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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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Harley

considering its for their parents amusement. but no honestly I dress up my dogs in a nice comfortable costume in a theme that matches. they have a blast we all go downtown and everyone loves them. This year were dressing up as a mad scientist, bride of Frankenstein and Frankenstein. I don't do it to ridicule them I do it because they're my family and I do of as a family activity so I guess its all how you look at it.

Amanda

My dog will be in a pumpkin costume!

Anntelope

I'm sorry but taking pets to large gatherings where there is much excitement and confusion is often a recipe for disaster. Especially when there's a little dog, the idea that they might get their tiny paws stepped on really concerns me. It's too crowded at parades and too noisy and I don't care what anybody says, pets would rather not be involved in that stuff. If you like costumes on halloween? YOU wear one and leave your pets at home where they will be safe. Especially on Halloween - it brings out the wicked and crazy people.

maria

hello everyone i have a brindlee haired pug and she loves to dress and please. i think dressing your animals for holloween is a great idea. why not celebrate the holiday with your furry friend. since they are a part of the family. just make sure the costume is a good size and fits properly.its best to go to a store like petsmart because you can bring your furry friend to try it on before you buy.....

Janet

We adopted a black cat, and then a calico cat. We love them, and consider Halloween dangerous for our black kitty-because some humans consider this sweet, slightly shy black cat a "bad spirit" or some other absurd concept left over from the Middle Ages. Our job on Halloween is to protect her, as well as her housemate. I am happy to tell small children that they need to be extra-nice to cats on Halloween, and I hope it carries over to the rest of the year. But, no, no costumes for cats. If either want to get dressed up, she'll figure out how on her own. They're happy to get in paper bags, and I leave it as their choice.

Nicole

I disagree with putting Halloween costumes on dogs and cats.
They are not dolls !

Marie Sarrica

PLEASE make sure your pet is not too hot in their costume! If a pet isn't used to wearing any clothing it could become overheated and especially in California, October can be quite warm. Be aware of your pet's comfort at all times.

nik

My dogs are rescues.Each arrived quite ill and sweaters helped keep them warm during the healing process. They LOVE getting new sweaters and seem to view costumes the same way. My Oliver actually crawls into the costume box to take possession of them. He does not seem to want to share. The first time I put one on him be became empowered. I had never seen him show such confidence. Sometimes he gets upset when it is time to remove them so I have to wait until he is asleep to take it off of him and put it away. And if one puts on a new sweater or costume then they ALL have to or else there are seriously hurt feelings. They have really come a long way from the hurting sick broken dogs they used to be.
Costumes, just like their sweaters and tshirts, are chosen carefully for comfort and safety. If someone wants it taken off then it is removed, though a couple of them do it themselves :-)

Betty

It was a three ring circus just to get a flea collar on my kitty Chloe after her 2 dog cousins brought her a flea. (Never found any more, but keeping collar on until it's cold....not cold yet in Central Texas. She is an indoor cat but know she would not take kindly to any type of costume. Her outside dog sister (half Lab) likes bandanas which I only put on her for a day or two.

I have seen many photos of kitties in costume and I always wonder what the kitty is actually feeling....sure, the pet's owner/costumer states the feline 'loves' dressing up, but exactly how are they so confident of this? Cats are beautiful regal creatures as they have been created and putting them in silly hats or tutus detracts from their natural grace and beauty. Good for a human smile or laugh? Maybe, if that's what the owners are looking for. Good for the cat? How?

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