If you’re a fall-loving pet parent, then you’ve probably been thinking about your pet’s Halloween costume all year long. While you may have had a specific vision in mind for how your pet should look in their costume, it’s important to think about your pet’s comfort and safety.
Let’s talk about what to DO and what NOT TO DO when you’re dressing your pet for Halloween.
DO choose a costume based on what your pet likes.
Not all pets like costumes, and that’s ok! If your pet doesn’t like costumes, then it’s best to skip it altogether. An alternative would be to add one or two simple accessories to your pet’s look, like a bandana or a Ty Beanie Babies’ tag, you’re increasing the likelihood that your pet will stay safe and comfortable.
DO pick a costume that fits your pet properly and doesn’t obstruct their senses.
A costume that is too loose can cause your pet to become tangled or even trip. If your pet’s costume is too tight, it could restrict movement, cause sore spots, obstruct breathing, or cut off circulation. It’s important to also consider the weight of your pet’s costume. Picking a heavy or bulky costume could hurt your pet or make them uncomfortable. A wide variety of costumes for pets include hats and masks. Do not obstruct your pet’s ears or eyes; your pet is more likely to be scared and confused if they cannot see or hear properly.
DO take your pet’s costume for a test run.
It’s important to make sure that your pet’s costume fits them properly and is comfortable. The best way to ensure this is to test it out! Let your pet become comfortable with their costume by trying it on for a while a couple of days before any costumed event. This will give you enough time to see if you need to make any modifications to the costume to ensure your pet’s comfort an safety.
DO keep your pet leashed while in-costume.
It might seem hard to get the perfect, costumed pic of your pet with their leash danging in frame. Don’t cave to temptation! Keep your pet leashed while they’re costumed. Halloween is full of strange, scary, and downright weird costumes, smells, and sights and an unleashed dog might get scared by a spooky surprise and run. By keeping your dog on their leash, you’re helping them stay safe from unknown Halloween haunts.
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DON’T pick a costume with lots of loose parts, embellishments, or buttons.
The phrase “the more the merrier” does NOT apply to your pet’s costume. It’s best to limit your pet’s costume to the essentials. Costume items like belts and capes can easily get caught or stuck on things. Other embellishments, like buttons or loose fabric, can potentially be swallowed, chewed, or ingested by your pet.
DON’T take your pet trick or treating.
Trick or treating might seem like a fun activity for the whole family, but it can be a terrifying experience for your pet. Not only is Halloween filled with scary sounds, smells, and decorations but the costumes can also be terrifying and confusing for your pet to witness. If you are planning to take your pet out for an evening event, it’s important to make sure they have reflective details on their costumes.
DON’T take off your pet’s collar or ID tag.
You might be tempted to take off your pet’s collar and/or ID tag to fit their costume. DON’T! Halloween can be a downright frightful experience for your pet. If your pet bolts or gets away from you due to fear or excitement, you’ll have a much harder chance reclaiming them if they don’t have an ID tag. Make sure your pet’s ID tag information is up to date before any Halloween activities and that their tag is easy to find.
DON’T leave your pet unattended while in costume.
If your pet is comfortable in clothes and costumes, that’s great! However, there’s a laundry list of things that could go wrong at any one moment. That being said, your pet should be under close supervision at any time they are wearing a costume. Be sure to keep a close eye on your pet while they’re costumed so you can monitor for safety and comfort.