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Last year American pet owners spent over $400 million on costumes to dress up their dogs and cats. A lot? Sure. Worth it? Definitely! Cuteness abounds. Below find some of our favorites, along with some safety tips to ensure that your Halloween costumes for pets are safe.
Halloween Costumes for Dogs and Cats
Make sure the costume is loose-fitting: Regardless of design, your pet’s costume shouldn’t restrict movement in any way. Be wary of elastic bands that are too tight, and dangling parts of the costume that may become tangled around the animal’s legs. By the same token, a costume should not be too large, otherwise it could slip off the pup and providing a tripping hazard.
Consider the material: What is the costume made of? Is it something that is stiff or itchy and will cause your pet an evening of scratching, rubbing and rolling in attempts to get it off? This type of material would be a no-go.
Forget the mask: Restricting your pet’s ability to see can cause them unnecessary stress. Anything that covers eyes, nose or mouth is generally not a good idea. A pet can be super cute in a bandana or hat. Let’s face it; a mask isn’t probably going to disguise him very well, anyway.
Check body temperature: Some costumes add an extra layer of warmth, making them just a little too cozy. Monitor to make sure your pet isn’t getting too warm. If you notice them panting heavily, it’s time to remove the costume.
Be vigilant about choking hazards: It puts a real damper on Halloween when you have to rush to the emergency veterinary clinic, because your pet ate part of their costume. And while we’re at it, keep an eye out for discarded candy wrappers, and the candy itself — especially chocolate.
Don’t leave your dog unattended in a costume: Regardless of how relaxed he is, or how much he enjoys wearing it, a dressed-up pet should always be under supervision. There is a chance that he could get hung up on something, or tangled in some way, or overheat.
You’ve made a mental note of all the safety hazards, and you have a mostly worry-free costume picked out. But how do you know your pet enjoys dressing up? Let’s face it, some dogs keep on wagging their tails no matter how miserable they are. Most dogs tolerate just about anything their owners want to do. But, do they enjoy it?
Many pet owners know their pets well enough to gauge their unhappiness. Just in case, watch for typical signs of anxiety when you dress up your pet. If they hunch or flop over, pin their ears back or rolling their eyes, they’re making it pretty clear that they’re miserable. For some dogs, heavy panting is a sign of stress.
Perhaps the most important thing to remember about dressing up your pet is to know your pet’s personality, and respect who he is. And after that, enjoy!
What are your favorite Halloween costumes for pets? Share below!