger
Note: Always check with your vet before making any changes to your pet’s diet or lifestyle. The Calvin & Susie Blogger always researches to the best of her ability, but she is not a vet. This blog is not in any way meant to replace veterinary advice or care. When in doubt, always ask a vet.
Featured Image, “A Boston Terrier Halloween” via Flickr/Creative Commons