Five Frightfully Fun (And Eco-Friendly) Halloween Games For Dogs 

Explore how to turn simple, classic Halloween games into Halloween games for dogs that are both sustainable and frightfully fun!

cups decorated as pumpkins and a pumpkin dog treat used for dog-friendly halloween game

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Create Some New and Unique Halloween Memories

In our family, we absolutely love Halloween, and I’m always looking for new ideas to incorporate into our festivities. This year, I decided to involve my pups more by experimenting with some Halloween games for dogs.

If you don’t have time to get into all the details right now, save the below pin for later.

title of 5 halloween games you can play with your pup with image of finished diy dog halloween sensory box

Well, my experimenting paid off. I uncovered some new activities that Pheobe, Franklin, and Froda absolutely loved! And it was the perfect way to get us all in the Halloween spirit.

mini dapple dachshund dog jumping for diy sock pumpkin

Halloween Games for Dogs

Bobbing for Biscuits (and Apples and More!)

Bobbing for biscuits puts a canine twist on the classic Halloween game. If you are looking for a place to start, this is a great one as it is easy to set up and highly entertaining to watch!

Simply fill a shallow bowl with water and toss in bite-sized pieces of dog-friendly food, including some natural dog treats.

Xtra Health Tip: Always check with your veterinarian before introducing new foods. Like people, all dogs are different, and their tolerance for different ingredients depends on numerous factors including age, allergies, health conditions, and more.

pieces of fruits and vegetables in dog bobbing for biscuits game

Then watch your pup dip in their snout and fish out all sorts of delicious surprises. This is such a refreshing and rewarding activity…perfect for a fall day.

For our very first experiment with this activity, I used carrots, cucumbers, and apples. The cucumbers and apples floated, but the carrots sank straight to the bottom.

In a later experiment, I discovered that blueberries also sank. But as long as you are using a shallow bowl, this shouldn’t be an issue.

And, indeed it wasn’t an issue for my three pups! Phoebe, Franklin, and Froda all were more than willing to get a little wet…no treat was left behind!

For some Halloween bonus points, I threw in some homemade treats during a subsequent game. This 4-ingredient pumpkin dog treat is an easy crowd-pleaser that will make this activity even more memorable for your pup. 

mixed breed dog grabbing food from bowl of water during dog-friendly bobbing for apples halloween game
mini dapple dachshund dog grabbing food from bowl of water during dog-friendly bobbing for apples halloween game
pug mix dog grabbing food from bowl of water during dog-friendly bobbing for apples halloween game

Xtra Eco Tip: Don’t let the water go to waste once the game is over. Use it for a second purpose, such as to water plants. 

Halloween Mystery Box (A Sensory Adventure)

As I was brainstorming potential Halloween games for dogs, I was inspired by my own favorites as a child. This next one is modeled after the spooky Halloween sensory box game, which is always a big hit at parties. (If you’re not familiar with this one, the idea is simple.

Different items are hidden inside containers, and the goal is to guess what you feel).

But instead of focusing on the sense of touch, this dog-friendly version is designed to engage your pup’s sense of taste and smell.

To make an easy, eco-friendly mystery box, gather some empty paper towel and toilet paper rolls, tissue boxes, cereal boxes, and egg cartons. Depending on the size and shape of your pup’s snout, cut the paper towel and toilet paper rolls into several smaller sections.

And for the cereal (or other food) boxes, cut a few sections of different heights, again, depending on the size of your pup. With each of your cardboard containers, it should be challenging but not impossible for your pup to reach the bottom.

To finish your mystery box, attach each of your containers to a flat piece of cardboard, creating a puzzle of different spaces.

finished diy dog halloween sensory box

Xtra Health Tip: Be mindful of the type of adhesive you use to secure the containers. Elmer’s glue (specifically the All Multipurpose White Glue and Carpenters Wood Glue) is non-toxic. A hot glue gun is also a good option, but ensure the glue is labeled as “non-toxic” and that you use a minimal amount.

Place a different type of natural training treat or dog-friendly food in each container. This is a great way to experiment with some new flavors and textures.

For example, to Phoebe, Franklin, and Froda’s delight, we tried out broccoli, cucumber, and peas for the first time. And celery…which they all hated!

After all the foods are in position, let your dog go nuts! They will have a fun and challenging time trying to get to the food in the different shaped containers.

And you can observe which treat or food they go for first…and if there are any that they completely avoid.

mixed breed dog getting food from halloween sensory box
mini dapple dashund dog getting food from halloween sensory box
pug mix dog getting food from halloween sensory box

Xtra Health Tip: When selecting foods to use for this game, make sure you are familiar with people-foods that are dangerous for dogs. There are some surprising ones on the list so avoid these!

Pick a Pumpkin (A Brain Teaser)

Next up is a version of the shell game, but without any intentional tricks or sleight of hand. Rather, this version is meant to challenge your pup in a fun way.

All you need are 3 paper cups and a treat.

To keep with the Halloween theme, first prepare your paper cups by decorating them as pumpkins, bats, candy corn, or another favorite Halloween symbol with some arts & crafts supplies you already have around the house. Just make sure all three cups look identical.

With your pup watching, place a treat under one of the cups and then slide the cups around, mixing up their positions.

mini dapple dachshund dog standing behind cups decorated as pumpkins used for a dog-friendly halloween game

Then challenge your furry detective to pick the right cup, where the treat waits as the reward. This is such a fun and interactive way to stimulate problem-solving skills.

And for extra motivation, don’t just use any treat. Go for a high-value option like these homemade Halloween dog treats

Hide-and-Treat (Hide-and-Seek Meets Trick-or-Treat)

Maybe dogs can’t wander around the neighborhood and knock on doors, but that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy some trick-or-treat fun. You’ll just need to make a few modifications!

Hide (with treats) in your yard or house, and let your pup stiff you out! When they find you, it’s time to hand out the goodies!

Of course, you can also dress your pup up first if you want. We made some very simple DIY costumes using some of my son’s old capes and gave each of our dogs their own custom superhero logo.

young boy holding treats with three dogs in halloween costume caps looking at him

Repeat this game a few times. Or better yet, you can get other family members and friends to hide at the same time. This way, your pup has to go on an extended “hide-and-treat” adventure.

For our version of hide-and-treat, we used a mix of natural training treats. And we also incorporated some homemade pumpkin treats for an added surprise!

homemade halloween pumpkin dog treats

Sock Pumpkin Fetch (Some Sustainable Playtime)

If your dog is into fetch, you can put a holiday spin on this classic game by using a Halloween-themed toy. But instead of buying a new Halloween toy, make your own!

This DIY sock pumpkin is a simple way to bring some of your old socks back to life by creating a new fetch toy that your pup will absolutely love.

All you need is a few old socks, a pair of scissors, and about 5 minutes of your time. And you can feel good knowing that you are keeping yet another store-bought dog toy from eventually haunting a landfill.

mini dapple dachshund dog standing next to diy sock pumpkin
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Halloween Games for Dogs – Which is Your Pup’s Favorite?

Every dog is unique (just one more thing that makes it all too easy for them to capture our hearts!), so your dog might not enjoy all these games.

With that said, I do recommend you experiment and try out different Halloween games…you might just be surprised by how your dog reacts!

For example, I thought for sure that Phoebe and Franklin would NOT be into bobbing for biscuits. Neither of them particularly enjoys water…so I doubted that even a treat would be motivation enough to get wet.

But boy was I wrong! All three of my dogs dove in without hesitation, sometimes even scooping up a couple of treats at once!

And it wasn’t only my dogs that had a blast trying out these different Halloween games.

My son was so excited to both help create and participate in the activities. I also had some laugh-out-loud moments. Plus I love finding new ways to bring unique and enriching moments into my pups’ lives.

three dogs getting food from dog-friendly halloween sensory box

FAQs: Halloween Games for Dogs

Are the materials used in these Halloween games safe for dogs?

Yes, the materials used in these Halloween games are safe for dogs when used under supervision. However, it’s essential to ensure that any props or items used in the games are non-toxic and free from small, swallowable parts that could pose a choking hazard.

Can I adjust the difficulty level of the games to suit my dog’s abilities?

Yes, you can customize the difficulty level of the games based on your dog’s age, size, and skill level.

For example, you can make the Halloween Mystery Box game more challenging by using multiple boxes or by adding obstacles inside the boxes for your dog to navigate.

How can I ensure that my dog stays safe while playing these Halloween games?

To ensure your dog’s safety while playing these Halloween games, always supervise them closely and remove any potential hazards from the playing area.

Additionally, monitor your dog’s behavior for signs of stress or discomfort, and be prepared to end the game if necessary.

Are these Halloween games suitable for dogs of all ages and breeds?

While these Halloween games are designed to be fun and engaging for dogs of all ages and breeds, it’s essential to consider your dog’s individual temperament and physical abilities.

Some games may be more suitable for energetic, playful dogs, while others may be better suited for older or less active dogs. Adjust the games accordingly to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for your furry friend.

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title of five frightfully fun (and eco-friendly) halloween games for dogs with image of cups decorated as pumpkins and a pumpkin dog treat used for dog-friendly halloween game

4 thoughts on “Five Frightfully Fun (And Eco-Friendly) Halloween Games For Dogs ”

  1. Omg. I SO love these ideas! My golden is ALWAYS on-the go and is super sensitive when it comes to snacks. So these will be some amazing ones that I can make for him. Thank you so much for putting this together!

    1. I grew up with goldens…they are high energy (and amazing) so the games should be perfect entertainment:) And glad to hear the treats will work for your pup…I intentionally kept the ingredients list to only the essentials.

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