Halloween is right around the corner, and time is growing short to get that perfect costume together for your pet. Of course, your fur friend may want nothing to do with dressing up, but if they are tolerant, pet costumes can be a fun way to join the Halloween fun. 

Pet Costumes 101

Remember to never force your pet into costume. Some pets will only tolerate dressing up for about as long as it takes us to snap a quick picture for your friends. With time, praise, and lots of encouragement, your pet may grow accustomed to wearing a costume, but if it doesn’t work out, don’t be too surprised.

Even if your pet is a willing participant, watch for the following warning signs:

  • Excessive panting
  • Spinning around or trying to get out of the costume
  • Biting or pawing at material
  • Uncharacteristic behaviors like hiding or withdrawal
  • Aggression

Problems With Pet Costumes

It’s never recommended to cover a pet’s face or head. Avoid masks, headpieces, or other head adornment. Serious injury could occur, and it just adds another level of fear and stress to your pet’s Halloween experience.

Pet costumes should not restrict movement or breathing in any way. Circulation can be cut off or your pet could overheat, so pay close attention to the fit of the costume, and monitor your pet’s temperature closely throughout the night. Be sure to provide fresh drinking water at all times.

Lastly, any items that can be chewed off, swallowed, or choked on should be removed. Think bells, bows, ribbons, and dangling parts. Pets can become entangled if struggling to get out of the costume, so please keep a close eye on your pet at all times. 

Fun Pet Costume Ideas

Now for the fun part! With safety boxes checked, here are some ideas for safe and adorable pet costumes.

Food. Everyone loves the dachshund dressed as a hot dog, but we’ve also seen great versions of tacos, sushi, french fries, cupcakes and fruit salad. 

Other animals. Pet costumes can be so cute when your dog is dressed like a cat, or vice versa. We also like skunks, spiders, bumble bees, lions, pandas, butterflies and more. Go crazy! 

Superheros. Our pets are our superheroes, so what could be better than your dog dressed as Superman or your kitty dressed as Bat Girl? The Incredibles (for multiple pet households) and Wonder Woman also top our list. 

Celebrities. There is no shortage of famous faces in the pet costume world to give you ideas galore. From Lady Gaga to Michael Jackson, Dolly Parton to Elvis, the sky’s the limit with pop culture. There’s a never ending source of great costume ideas here! 

Beyond the Fun, Remember Safety

Halloween is fun, but remember that there are several risks this holiday poses to pet health and safety. Be sure your pet is microchipped and wears her reflective collar and ID tags. We recommend all pets, especially cats, be kept inside from prior to dusk and throughout the night. 

Candy, especially Xylitol sweetened or chocolate treats, pose serious toxicity risks to pets of all kinds.  Decorations with exposed wiring, flame lit jack-o-lanterns, and decorations with moving parts or sounds can all be stressful and dangerous for pets and should be avoided. 

If you have any questions about Halloween pet safety or pet costumes, please give the team at Blue Valley Animal Hospital a call. And have a fun and safe Howl-o-ween!