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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My dog (Pommie) likes to dress up occasionally. Why wouldn't she? She gets LOADS of attention which she loves, I never put anything on her that's uncomfortable, & she's not agreeable to it just to please me, trust me! I'm the pleaser in our relationship, she's usually the "pleaseee." When I had big dogs I thought it was stupid to put anything other than a kerchief on them. But a couple of times a year for photos or an organized event to socialize (briefly) I think is fine. It's common sense: If your pet doesn't like it, don't do it! Make sure it's comfy, SAFE, (incl. not overheating!) & some pets seem to enjoy it. And animals KNOW if you're laughing at them. It hurts their feelings, I know that for a fact. If you do it, have respect for their feelings, too.


How can something that mates & cleans its private parts in public be embarrassed or humiliated? Animals are NOT body conscious!!!


Hahahaha this is amazing. So true.


Lol....I agree!

Tanya Vudler Casale

Your points are valid. Over the years we included only our animal companions who were willing into our Halloween celebration by dressing them up. What worked best were minimal costumes that indicated what the animal friend was going as. There was one terrific cat who loved being dressed up, but none of the others ever, so they remained just cats. But our dog, the Sammy, loved showing off her costumes, and loved coming along. Our two horses also seemed proud of any subtle decorations they wore as they were entered into Halloween horse shows. It was great fun for the children, but we made sure our animal friends were willing participants.


NO NO NO--Leave them alone.


I agree too! No costumes for pets!

Beth Tatum

I concur!

Colleen Macdonald

Absolutely NO costumes for dogs cats or birds - any animal. They don't need them and the potential harm is greater than the 2 minute photo op


I agree with Gerry's three tips amd also add a resounding NO!