Three Tips for Dressing Up Your Pet for Halloween

Thursday, October 24, 2013 - 11:15am
Dog Wearing a Halloween Costume

Are you ready? Halloween is just a week away. As most pet parents scramble to put the finishing touches on their own costumes, some are scrounging for the cutest or scariest attire they can find for their pets, too. But hold on—are Halloween costumes really okay for our furry friends?

It depends, say experts. Our vets and behaviorists weighed in and said putting your pet in costume is okay as long as you’re certain he’s comfortable in his holiday gear.

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

Your pet’s Halloween garb shouldn’t constrict his movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe, bark or meow. Be sure to try on costumes well in advance—and if your furry friend seems distressed, try switching to his birthday suit.

Dog Wearing a Halloween CostumeExamine 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.

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, tags or a microchip can be a lifesaver.

Are you planning to dress up your pet for Halloween? Let us know in the comment—and be sure to tag us @ASPCA if you upload any pics of your festive friend to Twitter or Instagram.

For more holiday advice, check out our expert Halloween Safety Tips.

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Cheryl Kallenbach

I personally think trick or treating should be banned. Putting a dog or cat in the mix is asking for the animal or one of the kids to be injured. The well being of pets is the primary consideration and dressing them in costumes is certainly not done for their well being.


Maybe Christmas should be banned brings WAY too much joy.


Agree with others not to dress animals in confining costumes. They have the most beautiful coats nature made for them. This practice serves as an ego trip and entertainment for the pet parent. There is no benefit for the animal.


I agree with -My 3 tips for pet costumes are 1)NO 2)NO 3)NO




My little girl can't stand wearing clothes, so she gets to be Lady Godiva and will wear nothing haha but my little boy doesn't mind so he has a glow in the dark skeleton shirt he'll wear but only if its cold. No hats or danglies and they will not be going out anywhere. Too much risk for eating dropped chocolates... I'm always on the lookout for days after Halloween for that!


My dog always dresses up and she likes it! She loves the goodies she brings home! Gabby is a social butterfly and she eats up all the attention she gets. She works the crowd, wags her tail and beckons people to come over to check her out!


ps. she does NOT get candy goodies.. when she goes to pet stores for halloween events, they send her home with dog treat goodies!


Hah! A costume? Try catching my cats to do such a thing! Totally beneath them.


I agree, any costume I tried to put on my cats would be in shreds before I got it on them.