pet costumesPet costumes are a huge deal for many owners, but they don’t always come with an instruction guide or safety suggestions. Indeed, while they seem so obvious and self-explanatory, pet costumes elicit a great deal of confusion, stress, and anxiety – for pets and people alike. This is not to say they aren’t fun and festive, but when you have a head start on how to dress your pet in a safe garment (and how to mitigate any discomfort), you’ll be more likely to enjoy Halloween together.

Sky’s the Limit

When choosing a pet costume, we know it’s hard to narrow down which options your pet will look the cutest in. However, instead of measuring aesthetics first, size up each costume from a “safety first” perspective. This includes:

  • Fabric and fit – Pet costumes should not irritate your pet. If the fabric is scratchy or too tight, your chances of getting past the first photo opportunity are nil. Likewise, the garment should not be floppy or loose, as this will make it easier for your pet to wriggle out of, inadvertently covering the eyes, mouth, nose, and ears. Above all, your pet should be able to see clearly, breathe easily, and move without restriction.
  • Hazards – Believe it or not, pet costumes can cause choking. Loose or dangling parts can entice pets to chew and bite them off, and even pose entanglement issues.
  • Visibility – Masks might work for some animals, but if they cover your pet’s eyes and limit vision, it may be best to find a different get-up. Feeling trapped is never fun for pets.
  • Comfort – If your pet has enough time to get used to the look and feel of the costume, they’ll probably endure it longer on Halloween. However, never force a pet into a costume. Opt for a festive bow tie or bandana instead.

Successful Pet Costumes

If your pet is highly socialized and ready for a fun night out, remember that the unpredictable can happen on Halloween. Keep your pet on leash and outfitted in reflective gear. It may be dark, scary, and nerve-wracking out there, even for the calmest of pets.

Be sure to expose your pet’s collar and tags for easy reading; if your contact information has changed recently, be sure to update your pet’s microchip. Escape or separation are highly likely on and around Halloween.

Fun and Safe!

Know the signs of anxiety and stress, and don’t be afraid to call off an evening full of zombies and superheroes. A nice cozy evening snuggling together could be just what the doctor ordered!

If you have any questions or need some inspiration, our veterinarians and staff are here for you. Whether you decide on a Schnauzer witch, Dachshund Dracula, or Shar Pei scarecrow, when you choose the safest costume for your pet, the better off they’ll be on Halloween.

Above all, have a safe and happy Halloween!