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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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Tina

We put pajamas on our dog elvis , well my boys did , he didn't like it but he wasn't harmed , as long as the dog doesn't mind and isn't harmed in any way , it's up to the owners !

Lu

Please no costumes. Let them be themselves. Our furry family members do not like it. It's only for the satisfaction of selfish humans.

Dee J

I believe in dressing them up in comfortable outfits. The kids love seeing them and Now I take my two to Assisted Living where Mom is. Last year with Sandy, the seniors kept begging me to bring them in even at Thanksgiving or Christmas dressed up. They love it. They wear Tshirts in the house in the colder weather anyway.
That way I don't have to keep my heat way up. They have coats to wear outside in the cold weather so why not a special shirt or dress for Halloween? It's the same thing. One has a shirt that has the S on the back in the diamond for SuperDog and the other one has a dress with wings. For the Pet Parade on Assisted Living Week, they asked me to dress them up and they were. In fact, my gilrl's shirt matched mine and boy was that a hit with them.
My pets have seen the shirt come out in colder weather and they sit right down for it to go on, Everyone of the pets I have had over the last 40 years have loved having a shirt on. Now if you have one of those great big dogs; I can agree, I wouldn't put one on them either. My Mom did for her's.

Julia Washenberger

Since jackets for warmth can be helpful for our small furry kids I just adapted a jacket into a costume. So it was something my girl would normally wear anyway. She has a hoodie with leather outside and fancy barattes to the back to bling it out. Then a Harley Davidson patch will go on top. She will be "biker pupy".

JB

We dress our dog for the holidays by simply changing his collars, they have everthing now and you can find collars with patterns of pumpkins, ghosts, santas, turkeys, pilgrims, hearts etc. etc. No need to make our little friends uncomfortable for our own amusement.

Dianna

I think it depends upon the dog. If your dog hates it, don't do it. My dog hates it. My friend's dog thought seems to LOVE being dressed. I've been there and seen it. My dog stands all stiff and glares at me. Her dog runs around and shows off. Bottom line, like a kid, there's no handbook.... you know your dog.

Heather

We have a dog that loves to wear sweaters, shirts, and dresses. She prances around when she wears them. So yes, we did get her a costume for Halloween, but it's not one with a lot of stuff on it. It's more like a t-shirt with a glow in the dark skeleton on it. She likes it, so why not? She'll actually go to where it is kept and poke it with her nose, asking us to put it on her! And did I mention she's a 50lb boxer/terrier mix? LOL! Daddy's pampered little princess!

Susan G.

Everyone needs to listen to the three tips which the ASPCA just put up. Also, and very important is this - KNOW YOUR DOG! If he does not like to get into his costume - don't do it! If he is afraid of the kids in costumes - keep him in the house away from the festivities. On the other hand, if he loves the attention - go for it! My dog LOVES getting dressed up! BUT, she hates to wear hats or shoes, so any hats or booties from the outfits are not used. As far as weather is concerned, if your dog is used to wearing coats, etc. consider the temperature for their outfits. On the cold Halloween nights, my dog is dressed in her warm pumpkin outfit and on warm Halloween nights she is in her very light princess outfit. She loves sitting on the porch and she loves the attention she gets from the children who come trick-or-treating. We also make-up some "doggy" treat bags with dog biscuits for the other canine trick-or-treaters. To sum it all up - be sure that your dog is as happy and comfortable as you are on Halloween.

Tierney

I say no to dressing up your furry friend. I think it's cruel, not cute! They don't enjoy it unlike our children who love it.

Susan G.

So now you are assuming that every child loves to dress up for Halloween. Well, I think you are a bit misinformed, too. All children, and all animals ARE DIFFERENT! There are children who do not enjoy Halloween. Some are actually quite frightened by the whole thing. So, once again, it comes down to if your pet (or child for that matter) likes it - do it, if they do not like it - don't do it!

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