Halloween is a time of candy and fall weather. It’s also the time when we get to dress our pets up in costumes they may (or may not) want to be in.
Who doesn’t love all of the videos and pictures of pets in hilarious and adorable costumes? And while your pet may be into it, there’s some reporting from NPR that outlines things you might want to consider before dressing your pet up.
If your pet is one that is used to being handled and dressed in clothes, Halloween costumes are probably not going to be pushing the limits of their comfort. But, if your pet isn’t really one to tolerate being clothed, adding a costume to the mix may create discomfort, or under certain circumstances, injury.
According to a survey NPR cited, “more than three-quarters of owners plan to put their pet in a costume this year, and more than half plan to take their dog out trick-or-treating.” That’s a high proportion of pets wearing costumes and being exposed to human candies, like chocolate, that might be fatal.
What To Look For
Not sure about how your pet feels about that adorable costume? Check their mannerisms and body language.
Rena Carlson, president-elect of the American Veterinary Medical Association, recommends that you look for specific signs. For example, “Are they panting, pacing or restless? Do they have a soft face? Are their lips nice [and] soft, or are they grimacing a little bit? What are their ears doing? Are their ears back? Can you see the whites of their eyes when you normally cannot? All of those are signs of stress.”
Consider less restrictive costumes like using a tag to match Scooby Doo or other small adjustments that the dog won’t mind. And remember that for some dogs, the extra attention because of the costume is a completely worthwhile trade-off.
Whatever you opt to do, keep in mind how your pet responds and react accordingly. For those of you with costume friendly pets, please share your photos.