Halloween Fun For Your Dog and Family

Dressing up for Halloween is fun for playful people . You love to show off your creativity with a novel costume, and if you have a pooch, you double your fun coming up with a costume idea for your pet. But is your dog’s Halloween costume is OK for your canine friend? Your dog can’t always tell you when something is pinching or that she is going to trip in that long gown.

Here is a safety checklist for your dog’s Halloween costume:
  • Try on your dog’s costume before the big night. As with any new clothing item you introduce to your pup (like booties or a sweater/jacket), it is important to give them time to adjust and get used to it.
  • Introduce the costume to your pup with lots of praise, reinforcement, and even treats. Make it so that wearing the costume is fun for your dog too.
Dog Halloween CostumesCheck out the costume for safety issues:
  • Does it fit? Is the costume is too tight or loops or fastens in odd places? Is that any part that will rub and irritate your dog. Is it difficult for your dog to breathe?

If it is too tight, it could cut off circulation or cause sores to develop. An uncomfortable costume will not make for an enjoyable Halloween. And you’ll have a hard time getting him or her in a costume the next year.

  • Does costume restrict movement? Does it fit OK over the head, the neck, the legs, the tail? Is it too long,  making walking awkward?

Your dog might get upset in a costume that restricts his or her normal movement. Plus a costume that is too long is just a hazard for tripping. Even a stumble over a low curb or even flat pavement can cause injury if landing on a paw the wrong way. And loose-fitting outfits can get caught on objects.

  • Does the costume restrict your dog’s senses? Does it cover the ears, preventing hearing, or fall over eyes? Does it prevent your dog from being able to bark?

This is not good for mobility and may make your dog generally unhappy.

  • Are there parts of the costume your dog might gnaw on or even try to eat?
  • Are there any aspects of the costume that your dog may be allergic to?

Note: Dogs usually don’t like masks. The Humane Society discourages owners from using them because they can block breathing, hearing and/or vision.

Not working out?
Is your dog stressed about wearing the costume? Some dogs really enjoy getting dressed in costumes – they love the attention. But other dogs may be frightened or unhappy in clothing of any type. If you want to dress your dog up, start with a simple item and see how he reacts to it.

Don’t force your dog in a costume if they are really, really, really hating it.  Wearing an unnatural costume can cause undue stress. If a dog is already stressed, being in public might not be the fun you were hoping for.  If your dog is having a problem with an elaborate costume, try something simpler:

  • A fancy collar or a bandana.
  • Create a costume for you where just your dog on its leash is a part of your costume.
  • Small dogs who enjoy being carried around might enjoy being an accessory for an adult costume. Don’t force the issue on animals who prefer to stay on the ground.

And because of potential dangers of a costume, never leave your dog unattended in the costume.  Wearing a costume is fun and cute for a dog, but don’t forget the safety considerations, so you and your pooch can have a Happy Halloween!

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