Halloween costumes are no longer just for humans. An increasing number of pet owners are now including their canine companions in their Halloween celebrations, and it is estimated at as many as 20% of people will ensure that their pet has a costume to wear this year.
Many stores offer pre-designed costumes that are ideal for busy owners, or perhaps you want to let your imagination run wild and create one of your very own for your beloved pooch. However, whether you opt for store-bought or hand-made, here is why you should do a dry-run of your dog’s costume at least a few days before Halloween.
His costume could cause him to become stressed
Dressing your dog up in costume can be stressful for him, especially if he isn’t used to being put in different outfits. While some canines may learn to tolerate the outfit that you have selected for them, others might find the entire process completely overwhelming and not tolerate it at all.
How do I know my pet is stressed by his costume?
There are a few key signals to look for that will indicate that your dog is not tolerating his Halloween costume well. These include:
- Pawing at his costume
- Shaking his body vigorously
- Running around nervously
- Constantly scratching and licking at himself and his costume
- Pinning his ears back
- Tucking his tail
- Becoming aggressive
- Freezing / becoming immobile
As a caring and compassionate owner, the last thing that you want to do is to make your beloved dog feel uncomfortable and unhappy during your celebrations. If there is any sign that his costume makes him feel anxious, stressed or scared, you should swap it for something less restrictive or even skip dressing him up at all this Halloween.
His costume could obstruct his senses
One of the key reasons why your dog’s costume might stress him out is if it impairs one or more of his senses. Animals are just as reliant on being able to see and hear clearly as we are, and failure to be able to do so can leave your pet feeling very vulnerable – especially on Halloween when his neighborhood and home, which usually feel safe, become transformed into eerie streets and rooms visited by strangers in scary costumes making spooky sounds. It is for this reason that most vets strongly recommend that you avoid placing your dog in any costume that could obstruct his vision or hearing.
You need to make sure his costume enables him to move around
Most of us have worn something during our lifetime that has made it difficult for us to sit, stand or even go to the bathroom and know how frustrating it was. Now imagine being your pet, who is wearing something that doesn’t enable him to move around properly and he doesn’t know why he is being restricted in this way.
No responsible owner should put their pet in anything that prevents them from sitting, standing, walking and going to the toilet. A dry-run will help you ensure that your pet has full mobility while wearing his costume.
His costume could be a potential choking hazard
Whether you choose to buy your dog’s Halloween costume from a pet store or make it yourself, there are lots of elements of fancy dress that could be a potential choking hazard. From small embellishments such as buttons to dangling fabric, if it looks interesting enough to your dog then he may well try to chew it. If it then comes off in his mouth, it could block his airway and cause him to choke, or, if he does manage to swallow it, it could cause an obstruction in his stomach.
When you choose a costume for your dog this Halloween, try and opt for something basic and simple with minimal decoration and nothing that he can potentially trip over.
If you would like more advice on what costumes are suitable for your dog to wear this Halloween, our experienced veterinary team would be happy to share their knowledge and expertise. Please don’t hesitate to contact our offices in Murrayville, GA.