pet costumesFor most of us to be comfortable, we have to be able to see, breathe, hear, talk, move around, and go to the bathroom without a hitch, right? We hope the same goes for festive Halloween pet costumes, but sometimes, form and function comes at the cost of an animal’s safety and wellbeing. It’s definitely fun to get all dolled up (if only for a split-second photo opportunity), but dressing up a pet unaccustomed to clothing, crowds, and the unpredictable nature of the spookiest holiday of year can also be dangerous.

Parts and Pieces

When it comes to pet costumes, you might have one thing in your corner: pet clothing. To be sure, gear and threads have become wildly popular, especially for the smaller pet set. Trying to get your pet used to the idea of wearing a costume without ever having worn clothing before is a steep challenge. However, it’s not impossible.

Space and Time

Introduce your pet to their costume as soon as you can. If you aren’t seeing any level of acceptance, keep trying with significant intervals of space and time. Please do not force your pet to wear a costume. Giving them ample time to get used to it will help your cause enormously.

Context Clues

Pet costumes are often amusing for people, but unfortunately, animals aren’t in on our jokes. Indeed, they can even stress pets out. Keep an eye out for any signs of unhappiness or discomfort. Remember, many fabrics can be hot, scratchy, too tight, or too floppy – all of which endanger a pet.

Looking for great alternatives to pet costumes? Bowties or bandanas can look very festive without the restriction or discomfort.

Risks of Pet Costumes

It’s not uncommon for the signs of stress to be subtle enough to escape an owner’s radar. However, when a pet feels frightened, anxious, or physically uncomfortable, they try to get out of the situation they’re in. Wriggling out of a costume, biting at it, and chewing on different components can just exacerbate problems.

Choking hazards and entanglement issues must be prevented. Any loose or dangling ribbons, decoration, beads, etc. do not have a place on a successful, safe pet costume. Elements tied around the neck or masks can also be difficult to pull off safely.

Forget or Regret?

When going out with your dressed-up pet, please be sure to keep them on leash. Tags and collars should always be visible, and if you’ve changed any contact information, update your pet’s microchip. Reflective gear, temporary reflective tape, wearable lights (not glow sticks, please), and/or bright colors are highly recommended.

Okay to Stay (Home)

Many pets are just as happy to sit Halloween out. It’s okay to take the hint and establish a cozy snuggle fest on the couch this year. However you decide to celebrate (with or without a pet costume), our veterinarians and staff hope you have a safe, enjoyable holiday.