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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Michele S Fineron

Please make sure anything your dress your dog in is fire retardant.


I'm so sick of people screaming abuse just because they don't agree with something. Many pets don't have a problem dressing up. I had a fur kid that wore sweaters in the winter to keep warm. She would goto where I kept them when she wanted on. She would always get excited when I brought a new one home. "dress up" may not be for every dog, but don't talk down to owner who's dogs enjoy it and choose to dress them.

Karen L. Lew

animal skins for Hallowe'en: their own. One grey and white moogy, one torbie, and one ragdoll. They look very cute in those outfits and seem quite comfortable in them.


I will be dressing up 1/2 of our cats, the kitten enjoys it more than his grumpy older sister!


I will be dressing up 1/2 of our cats, the kitten enjoys it more than his grumpy older sister!


My rescue dog, Molly will be wearing her birthday suit for Halloween!! I really don't think she would tolerate anything on her anyway, although I may try a Halloween-themed kerchief.


My family has a miniature schnauzer, he LOVES to dress up. We got him as a puppy. Illinois winters can be brutal and he hated going outside for even a short period of time. I made him some booties and a sweater out of my kids old clothing, it took him a little bit to get comfortable with the booties. After that he loved the snow, now I make him new stuff to wear in the colder weather every year. He's completely comfortable wearing clothing, and even sits calmly waiting for me to slip his sweaters on him, then jumps around like a puppy with excitement. I think its perfectly ok to dress your dog up IF he/she is comfortable with it and like the article said, if the costume/clothing is pet safe.


I agree with many of the comments. Take a chill pill. If your dog doesn't like dressing up or you don't like dressing him up, don't do it, but don't condemn those that do. My dog used to love it. I had two costumes for him, a devil for Halloween and a Santa suit for Christmas. He was very much a people dog, so he loved the extra attention he got from wearing his costumes. Whenever I pulled them out, he'd get all excited and was ready to dress up and go! I also had a cat that would wear a T-shirt. There was a reason...he had a sore on his back and the bandages wouldn't stay on and he wouldn't leave them alone. The T-shirt was perfect to keep him away from the sore and from the first moment I put it on him, he acted like he'd been wearing it his whole life and didn't mind a bit. When the sore finally healed, I took it off, and I really think he missed wearing it. I've never had any other cat that would put up with that!


Abuse? Inhumane? PETA acceptable? You people have got to liberals!


there are some pets that truly enjoy being dressed up & going to parades etc., cats too, i know a few :) not mine, they are scaredy cats & i respect them. but it really does depend on the individuals. forcing a pet to do something it doesn't like is despicable & cruel. it's all about respect & common sense.