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Dressing Up Your Furry Friend This Halloween? Consider These Safe Pet Costume Tips

A small black dog wearing a Halloween sweater

We totally get it: there’s almost nothing more adorable than a pet dressed in a fun little costume. But we all also want to keep our furry friends as safe and comfortable as possible. Is there a way to help your pet celebrate with a costume this Halloween, while also keeping them happy?

While it’s always up to you to monitor the health and safety of your animals, according to this post from the Animal Humane Society, there are some ways to help set your Halloween pet costume plans up for success. Here are their eight safe pet costume tips to consider:

  1. Keep pet costumes safe and comfortable. While your dog or cat can’t exactly tell you how they feel with words, the Animal Humane Society suggests looking to make sure that their movement is not limited. “Your animal should be able to walk, bark, meow, see, and hear clearly.”
  2. Check the materials. Whether you purchase or DIY your pet costume, always check to ensure that the costume is made from non-toxic materials.
  3. Avoid chewable accessories. Watch out for any small or dangling accessories or parts of the costume that could be potentially chewed (and swallowed).
  4. Avoid extras like masks or shoes. If the costume includes these pieces, try to limit their use.
  5. Do a trial run. Let your pet try the costume on and practice wearing it before Halloween. The Animal Humane Society suggests trying to offer “treats while your pet wears the costume for ‘practice,’ and associate the costume with positive experiences.”
  6. Let them sniff it out. Similarly, let your dog or cat smell and sniff the costume before you put it on them.
  7. Pay extra attention to body language. Remember: cats and dogs can say a lot through their body language, but costumes may hide some of that. So, be sure to keep an extra close eye on your pet (especially if they are around other people or animals) when they’re wearing their costume.
  8. Help them understand the situation. It’s also possible that your pet may get confused by their costume. “If your pet freezes when you put on the costume, coax it with treats or a feather toy so they know they can move while wearing the outfit,” the Animal Humane Society suggests.

Related: 3 adorable DIY dog outfit ideas to make for your pup.

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