Dog as ghost-pet safe Halloween costume.

The overlap between safe and spooky isn’t impossible, but it does take some forethought to accomplish both. When it comes to your pet’s Halloween experience, it can be a tough sell to get them to wear a festive outfit. In fact, pet costumes can be the scariest part of the entire holiday! However, great timing, good choices, and loads of patience (from both you and your pet) can make all the difference. 

Photo Opportunities

Most pet owners simply want a cute snapshot of their pets dressed up, but it asks a lot of them to blindly accept wearing foreign, uncomfortable pet costumes. If they are unfamiliar with the garment you’re stretching over their head, they’ll likely do whatever it takes to get out of the situation.

In Advance

To help your pet prepare for the big day, choose their costume well in advance. Give them time to fully investigate their costume and only when they aren’t visibly upset by it, try to dress them in it. This can take several weeks to accomplish, but with positive reinforcement techniques (encouragement, praise, treats), you’ll eventually win them over.

Contingency Planning

If your pet ever shows discomfort, stress, or anxiety, don’t force them into a costume or scold them when they run from it. 

Have a backup plan, such as a festive bandanna or bow tie. Some pets will tolerate certain accessories, such as hats, boots, or vests. 

Safety Tips

When shopping around for just the right outfit for your pet, we recommend the following Halloween safety tips (your pet will thank you!):

  • Be sure that the pet costumes you’re looking at do not restrict your pet’s breathing, visibility, movement, or comfort. They should be able to walk around, use the bathroom, and do whatever they want without interference.
  • Pet costumes must fit snugly. If they are too loose, your pet may try to wriggle out of it and get stuck with the costume over their face. 
  • Fabric must be soft and comfortable. If it pokes your pet or has an itchy feel to it, your chances of enjoying them in their costume may quickly dwindle.
  • Most commercial pet costumes are relatively safe, but they can come with elements that pose risks. For example, anything that dangles or is loosely attached to the garment can be hazardous if they chew on it or swallow part of the costume. 
  • Always watch over your pet when they’re dressed up.

Pet Costumes for Days

If you’re feeling creative, try to make your own pet costumes. Go the traditional route and dress your four-legged friend like a friendly pumpkin, ghost, or witch.

Alternatively, go for a superhero aesthetic with any of your favorite characters like Doctor Strange, Sonic, or Spiderman. Similarly, any of the popular film characters, such as Princess Leia, the Minions, or Tom and Jerry make entertaining choices. Pets look especially cute when they’re dressed up in food costumes, like an avocado, sushi roll, slice of pizza, or cheeseburger.

Avoid a Halloween emergency by eliminating poisonous candy and dangerous wrappers, and please call us at (207) 729-4678 with any questions or concerns.