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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Depends on the animal not fair for most "purse" dogs who are already accessories themselves.But I 've known more than a few "tough" dogs who really enjoyed the extra attention that a ribbon or a strand of pearls incurred. Recently met a dog who had to wear an Elizabethan collar to stop gnawing at hotspots but when she wears a ribbon it has the same effect.

Laurel Hills

My cats would never go for it. Can't possibly do it!


Hey, don't even think about it! ... that's my cats opinion... :-)

Lee Eslick

NO, NO, NO! These are not kids and they don't have a clue whyyou are doing that to them. It is a selfish act on Humans who do that to their pets.

Christina Färnström

There is absolutely no reason to bring a pet to Halloween festivities! It's just a risk to scared and lost. And no costume are cuter then the birthday suit! No way!


I've always thought that dressing your pet for Halloween is humiliating to the animal.


really? you think your dog actually experiences the human emotion of HUMILIATION?


Sorry but we go nuts enough with our human children. Leave the dogs along; let them be dogs. No costumes, please. I just don't think it is right.


there is nothing wrong with dog costumes. yeah, you might think they look stupid, but do i really care what you think of my dog? no, i really honestly do not. at all. why do you people feel so strongly about something that other people's pets are wearing???

Pamela S. Carle

I think if the pet parent is sure the pet is comfortable and safe in the costume then there is no harm in his wearing it for a short time, say three or four hours. The pet benefits from having smiling people pay attention, and the parent can remove the costume if it becomes uncomfortable. Only some dogs will tolerate a costume, and I agree those dogs should appear costume free. Halloween comes only once a year.