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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I totally agree with Gerry, Lyn, Kathy, and Meryl.....NO NO NO....they are degrading and humiliating for an animal....Save the costumes for children......not pets!!


I also agree with Gerry. No! NO! NO! What makes people think that animals want to wear clothes of any kind? The majority of people don't seem to care what their pets think or feel. The only exception might be garments/padded paw covers etc. for extreme weather or terrain conditions. It also amazes me that scientists and researchers have to do "tests" and "studies" to try and prove that animals even have feelings and express emotions. If pet guardians don't think animals have feelings just like people do, only more intense, then they don't deserve the privilege of being a pet guardain.

Diana Mayes

No costumes for pets! Most don't like being dressed up and they are cute without it anyway!


To me, there's a difference between putting a costume on a cat and a dog. Dog's look at you as if to say "I'll wear this because I love you." Cat looks at you as if to say "I will kill you while you are sleeping for putting me in this." Personally, putting a pet in a silly costume or a ridiculous holiday sweater is kinda degrading. Let's face it, having a pit bull in a Batman costume or even, dare I say, a ballerina outfit is embarrassing. Do you want other neighborhood dogs laughing at your St. Bernard as it's dressed up as slave-girl Princess Liea??? I think not.


They are pets not children. It may look adorable to dress up our furry kids but they don't really understand all the fuss and probably would rather skip the" awwww isn't that so cute". Hate to sound like a party pooper but my pets don't enjoy anything other than a warm coat and only if it's really cold outdoors.


I have an easily spooked BLACK CAT. What do you think - NO!

Linda S F Gridley

I love my dog, he has a very simple costume made of a hat I made for him and his winter coat (we live in Minnesota, need I say more). There is so much need in the world that I feel like we need to first feed children and displaced animals, we need to cloth children. To buy outfits for dogs and cat is not my deal we need to prioritize our responsibilities and put our money where it really helps.

Toby Hurley

I doubt I will dress Miss Bailey in a costume. We don't get many trick or treater's, so there's no point in it.


I am not a fan of dressing up pets.
It just seems so wrong.


I agree, no costumes for my 5 babies. They are so beautiful who needs a costume.