By: | | Dogs, Cats, MD/DC Area Pet Guide

Looking for a fun Halloween event that you can bring your dog, cat, or other furry, feathered, or scaled friend to? We’ve gathered up a list of the best pet-friendly Halloween events, including pet parades, pet costume contests, and Halloween yappy hours in Maryland and Washington, DC for 2023. So grab your pet and their costume (only if your pet tolerates wearing one, of course) and head out to one of these great events! Maybe we’ll see you there!

Dogtoberfest: Cheers to Canine Socialization & Wellness

Saturday, September 30

5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Dacha Beer Garden (Washington, DC)

Join us for a pawsome event celebrating our furry friends! Dogtoberfest is the pawfect opportunity for your canine companion to socialize and have a tail-wagging time. We’ll have a variety of activities including dog-friendly games, a doggy costume contest, and even a “pup”-kin patch for photo ops. Don’t miss out on the chance to pamper your pooch with our wellness stations, offering doggy massages and paw-dicures. So grab your leash and join us for a day of tail-wagging fun at Dogtoberfest!

Howl-O-Ween Dog Photos

Sunday, October 8

12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Black Flag Brewing Company (Columbia, MD)

Join Adopt a Homeless Animal Rescue for Howl-O-Ween! Come enjoy delicious beer, treats and get spooky dog (or kid) photos with a monster. This event is free, but please sign up at: http://bit.ly/Howloween23 so we can accommodate as many people as possible and make it a fun experience for all. We will also be working to accommodate walk-ins as we can. While this is primarily a dog photo event, ANYONE is welcome! We greatly appreciate your support of our rescue. Please enjoy a beer from our friends at Black Flag.

Howl-o-ween @ Newark Street Dog Park

Postponed due to inclement weather
Saturday, October 14

1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Newark Street Dog Park (Washington, DC)

Join us for a pet costume contest with prizes, refreshments from Bluestone Lane and giveaways sponsored by Small Door Veterinary and more — all in support of the Newark Street Dog Park. Come for tricks and treats while we raise funds for the local dog park. This event is free for all to attend and enjoy.

Pet Parade – Halloween Costume Contest for Pets

Saturday, October 14

2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Centennial Park, Main/South (Ellicott City, MD)
Moved online due to inclement weather

Dress up your furry, feathered or scaled family members and show them off. Pets judged on fashion/costume, presentation, behavior, and use of props. Extra points for special skills or tricks. Winners receive gift cards or prizes.

4th Annual Howl-O-Ween Doggie Costume Parade & Contest @ CPFM!

Saturday, October 21

10:30 am – 11:30 am
College Park Farmer’s Market @ Paint Branch Parkway

Dress up your fur baby and join the fun. Win prizes from Barbie’s Doggie Bakery! This is a free, fun, family event for all.

11th Annual Critter Crawl – A Costume Contest for Your Pets

Saturday, October 21

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Homestead Gardens (Davidsonville, MD)

Join us for the 11th Annual Homestead Gardens Critter Crawl! It’s a fantastic chance to showcase your pet’s Halloween spirit, compete for incredible prizes, and support our local SPCA of AA County. Sign up now until October 20th. Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity!

Harbor Halloween 2023 Pet Pawrade

Sunday, October 22

2:30 pm – 3:15 pm
National Harbor Plaza Stage

Our Harbor Halloween fun is for the whole family, including your pets! Get them dressed in costume and register for the Harbor Halloween Pet Pawrade. Prizes will be awarded for best costume, most creative costume and more in each weight category.

Pet Parade & Hot Cocoa Social

Thursday, October 26

11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Winter Growth Memory Care & Adult Day Program (Columbia, MD)

Ready for some Halloween fun and cuteness? Join us for our Pet Parade. We’ll have prizes for the most unique, funniest, and cutest pet costumes. To register, send your pet name, breed, and proof of up-to-date vaccination status to colleen.konstanzer@wintergrowthinc.org.

Howl-O-Ween

Thursday, October 26

6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Fairmont Washington DC Georgetown

Fairmont’s Canine Ambassador, Georgie, invites friends and neighbors to stop by with their canine companions for Fairmont’s 12th annual Howl-O-Ween. Prizes will be awarded at 7pm to costumed doggies with their people, such as overnight stays, dinners, and more. Local celebrity judges will award prizes for most creative, most adorable, funniest, and honorable mentions. All dogs will be pawsatively treated to peanut butter doggie biscuits created by Fairmont’s pastry team, and canine coolers will be placed throughout the courtyard. Humans can purchase spooky canine-themed cocktails along with Puptails and Doggie Dinners for all four-legged guests.

Pet Parade & Hot Cocoa Social

Friday, October 27

11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Winter Growth Memory Care & Adult Day Program (Olney, MD)

Ready for some Halloween fun and cuteness? Join us for our Pet Parade. We’ll have prizes for the most unique, funniest, and cutest pet costumes. To register, send your pet name, breed, and proof of up-to-date vaccination status to colleen.konstanzer@wintergrowthinc.org.

Paw-o-ween

Wednesday, October 25

4:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Ballenger Creek Dog Park (Frederick, MD)

A Halloween Party for the Pups! Enjoy an evening of tricks and treats with your furry, four-legged friend, at the Ballenger Creek Dog Park. Your pooch will have an opportunity to run free in one of our off-leash areas, compete in a costume contest, and make new friends. Paw-o-ween also provides great opportunities for families to sample dog related products and visit exhibit booths.

BARCStoberfest

Saturday, October 28

7:30 am – 2:30 pm
Patterson Park (Baltimore, MD)

BARCStoberfest is an annual, large-scale, pet-friendly festival and fundraiser that benefits the lifesaving programs and animal care at the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS). Individual and team fundraising for BARCStoberfest raises critical funding for BARCS, Maryland’s largest open-admission animal shelter, which rescues more than 10,000 animals per year. This family-friendly event includes our popular 5K Run and 1-Mile Walk, a pet-friendly beer garden with live music, Halloween costume contests, a local food truck rally, yoga with your dog, a shopping market and so much more. Our goal this year is $350,000, so please join us to raise funds for animals in need in our community.

Spooky Seconds: Pet Costume Contest & Adoption Popup

Saturday, October 28

10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Brookland Arts Walk (Washington, DC)

Our next big fun Saturday event is the annual Spooky Seconds Sale + Halloween Pet Costume Contest! Find bargains and shop specials AND, bring your pet to strut their stuff in their best Halloween costume on our red carpet at noon!

Howl-O-Ween

Saturday, October 28

12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Clipper’s Canine Cafe (Ellicott City, MD)

Join us for our annual Howl-O-Ween event! With a donation of $15 cash (per dog), which will be donated to the local rescue Pitties and Purrs Rescue Inc, you will receive a list of participating Main Street businesses and make your way through Main Street visiting the stores to receive your pup’s treats. Trick-or-treating is from 12-3 and ends across the street, where the Costume Contest will begin promptly at 3:15. There will be four categories: Cutest, Funniest, Best Ensemble and Most Original Homemade with amazing prizes for the winners! This year, Sweet Paws Dog Bakery will be joining us with their Doggie Treat Truck! We also have some other fun surprises in store this year!

Canines on the Creek: Doggy Parade & Costume Contest

Saturday, October 28

2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Carroll Creek Amphitheater (Frederick, MD)

Dress up you and your pooch in your best Halloween get up for the opportunity to win prizes and giveaways! There will be exhibitors, demonstrations, food, and prizes. All proceeds benefit Leader Dogs for the Blind. Donations welcome!

7th Annual Dog Days!

Saturday, October 28 & Sunday, October 29

10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sharp’s at Waterford Farm (Brookeville, MD)

Give your dogs a fun day out and help us celebrate our faithful pups by bringing them for a day on the farm! Dress your pup in a costume and receive $1 off any pumpkin! This year we will have rescues set up with their information and some adorable and adoptable dogs on the farm. We will have dog related vendors, and you will even get the chance to get your dog pampered while they are here!

Howl-ween: Halloween Dog Happy Hour!

Sunday, October 29

12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Wunder Garten (Washington, DC)

Get ready to celebrate Halloween with your furry friends at our Howl-ween Dog Happy Hour. Dress up your pups in their cutest or scariest costumes and come enjoy an afternoon filled with tail-wagging fun. Whether your pup is a vampire, a pumpkin, or a superhero, this event is the perfect opportunity to show off their adorable outfits. Meet other dog lovers, sip on refreshing drinks, and let your furry friend socialize and make new four-legged friends. Don’t miss out on this pawsome Halloween experience!

Tails on the Rails

Sunday, October 29

2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
B&O Railroad Museum (Baltimore, MD)

Come best dressed with your pup to the B&O this Halloween for an evening of tails on the rails. There will be a costume contest with prizes, a 3pm train ride, activities under the pavilion, free pet photos, and a “Yappy” Hour for all the adults in the building.

Dogfest

Saturday, October 14, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Rescheduled to Saturday, November 4

11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Baltimore Humane Society (Reisterstown, MD)

Join us for a doggone great time and help support the animals at Baltimore Humane Society! Pups and their people will have a blast with games and activities like Simon Says, a speedy 20-yard dash, bubble chase, paw painting, and endless playtime in the sand pit! Hold onto your leashes, because we’ve got some fantastic contests and prizes for your beloved pooches. They can compete for the titles of Best Costume, Best Kisser, Best Dancer, Best Owner/Pet Look-alike, Catch the Treat, Musical Sit, and Best Pet Trick. The kids will be set up for a great time with pet-themed arts & crafts, face painting, and a bouncy house! Don’t forget to explore the vendor marketplace and meet some adorable adoptable animals at the pet rescue groups’ booths! And there will be a wide variety of delicious food and treats available for purchase throughout the event, satisfying both two-legged and four-legged appetites.

Maryland Corn Maze Bring Your Dog Weekend

Saturday, November 4 & Sunday, November 5

10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Maryland Corn Maze (Gambrills, MD)

The Maryland Corn Maze has been named one of the 25 best corn mazes in the US, and Bring Your Dog Weekend is the ONLY time dogs are allowed, so mark your calendars! The 2023 maze’s theme is super heroes. In addition to the maze, there are loads of other fun activities in the farm yard, including a zip line, bounce pad, petting zoo, hayrides, slingshots, giant Lincoln logs, pedal tractors, and more!

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Tips for Attending Halloween Events with Your Pet

Make Sure the Event Is a Good Fit for Your Pet

While these events welcome pets, keep in mind that not all pets are going to enjoy attending them. If you know that your pet doesn’t like strangers or large crowds or is fearful of loud noises, it may be best to leave them at home instead of forcing them into what may be a very stressful situation. Use your best judgement, err on the side of caution if you’re not sure how your pet will react, and be prepared to leave early if your pet is showing signs of stress.

Keep Your Pet Safe and Secure

Unless the event has a specifically designated off-leash area, keep your dog on-leash at all times in a secure, well-fitted collar or harness. For other types of pets, secure them with a leash or in a suitable carrier to keep them safe. And make sure your pet’s ID tags are up to date just in case they do get lost.

Be Cautious with Costumes

Some pets don’t mind wearing any type of costume and just enjoy all the extra attention they receive when wearing one, but for many pets, it’s not a positive experience. Consider your pets’ feelings when choosing their costume, and don’t force them to wear a costume that makes them uncomfortable (physically or mentally). Alternatively, you can try training your pet to like wearing their costume.

Have a Happy Halloween with Your Pet!

We hope this list of pet-friendly Halloween events has given you and your furry friend some fun options to consider as you make your plans for this festive season. Whether you choose a lively costume contest, a fun fall festival, or a Halloween parade, our hope is that you create wonderful memories with your pet that you’ll both enjoy. We’re grateful to the organizers of these events for welcoming animals and their humans to celebrate together. Thank you for taking the time to read through this roundup – we wish you and your pet a very happy Halloween! Be sure to check our website or newsletter for more upcoming opportunities to spend quality time with your four-legged friend.