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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Joan Marie Dunsworth

I totally agree no costumes for my babies. They are cute and adorable enough!


I have struggled with the same question...I think the worst offense is PAINTING an animal!! There is something so offensive and demeaning about painting an animal. I complain to mgmt. wherever I see pet paint sold.


I TOTALLY agree with you. There was a slideshow on MSN not too long ago of dogs that were painted like Sesame Street characters among other things. Now I know they were "professional" groomers and the paint was hopefully safe but Im sure there were idiots out there thinking they could spray paint their animals. There was that poor kitty on the news that died from someone spray painting it orange!

Dee J

Why would anyone Paint any animal? I see them dyed too for dog shows. Why?
I think that is awful. My pups don't like bath's that much I can just imagine them gettng painted or dyed, no way.
but something that is comfy and warm. there is NOTHING wrong with that Westie on the front page of this article in the orange shirt.


I would only get a costume that was more of a pet sweater. I have seen some cute pumpkin ones or a skull/argyle design that is pretty cute. It is COLD here in Wisconsin around Halloween so I do not see any problem with that- as long as they don't mind wearing it. I have an aunt who dresses up her little dog and it drives me nuts! She got mad at me one because I took the outfit off when she wasn't looking- it was too tight on the poor thing!



Michael Santmyer

I say it is up to the owner, why does everyone have to judge??? I am sure anyone who is on this website loves their pets, I know I do. I dress them up and yes, I do get Joy from it. At the end of the day it is one more thing i share with my precious boston terriers, and they LOVE the attention they get. I totally understand those who think it is foolish, to those people I say, dont put a costume on your pet, dont be so judgemental!


Agreed! So many people here want to tell others what to do with their own pets (especially, when if you're here on this site in the first place there's a good chance you care more about your pet than the average person to start with).


My dog LOVES to wear clothes. When I ask if he wants a shirt on, he goes and sits in front of the cupboard where I store them. He then pouts when I take the shirts off of him. He will be wearing a costume proudly!


maybe he's cold.