It's a must to dress up to celebrate Mardi Gras, and your pup's costume should definitely be in the colors of the season: purple, green and gold. Craft a costume for your furry pal, or browse the festive costumes, bandanas, t-shirts and collars online. Make sure your dog is comfy in costume and that he's able to walk without any trouble.
Start Your Own Doggie Krewe
A "krewe" is a group that puts on a parade or ball during the Mardi Gras season, so invite over a few friendly pups from the neighborhood and start your own krewe. Name your krewe, dress up in costume, organize a parade and celebrate Mardi Gras in style.
Romp in a Parade
There are loads of paw-rades around the country to celebrate Mardi Gras. One parade that's gone to the dogs is organized by the Krewe of Barkus in New Orleans. Dogs and owners dress up in costumes and strut their stuff as the parade winds through the French Quarter. Or you can check out the colorful Mardi Paws Parade in Mandeville, La.
Hold a Costume Contest
Invite your favorite pups over for a Mardi Gras shindig and costume contest. Award prizes to the best-dressed pups, then set out festive doggie treats and nosh on King Cake.
Wear Festive Beads
Everyone loves to dress up, and beads are a must-have for Mardi Gras. Just make sure they don't trip or tangle up your pup. Beads by the Dozen sell some fun necklaces just right for the canine who wants to strut his stuff in a festive parade.
Create a #Selfie Backdrop
Can't make it to NOLA for Mardi Gras? Create a "Bour-bone Street" backdrop like the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., sets up each year that's a perfect addition to their annual Doggie Gras Parade. Snap selfies of your pup in front of the decoration. It will be as if you and your furry pal are in the middle of the French Quarter.
Celebrate With a Feast
Let there be food. Mardi Gras is all about indulging before fasting during the Lenten season that starts on Ash Wednesday. Add a Mardi Gras Mash to your furry friend's feast. It's a seasonal stew that's grain-free and includes everything he loves, like meats, poultry, fruits and vegetables.
Eat King Cake
King Cake is a long-standing Mardi Gras tradition, and yes, your furry pal can partake thanks to dog-friendly recipes. Dog blog thek9harperlee has a tasty recipe that includes bananas, whole wheat flour, eggs and cinnamon. Your pup will be forever grateful if you let him lick the beaters once the King Cake is in the oven.
Road Trip to New Orleans
If you're eager to be at the heart of the festivities with your pup, plan a road trip to New Orleans. Book a stay in a dog-friendly hotel, like the La Quinta Inn & Suites New Orleans Downtown, which has no pet fee and allows big dogs. Shop 'til you drop at pet boutique Southern Paws, then make time to play at the NOLA City Bark dog park. For your pup's safety, only go to pet-friendly parades, like the Barkus Parade.