Pet Halloween Costumes: Cute or Scary?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 12:00pm

With Halloween just around the corner, you might be tempted to make your cat or dog a star by dressing him up in the cutest mini-sized costume you can find. But wait—is trick-or-treat apparel really safe for your furry friends?

Our experts suggest putting your pet in a costume only if you’re sure he will enjoy it. Some pets love the limelight: wearing a costume and posing for pictures is a blast! Others prefer to stick to their birthday suits for all occasions, and being dressed like a pumpkin for their pet parents’ amusement can cause unnecessary stress.

If you decide to have your pet wear a costume, here are some helpful safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Your pet’s Halloween garb should not constrict his movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe, bark or meow. Be sure to try on costumes in advance—and if your furry friend seems distressed, you’ll want to ditch the mini-pirate hat and vest.

  • Examine your pet’s costume and make sure it doesn’t have any small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that he could choke on. Also, ill-fitting outfits can get caught on external objects or your pet, leading to injury.

  • IDs, please! Make sure your dog or cat has proper identification on underneath that cute costume. If for any reason your pet escapes and becomes lost during Halloween festivities, a collar and tags and/or a microchip can be a lifesaver.

For a complete list of animal safety guidelines for this spooky holiday, check out our expert Halloween Safety Tips for pet parents.

Tell us: Are you planning to dress up your pet for Halloween?

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I am planning on dressing up my 2 dogs,but we buy 1 size up so it fits them coferly.

Mary Baugher

Pet costumes can be harmless fun if your pet doesn't mind wearing them. But if your pet seems uneasy with it or is struggling to get it off, then ditch the whole idea. It has to be fun for them too.

Faith Weiner

The best pet costume ever - I took my husky-shepherd out with my kids one year, and told the other young trick-or-treaters that he was a cat in a really good dog costume! They were all very impressed.

Joyce M. Coomer

I consider pet costumes to be inhumane and insulting to the pets. Several years ago, a few days before Halloween, I was driving to an adjoining town and alongside the road was the body of a black and white cat wearing what appeared to be a ballerina tutu. The only conclusion I could come to was that some little girl thought it was cute, the cat panicked and ran into the road and got killed. Please, please, please, please -- for the sake of my tender heart -- do not put costumes on your pets.

Jillie Huggins

Every year my dogs have the best costume. They dress up as DOGS! I must say they are scarily convincing in this role and they seem to love it. Beautiful fur coats, exquisite markings, beautiful muscular physique! Plus their useage of real animal fur is perfectly PETA acceptable. These costumes seem to fool everyone into thinking my dogs are dogs and not the fur-covered leprechauns that they truly are!

We do dress our dog up every Halloween, but like you mention we stick to outfits he can easily move in. I use high value treats to condition him to wear them - so he enjoys playing dress-up. Last year we all went as a family of skunks - it was hysterical! I'll even take him door to door and have people give him a dog treat (I provide them) as a way to socialize him. Others enjoy it too :-)

stacy hyatt

I have a minature pomeranian, and O Will ne dressing him on a cat costume, for Halloween. He loves the attention, he is a ham,when it comes to pictures an dressing up


We put our rat terrier in a Halloween costume long enough to take a couple photos and then let him out of it because he looks annoyed. He wears a myriad of coats during the winter to go outside and potty in the rain or snow or walks and he doesn't seem to mind. He's a part of our family and we believe he enjoys the attention regardless an the pictures are cute as can be. People just need to listen to their pets. To the lady crying about the cat in a tutu, I'm sorry but get over it. People should probably not try to dress animals other than dogs, but if you're that broken up about it maybe you need to talk to a counselor. Just some advice.


I also have a reflective collar and matching leash in case she gets lose she is easy to see.


I also have a reflective collar and matching leash in case she gets lose she is easy to see.