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How to Choose a Safe Halloween Costume for Your Dog

Are you planning to enjoy some Halloween fun with your dog? If you will be dressing up your dog, be sure this holiday is a treat for him by choosing a safe Halloween costume for dogs. Whether that fun means an afternoon of costumed photos, a pet parade, or an evening of trick or treating, it’s important to make sure your dog is safe and comfortable in his or her Halloween costume.

Halloween costume safety-hat-tiki

Not all dogs appreciate or accept costumes. Our dogs will tolerate costumes for a few minutes but, in general, they don’t like to wear clothing (other than coats when it’s really cold) so we never keep them costumed longer than a few minutes for photos.

Choosing a Dog Halloween Costume

If your dog is wearing a costume longer than it takes to snap a few photos, be sure to keep these tips in mind:

  • Pass on costumes that are too tight or in any way restrictive.
  • Select a costume that’s appropriate for your weather. It’s still very warm here in October so we’d never select a heavy costume.
  • Even if it’s not hot where you live, watch your dog for signs of heat exhaustion.
  • Avoid costumes that are too long and put your dog at risk for tripping.
  • Avoid costumes that have attachments that he could pull off and choke on or chew.
  • Skip costumes with head gear that interferes with his vision.

Helping Your Dog Feel Comfortable in a Halloween Costume

Once you’ve selected the costume, it’s time to put it to use!

  • Use extra high value treats which can easily be broken into bite-sized bits to encourage your dog as you’re costuming him. (We also use them along with the “watch me” command to capture a photo looking at the camera!)
  • Once the costume is on, immediately get your dog moving to distract him.
  • If you plan to trick or treat with your dog or attend a dog-friendly Halloween event, have a trial run with the pet costume first to allow your dog to get accustomed to it.
  • Select costumes that have a reflective strip if you’ll be out at night or consider adding a lighted collar and/or a lighted dog leash.

My Dog Won’t Wear a Halloween Costume!

Halloween costume safety-tiki-trees

Not all dogs will accept wearing clothing of any type (and some just might be allergic to wearing clothes).

Can’t get your dog to wear a costume but still want to have some Halloween dress-up fun? The answer might lie in accessories:

  • Buy a Halloween-themed dog collar and/or leash.
  • Tie a Halloween-themed bandana around your dog’s neck.
  • Decorate your dog’s harness. Attachments like these wings on our Irie’s harness usually don’t distract your dog.
  • Buy your dog a Halloween-themed toy to carry.

Make sure Halloween is a TREAT for both you and your dog by ensuring that your dog is comfortable in whatever costume he might be wearing!

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choosing halloween costume for dogs
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