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10 Halloween events that are perfect for your pup

From cold beer to costume competitions, there are plenty of ways to celebrate Halloween with your dog in NoVA.

© Firn / stock.adobe.com

You’ve seen those adorable dog costumes at the store. You can turn your Shih Tzu into a sunflower, or your husky into a hammerhead shark.

Now, you have a reason to pick one up for your pooch. NoVA is celebrating Howl-o-ween across the region. Here’s where you can take your doggie-turned-lion for some Halloween fun.

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Petoberfest
Saturday, Oct. 19, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
It’s time to break out those Halloween costumes (for you and your four-legged friends) to support Prince William SPCA. The pet-focused event will feature activities for humans and canines, as well as pet-oriented local vendors. The P.A.W. express mobile adoption van will also make an appearance, featuring adoptable dogs and cats from the Prince William County Animal Shelter. Don’t forget to snap a commemorative picture in the photo booth!  // Stonebridge Town Center: 15201 Potomac Town Place, Woodbridge; free

McLean Pet Fest & Howl’oween Pooch Parade
Sunday, Oct. 20, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
It’s time to let your dogs show off their costumes in a new way: their own parade! Dress up your pooch for the Howl’oween Pooch Parade and enjoy a day full of pet-focused festivities at the McLean Pet Fest. Pet-focused vendors, exhibitors and local professionals will be in attendance, and there will be plenty of opportunities to mix and mingle with your fellow dog owners and furry friends in the neighborhood. // McLean Central Park: 1468 Dolley Madison Blvd., McLean; free

Canine Halloween Cruise
Friday, Oct. 25, 6:30 and 8 p.m.
Don’t want to walk your dog in his costume during trick-or-treat? Grab your pooch and board the Potomac Riverboat to enjoy all of the sights, smells and fun meant for four-legged friends on the water. The ride lasts for 45 minutes and gives pets and their owners gorgeous evening views of the National Harbor, MGM Casino, the Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Monument. // Alexandria City Marina: 105 N. Union St., Alexandria; $25 adults (12 and older), $15.75 (ages 2-11), dogs are free

Halloween Bark Bash
Saturday, Oct. 26, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
It isn’t a holiday unless the whole family can celebrate, so bring your pup to One Loudoun’s Bark Bash for a day filled with dog-inspired activities meant to get your tails wagging. Create a masterpiece by getting a personalized dog caricature, enter into the dog costume contest, make a pit stop at the  treat station and snap a picture at the  photo booth. Kids’ activities and a live DJ will keep the event fun for the entire day. // One Loudoun: 20626 Easthampton Plaza, Ashburn; free

Barktober Fall Festival
Saturday, Oct. 26, noon to 3 p.m.
Fall fun just got better by being pet-friendly. Come to enjoy the complimentary apple cider and dog treats, and be sure to enter in the pet and human costume contests. Pets and their owners will be awarded with prizes for the best four-legged and two-legged costumes, and everyone will be entered to win a free spa package from A Dog’s Day Out. And, of course, get a fun fall photo with your pet to remember for years to come! // A Dog Day’s Out: 6680 Fayette St., Haymarket; free

Trick-or-Treating with Dogs at Mount Vernon
Sunday, Oct. 27, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Howl-o-ween fun starts at Mount Vernon, where owners can snap a photo in front of the mansion with their pup, meet people from George Washington’s era and enjoy a variety of pup-friendly treats, without having to knock on doors (or have an accident in someone else’s yard). Plus, your dog’s daily walk just got a lot more enjoyable with open grass fields and sweeping views of the Potomac River. // George Washington’s Mount Vernon: 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon; $20 admission (event price included)

Dog Trick or Treat
Sunday, Oct. 27, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Who says trick-or-treat is only for kids? Grab the nearest leash and your pup’s costume and tour through Old Town for treats and a local costume contest. Don’t forget to pick up your goodie bag and map from The Dog Park, and you can be off to enjoy all that Howl-o-ween has to offer. Plus, humans can enjoy sales at participating stores in Old Town. // The Dog Park: 705 King St., Alexandria; free

10th Annual Dogma Trick or Treat in the Village at Shirlington
Sunday, Oct. 27, 2 to 4 p.m.
No need to make your dog homemade Halloween treats when you can enjoy trick-or-treating at Dogma Bakery in Arlington. Stop by to grab a cookie for your pooch and support Lucky Dog Animal Rescue while you’re at it! Costumes are encouraged and owners can find a variety of other dog-inspired goodies to take home, including toys, dog beds, meaty treats and more. // Village at Shirlington: 2772 S. Arlington Mill Drive, Arlington; free

Great Falls Halloween Spooktacular and Pet Parade
Thursday, Oct. 31, 5 to 7 p.m.
Happy Halloween! Great Falls is celebrating the holiday with tons of costumes, a haunted house and trick-or-treating with local merchants for kids up to age 12. But what about Fido, you ask? Bring your leashed pup dressed in a costume and he can strut his stuff in the Pet Parade, starting at The Arts of Great Falls gallery. Prizes will be awarded for special pet categories and everyone can enjoy a safe and friendly space to enjoy the candy-crazed evening. // Great Falls Village Centre Green: 776 Walker Road, Great Falls; free

Dog-O-Ween at Tysons Biergarten
Saturday, Nov. 2, 3 to 7 p.m.
Get ready to wrap up the seasonal fun at Tysons Biergarten with your pup. Bring your family, friends and furry pals for a day of cold beer, costumes, live music, kids’ activities and more. Competitions will be held throughout the day, including the smallest dog, best kisser, best trick, biggest dog, best tail-wagger, owner-pet look-a-like and best dressed. And did we mention beer? Over 22 beers will be on tap and available throughout the event. // Tysons Biergarten: 8346 Leesburg Pike, Tysons; free

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