Pets can enjoy Halloween just as much as humans unless their costumes prompt veterinarian visits. One way to ensure that the evening is fun for everyone is to know the best way to dress your pet for the festivities. For that, you just need to know the do’s and don’ts of appropriate pet costume introductions.
Introduce the costume gradually.
Have your pet try on the costume piece by piece for several days before Halloween. This way, they have time to get used to it, and you’ll have a chance to gauge their reaction and determine whether dressing them is a good idea.
Choose the right apparel.
Some costumes can present health hazards for your pet. For example, some outfits use rubber bands or loose strings, which may irritate your pet’s skin. They may dislike it so much that they may tear it out with their teeth, which could cause choking.
Also, the costume shouldn’t be too tight or cover your pet’s eyes, ears, or mouth, as this will make it difficult to breathe, eat, and navigate safely.
If a costume doesn’t seem like a good idea for your pet, be flexible. Instead, get a festive collar or temporarily paint or dye your pet’s fur in a fun design, like a skeleton or shirt and tie. That way, your pet can still be “dressed up” without being uncomfortable or unsafe.
Ignore your pet’s body language.
A costume may be so frustrating to your pet that they’ll become upset or aggressive when they wear it. If you notice that your pet snaps, seems jumpy, or acts subdued while wearing the costume, take it off.
Push them to be sociable.
Even if your pet seems to handle the costume well, they may be so distracted by the newness and strangeness of the experience that they won’t be as relaxed around other people or animals as usual. Let your pet interact according to their comfort level.
Neglect their safety and well-being.
The extra layers of material over your pet’s fur could cause them to overheat, especially if you bring them to a crowded party. If your pet has pale gums, excessive drool, and trouble breathing or keeping food down, they may have heatstroke, so take them to a veterinarian right away.
You want your pet to enjoy Halloween with you in their new costume, and if they experience any serious costume-related issues, take them to Thompson Animal Medical Center in La Crosse, WI, where they’ll visit an experienced veterinarian. Whether you have a dog, cat, reptile, or rabbit, your pet will be welcome at this veterinary clinic. As a proud accredited member of the American Animal Hospital Association, the clinic can provide pet wellness exams and surgeries. Schedule an appointment by calling (608) 788-8820, or by messaging them online.