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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My dog is thrilled to dress up. She gets extremely happy when she sees any type of clothing so costumes are in the same line. And as long as we keep an eye on her I don't see the problem in that. I wouldn't force a dog to dress up if they were not 100% comfortable with it though.


Our little guy loves his jackets! How do we know because he knows what they are called & gets excited when we ask him if he wants to wear one! He is a Jack Russel & gets cold more than any dog I've ever had, he shakes, so we think he appreciates them. Besides when we take them off he is hesitant to let us take it off & then looks admiringly at it like he wants it back!
He loves all of his things though very appreciative pup!

Ashley Passino

I wouldn't be surprised if you were PETA themselves, If grooming a dog (which btw a lot of animals love an it keeps them healthy, is too hard for you or you don't have the time, please consider a turtle. Anyway, dogs an even some cats like dressing up, its not for "our " enjoyment, its for their enjoyment, too. My
Male kitten Moose will do anything for attn and I don't think he would be phased by a simple shirt or lose cape. I agree with Lighten up.

Jagdish Mittal


For my dog, I would never put him in a costume. He would try to tear it up and pick at it all night. It wouldn't be fun for him. But for other dogs, I mean if they like it and if you follow the rules then why not. Only if it's safe though. And I wouldn't bring my dog trick- or- treating anyway, cuz he'd just bark at everybody and try to run away so there's no point in dressing him up.

C.W. Oxley

Something doesn't sit right with me whenever I see someone's creature companion dressed up, even if the animal seems to 'enjoy' it. I have to go with that gut feeling,so I would NEVER put a costume on any pet.

Dana Lang

I have a cat and a lop rabbit and enther like to dress up. When my cat had stiches she hated the cone. To keep her from licking the stiches I found a preemee onesee and moditfide it so she could potty on her own. Since then no clothing for her. As for the rabbit I have a hard time with the small animal harness so I don't think a costume is going to chance it's mind to wear clothing.

rosie's mama

I wud never dress my pet in a costume, there is no way any dog or cat would like's strictly for the humans.


Please! Abuse! If they don't mind, then its OK. My one little chiweenie hates to have anything on but her birthday suit, which is fine, but my pom loves to wear clothes. It just depends on the dog. Obviously,if they are uncomfortable, then don't do it. It's just common sense.

Jinkle Seagrave

Both of mine could easily go as homeless. Big sign around the neck "will work for food"