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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if you pet enjoys it and you are safe about it why not!! my cats run if they even think i'm going to dress them up! I have a few scratch scars from trying!

Weenie, Joe and...

There's so much going on as it is, to dress them up and add to the high anxiety already is soooo wrong. I would love to, but no.


Are you dog owners?

My dog, (like most other costumed dogs) honestly doesn't care what is on her. All she knows is that she is getting A LOT of attention and she loves it. Put the costume on, if the dog tugs on a specific section try to alter the costume so it is more comfortable. If the dog still tugs or looks unhappy take it off and call it a night. It isn't that big of a deal.


I personally don't celebrate Halloween. But, I feel, my pets are rescued from shelters and they are special in my house. If they feel comfortable in a jacket or shirt (which the shirt by the way can calm anxiety) so be it. It's cold up here in NH and a jacket is very necessary in the cold months. Their not wolves you know. Their not people either. Their special. Seriously.


If you DO put costumes on your pet, make sure your other pets DO NOT MISTAKE the costumed pet as an intruder/threat!!! My GF paid about $7K in surgery for her poor cat's broken leg from such an episode!!! Cat A attacked "costumed" Cat B, they knocked over a computer and broke the poor lil cat's leg!


I "costume" my pets by putting Halloween bandanas on them. Or on the bigger dogs, halloween baby bibs make good dress-up for them.


As with all decisions regarding our pets, the number one factor should always be, "what is best for my animal"...not "what is fun or cute or rewarding for me"...the input from the qualified animal experts I've known through many years of rescue work is that other than for warmth in extreme climate is not a decision considered best or comfortable for the animal.


If animal's could talk I bet their vote on the costume issue would be NO.

Margaret Scott

Pets say no thanks to unnatural, uncomfortable, costumes and so do I.

Ms. L. Carmel

I Agree Dogs And Other Pets Should Not Wear Costumes On Halloween, Nor Any Other Time Of Year!