Dressing up for Halloween isn't beneath even the most prestigious of dogs. Martha Stewart's chow chow Ghenghis Khan (aka GK), who won best in breed at this year's Westminster Dog Show, wore a pumpkin costume on his first Halloween.
Bergen County residents can join in GK's fun by slipping their dogs into a Martha Stewart Pets Black Spider costume, a new arrival at PetSmart this Halloween season. Other new costumes at the store include Bret Michaels Pets Rock Halloween Tour Bus and the Halloween Top Paw Plush Gnome.
Petco, meanwhile, is aiming for fun and humor with its selection of seasonal costumes.
"Some new items that are sure to get a chuckle are the monkey, banana, skunk and the clown wig," Kathy Miller-Aviles, northern New Jersey Petco district manager, says. "We also wanted to make sure our traditional costumes, such as the pumpkin, witch and hot dog, were fresh and lively, so we made a few updates to those classics."
Before rushing out to buy a critter costume, consider the temperament of your pet. Families should resist the urge to put an animal in a costume if he or she isn't comfortable playing dress-up. For pets who enjoy the attention, make sure the costume you choose doesn't restrict the animal's ability to hear or to breathe comfortably. Also, check to ensure there are no loose parts than can be easily chewed off, creating a choking hazard.
Families who prefer to make their own pet costumes can find some designs by Martha Stewart at her website, marthastewart.com. (Click on pet projects.)
PetSmart's annual Howl-O-Ween takes place in PetSmart stores, 3 p.m. Oct. 20. Families and their pets can participate in a pet parade. For more information, check facebook.com/petsmart.
Petco Pet Costume Contest takes place in Petco stores 2 p.m. Oct. 27. For more information, go to petco.com/halloween.
All Paw Prints Lead to October Tails, a Halloween-themed dog walk, 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 28 at Verona Park, Bloomfield Avenue and Lakeside Avenue, Verona. Proceeds from the walk benefit the Barnabas Health Hospice and Palliative Care Center's Paws for Patients canine therapy program. For registration, sponsorship cards and entry information, call (973) 322- 4792, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit saintbarnabas.com.
Hoboken Historical Museum Annual Pet Fair and Parade, noon to 4 p.m., Oct. 7 at Maxwell Place Pier, 11th Street and Sinatra Drive in Hoboken. For more information, call (201) 656-2240 or visit hobokenmuseum.org.
Angels of Animals Inc. will hold its annual Halloween Pet Photo Shoot, 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Petco, 780 Route 3 west, Clifton. Proceeds benefit the non-profit group in its efforts to help homeless animals. For more information, call (973) 287-7797.