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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Well, yes...some dogs do have fun with all the attention and people coming up to the door and all the laughing!! A caring person knows their own dog as you do. We are all preaching to the choir on this site...I would like to see what the general public would have to say. Because no dog should ever be painted or be forced to wear something that distresses him.


My dog actually likes being dressed up in costumes. Of course, you need to use common sense.
1 - Make sure the costume fits - not tight and not too loose.
2 - Make sure they're eyes, ears and noses are not covered up.
3 - Make sure the costumes are safe.
4 - Always make sure they are supervised while they have their costumes on.

Yes, I get enjoyment from dressing them up and both of my dogs get enjoyment from seeing my enjoyment and enthusiasm.


Good advice, especially the often overlooked "supervise". And I would add one more: if your pet resists having the costume put on, don't force it!


Good advice, especially the often overlooked "supervise". And I would add one more: if your pet resists having the costume put on, don't force it!

Mary Liles

I agree w/ Elaine. Our pups are like our children and they in turn love to please us. Just make sure the item is not too constricting and they don't trip on it. Pet that love attention and affection actually get a lot of enjoyment from it because people are always saying, "oh how adorable" or "aren't you the cutest thing?". Of course they're going to like it. My advise is for some of you need to get off your high-horse and enjoy life! If you're uptight, your pet will be uptight.

As a side note....I'm speaking only of dogs...I truly don't think ANY cat likes it. I have 3 cats and 2 dogs....the cats just look at me as if saying, "don't even think about it!".

Smiles...have a great day!


If you something to dress up, get a doll! A coat or sweater on a cold dog is okay. Please, people, let your pets live with dignity!!


Assuming the costume is: 1) safe; 2) non-restricting; and 3) your pup doesn't mind being dressed up, then does a dog really know that a costume is "undignified"? Personally I do not dress up my dogs; but if your dog is not straining to get out of a costume, doesn't seem upset or in distress, or generally uncomfortable in some way, then, in my opinion, there is no harm in doing so.


Definitey NO!


Personally I don't dress my animals. But I don't think it's bad when people do - as long as the animal doesn't mind. I know dogs who are used to coats and sweaters for outside and as their owner takes the garb off inside, it does help keep them warm. Animals love attention. If getting dressed up keeps them on Mom's lap more - I say go for it!


Absolutely. My dog loves to dress up and be the center of attention. We attend two dog contests: one in my high rise building, and the other at Petco. She usually wins a prize. She is a Bichon and they love people!