costume parades for dogs in new jersey Your kids have been picking out their own Halloween costumes since they could point, but there’s one family member you can still force into the outfit of your choosing. No, it’s not your husband…it’s the family dog. And with so many costume pet parades around—some of which award prizes, and many that raise money for good causes, like supporting animal shelters—you’ve got a great excuse to get Fido in on the Halloween fun in 2012!

Not a pet owner? Not a problem! You only need to be pet lovers to make a day out of a pooch parade. Some even offer kid-friendly activities. For example, you can count on face painting, an origami table, and other kid pleasers at October Tails in Verona, or find hippity hop horses, pumpkin painting, and innovative booths like the “smooch a pooch” at the Howl & Hike in Succasunna.

Costume fun by county:


  • Woofstock, 10/28, 10 am-5 pm; Municipal Circle Park, Tenafly; Dogs only; free.


  • October Tails, 10/28, 12:30-4:30 pm; Verona Park; 973-322-4792; Dogs only; $.
  • Strut Your Mutt, 10/20 (rain date: 10/27); Essex County Brookdale Park, Montclair, registration 8:30-9 am, parade 10 am; Essex County South Mountain Reservation Dog Park, Maplewood, registration 1:15 pm, parade 2 pm; 973-268-3500; Dogs only; free.

More pets on parade—>



Many events will have pets for adoption on display that your kids will beg you to take home. (Don't say I didn't warn you!)



Renée Sagiv Riebling is a freelance writer from central New Jersey. She and her husband and two children are always on the lookout for new and exciting adventures. 

Know of any other pooch parades around NJ? Give us the details; we love seeing costumed canines!