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 actually have know some dogs who enjoyed wearing sunglasses and hats bandanas and such not all dogs are the same just as people are not the same.


this comment is absolutely insane! a dog wearing a sweater is like a human literally trying to SUFFOCATE another human to death?!! what makes you think all dogs (or any dogs...) feel like that? i have three dogs. it gets damn cold in the winter. one of them hates wearing sweaters so i don't bother. one doesn't fight it and he's 4lbs so i put one on him. but the third dog... LOVES. I mean LOVES!!! loves wearing clothes. if i say "sweater", he starts jumping and spinning in circles and waits patiently, lifting his legs when i tell him to while i put it on. he gets jealous if another dog that he knows is wearing a sweater (he will act standoffish toward them until i take it off). if it were up to him, he'd wear them every single day, even when it's not freezing cold.


Mira, your sweater dog sounds adorable! You know what your dogs like and don't like and you respect each one-I think that's the sign of a good dog Mom. But a sweater is a far cry from a halloween costume and there is absolutely nothing wrong with a sweater-dogs get cold too!!


You are wrong that no animal enjoys being dressed up, I am extremely sensitive to my dogs' emotions and you do not know them at all. Suffocate? You're just nuts.


This couldn't be a more ignorant answer. I have hairless chinese cresteds...they absolutely need sweaters in the winter. Not to mention, I've noticed that their anxiety levels go wayy down say if I have a visitor in the house and they're wearing a sweater. It's very comforting and it's actually been a proven behavioral tactic to make them feel safer. Ever seen that anxiety thunder vest? I don't ever plan on putting a sweater on them that covers their eyes...or sit on them, or suffocate ridiculous.


Ha ha! love the way you put it.. and agree by the way!!


This is not rocket science. Animals only want to be covered when they are cold.

They don't like to wear hats, signs or costume jewelry ever.

Thank you.

~~~Albert Dogstein and Leonardo Da Housecat


dogs have different personalities and what one dog doesn't like, another may not. you can't decide this is true for all dogs. i have three dogs and all feel very differently toward wearing sweaters - one hates them, one doesn't care whether or not, and one gets happier than i EVER see him as soon as i just SAY the word "sweater". he would even wear them in the summer, if it were up to him (luckily it's not, lol)


This is not rocket science. Animals only want to be covered when they are cold.

They never like to wear hats, signs or costume jewelry.

~~~Albert Dogstein and Leonardo Da Housecat


My Boston Terrier loves to sit on the porch with me and greet all the trick-or-treaters. I never put clothes on her except for Halloween, and she doesn't seem to mind her little vampire cape and bow tie. She loves the attention!