Planning to dress up your dog for Halloween? Here’s how to make sure his costume doesn’t jeopardize his safety.
So, Halloween is your favorite night of the year. So much so, that you want to include your dog in all the fun! If that means dressing up your pup, you’ll want to make sure the costume you’ve chosen isn’t just scary or funny, but also safe. Your pooch may know how to “speak,” but telling you his superhero outfit is tight in all the wrong places may be beyond his “ruff” vocabulary skills.
1. Protect your dog’s senses
Your dog’s senses are his superpowers, so it’s important to make sure he has access to all of them. Never cover your dog’s eyes, ears, or nose, no matter how adorable the end result might look to you. Inhibiting the senses can cause anxiety and prompt a pup to act out of character.
2. Avoid buttons and other chewables
While buttons may be just the right fashion touch for your pup’s vest, they can also be choking hazards. It’s not just buttons – dogs can chew through just about anything, so be aware of any adornments that could end up off the costume and in your marvelous mutt’s mouth.
3. Costume fit is everything
You’ll want to make sure your dog can move around easily while in costume. A good fit ensures comfort and helps make for a calm canine. You’ll also want to factor in your dog’s collar or harness and leash. Before you and your pup decide to strut your stuff, do a test run in costume to see how Spot responds.
Extra Halloween tips
Even if the costume fits perfectly, there are other aspects of Halloween that a dog can find spooky. Halloween treats — candy, chocolate and some nuts — can make a pup sick. And while humans know the ghosts, goblins, and gremlins of the night are all make-believe, dogs may not. If the strange sights and sounds appear to upset your pup, consider calling it an early night.
Back at home, you may want to minimize trick-or-treater doorbell stress by keeping your dog in a quiet area of your home. Turning on some soothing music to mask some of the scary noises of the evening may also help keep him calm.
It’s entirely possible that, unlike you, your dog may decide that Halloween isn’t a favorite holiday. Don’t be too disappointed. Hanging out at home with your BFF — best furry friend — can still be pretty special.