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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Yeah---I think that dressing a dog up is a bit of a slippery slope. It is very wrong to use an animal for your own self-gratification. But, on the other hand, when a beloved dog, goes out trick-or-treating with the family and has a little costume on (that does not hinder or bother the animal in any way), is that really so bad? Dogs can join in on the fun too. But, yeah, it is really gross to see a bulky costume on a dog...


That is so right because I do know my furry children. My little one loves to get dressed up and loves the attention she gets, but on the other hand, my big boy hates it and so I never ever put a costume on him or attempt to dress him up. Dogs have personalites just like humans and you need to abide by what they enjoy doing.


Isn't having a pet in the first place for self gratification?!?


No! It is for wanting to take care of a being that you love!


How does a costume hurt a dog i see no issues with them wearing a costume


How does a costume hurt a dog i see no issues with them wearing a costume


If you know your pet, you will know whether or not they are comfortable in the costume. Mine does not like them, so I do not put him in a costume just because it amuses me!


I totally agree! I have 2 dogs, one doesn't mind costumes or sweaters, the other despises them. So only one wears them. Done and done.


My Papillon loves being dressed up he comes to me to put a little halloween scarf or collar on. BUT that is as far as we go. Our dressing up is confined to a collar or scarf.


No no no its just plain stupid