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 hate seeing animals dressed in costumes or any other 'outfit'. I don't have a problem with doggie sweaters for dogs who don't have a sufficient undercoat to keep them warm in cold weather, but clothes are for people, not animals. Costumes are ludicrous. I feel so sorry for the animals.


My new dog won't even wear a coat when it gets down to 10 degrees F. No way will I try to put her in a costume...Our teacup poodle (rest his soul) loved to be dressed in a sweater or if our beloved Avalanche hockey team was on he would pull out his tiny jersey and try to put his head in it...yes he loved clothing...of any kind and he played "santa" more than once in his 14 years.

Barb Midson

I guess it is each owner as to dressing up your pet or not, I never have as really I do not like it at all.

anne nartowicz

People put sweaters and shirts on their dogs and cats this is no different it's a personal preference as long as the animal is not constricted and is comfortable I see no problem with that if it is just for a few hours on Halloween other than that animals have fur unless they are a dog like a Chihuahua who might get cold in the winter bringing them outside I don't always agree that putting clothing on an animal is the right thing to do but like I said just for a couple hours on Halloween should be ok

doreen rasanen

Absolutely no costumes for animals, just dress yourself up....leaves the beautiful
animals alone. You are only making their live miserable, but you probably cannot
see it.


Honestly, some dogs enjoy it, so if they're not miserable, what's the big deal?

Beagle Guy

I hate the very idea of dressing up dogs to look like some version of an idiot human. I've stopped buying calendars or media that rob dogs of their god-given dignity by putting antlers on their heads, goggles, party costumes. I think way too much of dogs to support any charity, business, or civic organization that does this.


I commented yesterday on the fact that so many rescues are using animals dressed up for fundraisers. Canines on the Catwalk, etc. They put wigs, color the fur with chalk ,and clothes. This is the new norm here . They will have a Vegan dinner at the events yet put all this stuff on the animals. I HATE when they color the fur. Thoughts??


Isn't it "beneath the pet's dignity" or something? Although, it hasn't been my experience that pets stand on dignity so much.


It's a no from me too. I don't think the animals like it at all, if you gave them a voice I would think it would be a profound thanks but no not for me.
My dog was my family too but I had too much respect for her to dress her up. She looked fabulous as she was