Trick-or-treat! As the Halloween frenzy kicks into full swing, it’s hard not to get into the spirit of the season. Festive and frightful lawn decorations line the street. Drug store aisles are filled to the ceiling with treats. And, of course, all of those adorable pet costumes are just waiting for your purchase.

Halloween can be an especially enjoyable occasion for those of us with pets. It’s a reason to deck out our already adorable pups, kits…and, sure, why not, Guinea pigs in the coolest pet costumes of the season.

But, before you tie that cape on your Schnauzer, there are some things to consider. The first is whether or not your pet really wants to be costumed.

Is Your Pet Costume-able?

While there might be a lot of chuckles about costumes being the bane of all cats, discomfort or safety risks are no laughing matter for any pet. Some pets also simply are stressed by having a strange garment on their bodies—especially near the face or on the paws.

Since you want your pet to feel good and safe in whatever costume you choose, keep an eye on the following behaviors or physical symptoms of distress or discomfort:

  • Excessive panting
  • Biting or pawing at costume
  • Reluctance to move or walk
  • Noticeable change in demeanor
  • Hiding or running away
  • Growling or hissing

We realize you might have had hopes for winning the most creative pet costume award, but realistically not all pets are costume friendly.

Is it Safe?

So, Great Aunt Glenda just sent you another pet costume for this year’s big event…but then you begin to notice all of the baubles and bows affixed to it. What do you do?

Practically speaking, almost any small items is a potential choking threat. And, that’s not the only costume concern.

Watch out for the following pet costume no-goes:

  • Any costume that covers the face—including masks
  • Costumes that prohibit a free range of movement
  • Costumes that have glitter, bows, beads, and other bedazzled bits
  • Highly flammable materials
  • Materials that do not allow airflow or do not breathe
  • Ill-fitting costumes

You may not want to hurt your aunt’s feelings, but the safest costumes for your pet are those that are made specifically with pet safety in mind.

A Few Cool Pet Costume Ideas

Now that we covered all of the spookier topics, let’s get to the fun stuff, like all of the great costume ideas for pets.

Let your imagination go ghoulishly wild, of course, but here are some of our favorite seasonal trends.

Pet food—Yes, that’s right; we mean dressing your pet as an item of food. Try tuna cat or T-bone Rover. Or, maybe you like sushi rolls or cupcakes. (The theme is obviously making us hungry.)

Awful celebrities—Wow, so many to choose from! Old Elvis and Dolly Parton are always classics, or go for some quirky play-on-name divas, like Lady Doga or Debbie Hairy.

Mini-mobiles—Transportation can be a creative theme, such as tugboat pug or Roman chariot Chihuahua, or a Greyhound bus.

Hit series cast and crew—If you have a few pets to costume this year, you can go with some pretty hip themes, like the gals from Orange is the New Black or the medieval assortment of Game of Thrones lords and ladies.

We would love to see some photos of your pet costume creations. And, don’t forget, we offer boarding over holidays!

And, if we can help answer any additional questions about your pet’s health and wellness, please contact us.

Have a wonderful Halloween with your best fur goblin!