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Halloween Costume Safety Tips for 2016

Halloween is always a favorite holiday contender; it’s where everyone can express their inner-child, even pets!  Everyone likes to dress up, so it’s only natural to feel that you’d be leaving your pet out if you didn’t get them a little costume of their own.  Not all pets will find this gesture as lovable and amazing as their owners, however. There are some rules and safety precautions that you must follow to make sure your pet is happy and their costume doesn’t become a danger to them.

Don’t do too much

Your pet doesn’t need an extravagant outfit to look good, trust us, the neighbors will find them adorable with just a funny hat on.  Big elaborate costumes could translate to big problems, as the more they are wearing, the more constricting it can feel for the animal.

Simple costumes will be lower maintenance, as well.  Even docile pets can easily turn a full costume coat into a dirty, crooked, or torn mess.  Just go with something simple and easy to take off.  If your pet seems good with a full costume, make sure you test the overall fit repeatedly.  Pay close attention to the armpits, neck, and stomach.  

Comfort Level of Costume

Always be aware that pets generate heat differently than humans and their fur traps a lot of it.  If the costume makes your dog start panting, then you should consider scrapping it, you don’t want your pet to feel uncomfortable just because they look awesome in a costume.  The best types of full costumes actually come in multiple pieces, i.e. legs, shirt, hat.  That way it doesn’t cover too much of their body in an extra layer of insulation.  Either way, pay attention to how the costume bunches up; if it moves around a lot it can cut off circulation or get really uncomfortable around joints.

Accessories and Loose Ends

If you’re making your costume by hand or thinking about adding an accessory to your pet’s costume (like a pin, feather, or badge) be wary of these parts becoming detached.  Avoid costumes with buttons, of course, but also pay attention to any potential threads that could be pulled/ripped.  Strings to capes and fasteners are common threats to dogs who get a second alone and feel like taking apart their costumes.

Practice Makes Perfect

If your pet is new to this whole Halloween get together party, have them wear the costume a few times before Halloween arrives. Train them to be good to your guests who knock at the door and reward them with good behavior. If you plan on taking them with your trick or treaters, do some friendly practice runs to get them acquainted with the neighbors.  

When the big day comes, be prepared by attaching an ID tag to their costume or by making their tags overlap the outside.  It’s ideal to have some type of reflective properties in the costume, as well.  If you have to, you can get a color that lights up or use reflective tape to safeguard any instances where your pet might escape while on your trick or treat run.

Keep an eye on your pet throughout the night, make sure they are getting the proper amount of attention: not too much, but not too little.

Tailored Pet Services puts your pet’s safety at the top of our priority list, with or without a fun costume. Take a look at our dog walking page.