6 min read

Everything To Know About Dressing Your Dog Up For Halloween

Here's how to choose a costume they'll be happy and safe in 🎃👻

October can be a magical time of year for pet owners.

Dachshunds transform into hot dogs, a pug can become a pumpkin and Yorkies can finally go full Ewok.

Dog owners can get pretty creative planning their pup’s Halloween costume, and while it’s perfectly natural for adorableness to factor into the costume choice, there are a few important things to consider before purchasing that polyester outfit for your pet.

To ensure that your dog stays comfortable and safe during this spooky holiday, pet owners should first consider whether their pup is willing to wear clothes at all, explains Dr. Robert Proietto, a veterinarian based in New York City.

Doing a trial run before visiting the costume shop can save owners (and their pets) a lot of stress when the 31st rolls around. “Try putting a T-shirt on them to see if they will tolerate wearing clothes before jumping into a cute Halloween costume,” Proietto tells The Dodo.

With all the noise, crowds and excitement, Halloween can be a stressful, even scary, time for dogs. If a dog tends to gnaw on shoes or clothes when anxious, it’s best to find another way to participate in the Halloween fun, notes Proietto, and avoid a trip to the vet.

“Many pets like to chew up and ingest different fabrics. If your pet is one of these, then a costume may not be the best idea as these materials can get stuck in the stomach and intestines and require an emergency surgery to remove,” Proietto says. “Always monitor your pet when wearing a costume, as even pets who do not normally chew on things may start out of stress or anxiety.”

It’s also important to remember to monitor dogs around humans’ costumes, watching out for dangly pieces, feathers and beads, explains Proietto, as they may try to ingest these as well.

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If your pup’s down to dress up, and participate in a Halloween parade, pet owners should be sure to get the right-sized costume for their dog, without it being too tight or too loose. A too-tight costume can have some uncomfortable consequences, notes Proietto, such as rubbing lesions under the arms, belly, chest and neck. Be sure to check that the costume doesn’t restrict your dog’s range of movement or block her vision, which can add to her anxiety.

While out enjoying the festivities and showing off your duds, your pup may need to take more breaks than usual during the night to stay cool. “If it is a warm night, be sure there is plenty of water available for your pet, especially when walking,” Proietto adds.

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So why do some dogs hate wearing clothes while others couldn’t care less? “This one is an issue that is dog-to-dog,” Proietto explains. “Even dogs with anxiety will tolerate ThunderShirts and other clothing, while a seemingly calm dog may be filled with severe anxiety when clothing is placed on her.”  

It’s important that a pet feels safe and secure during this scary holiday. If your dog will not walk in the costume or tries to get it off his body, it’s time to help him disrobe. “It is important to understand your dog and not push her boundaries,” Proietto adds. No matter how cute they look as doggy Batman.

And remember to hide those chocolatey treats when you get back from trick or treating!