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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Heather 14

I never dress up my dogs as I think that they hate it. Animals are not dolls and they like their freedom.My 2 don't even like their raincoats or the coat when it is cold.


I agree that pets should not be put in costumes. The pets should bite their owners when they do that. Yes my dog is my child but I feel like putting them in costumes is borderline abuse!


Nell, my little Bella does just that. It's obviously too stressful for her to be forced into an article of clothing. A scarf she might accept, but we haven't tried that. We have alot of trick-or-treaters on Halloween, so she is in another, quieter area of the house during that time.

Susan Davis

It really depends on the pet. Some of them seem to be fine with a costume and some of them hate it. So it should really depend on the pet's cumfort level.


As long as they are not too obnoxious & your pet does not seem to mind . . . mine will take it off if he doesn't like it so . . . . he lets me know.



Audrey Anderson

My Havanese loved to dress up for Halloween. My ShihTzu and Poodle, not so much! But they loved to visit the neighbors to show off their costumes and to wait for all of the "goblins" that come to the door.


I think it's stupid to dress up an animal. How would you know 'they are comfortable'? These folks have more money than sense.


I just got a Chinese Crested in May. He does have to wear clothes at times due to being hairless and he's comfortable in them. I got a costume for him and when I tried putting it on him he freaked out. It's a simple cape, Dracula, and he was terrified of it. So, no I will not be dressing him up. His warm outfits he loves and will even get them when he wants one on. I do listen to my dog as everyone should.


Costumes are so cute, it's hard to resist! My little dog gets very cold during the winter, so he wears a sweater to keep from freezing in the snow!