• Shelley Beyer

Pet Costume Safety!




Are you considering dressing your pet up for Halloween? There are a few things to think about before you commit to such an adorable decision! Nobody can deny how precious pets look dressed up, but it isn’t for every pet! Some tolerate it a lot better than others.


Before you spend a lot of money on a fancy costume, check how your pet tolerates clothing. Luckily, there is a pretty easy way to check.


Put a small T-Shirt on your pet and see how they react! If they start pawing at it or trying to remove it by shaking or running, then costumes are not the thing for them. Cowering, a tucked tail, or pinned back ears also indicates that they are more overwhelmed and stressed out by the whole concept. Cats have an additional sign to look out for- freezing or flopping over and THEN freezing.


If your pet seems comfortable with playing dress-up, there are a few potential hazards to look out for when planning out your four-legged friend's costume.



Choking


Make sure that your pet’s costume (and yours too) does not have a lot of small pieces that could break off and be snatched up by your fur baby. Choking hazards are no joke - if it is not toddler friendly, it is not pet friendly!



Limited Visibility


When the lights go off suddenly, most people reflexively panic. It is the same reaction your pet has if the costume suddenly slips down over their eyes. Make sure that everything is well secured, or avoid wigs and headgear entirely, even if that witch hat is SUPER cute!



A Bad Fit


Costumes that are too tight or loose-fitting can cause problems. Make sure you check the fit around the neck and chest areas when dressing your pet up. Loose-fitting outfits can get caught on things causing your pet to get hooked on something or trip. Tight-fitting costumes can cause discomfort when moving or, worse, make breathing difficult for your pet. If your pet has shortened breath or is breathing heavily, get that costume off quickly!



No Leash


Even a well-behaved animal can behave very differently when spooked. Your pet's whole environment is going to be very different on Halloween, so if you are taking your pet outside, make sure you put your pet on a leash. The last thing you want is for them to get spooked and run out into traffic.


One last tip before you go shopping, have them practice wearing the costume around the house in advance. It’ll help your pet get used to it without all the Halloween night distractions. You’ll also be able to check to see if there are any irritations or modifications that you need to make. Have a wonderful time on Halloween and stay safe!