Does your pet like being dressed up in silly costumes and making you smile? I know my dogs do! They might not be thrilled with the process of getting the costume on and perfectly adjusted, but once the velcro straps are secure, you should see how they strut around! They especially love the “treat” part of our in-house trick or treat sessions that come with the costume wearing too. My coworker Dana’s dog Estelle, pictured here, shows off her costume – and her wonderful doggie smile shows how much she’s enjoying looking super cute too! So far my cats have preferred to supervise rather than joining in the fun, but I have seen some adorable photos of my friends’ cats in costumes. Picking the right costume for your pet and getting them comfortable wearing it for the full duration of your trick or treat rounds or Halloween gathering can take some planning and training. If your pet has never worn a costume, you should start out slowly, working your way up to more elaborate costumes, like the full Elvis bodysuit with wig and sunglasses! Here are some tips to keep the horrible howls out of your Halloween pet costume fun.
PET COSTUME TIPS
- First try a costume that can be taken off quickly, like those with velcro straps. (Examples: Football, Shark Fin, Angel Wings.) Let your pet smell the costume, and give them treats so they associate the costume with good things. For dogs, ask them to sit and stay, and reward them as you put the costume on.
- The first time you put the costume on your pet, have them wear it for just 10 seconds. Gradually increase the amount of time your pet wears the costume. Never leave your pet unsupervised wearing a costume, for any length of time. If your pet continues to struggle or seem unhappy or scared after one or more short sessions, wearing a costume might not be fun for them, and of course never something you should force them to wear. Costumes are meant to be fun!
- If you have an active dog, playing with a toy or taking them for a walk after you put the costume on can distract them from wanting to get the costume off, and get them used to the feeling of it being on, so they ignore it like they do their collar.
- Most cats and dogs love to be admired and told how cute they look, so don’t forget to lavish them with compliments about how adorable they in their costume.