7 Tips For Pet Halloween Costumes

halloween candy dogs

Halloween is the best! I dress up everything from myself, my kids, my door, my house, and of course my pets. But if you are going to dress up your pets make sure you are following some pet safety rules to help keep your pets safe and keep them from having a lot of anxiety. We all want to have fun on Halloween, including Fido.

Tips For a Safe Pet Halloween Costume

1. Never Force Your Pet to Wear a Costume: 

Forcing a costume on your pet will only cause unnecessary stress and anxiety. Signs that your pet doesn’t like wearing a costume are: picking at the costume, trying to remove it, biting or chewing it, crying or whining. If you are worried about if they will like it or not, start off by putting on parts of the costume for short periods of time and help them get use to it. Plus taking it off when they show signs of distress will let them know that they can trust you and you aren’t just forcing them into it.

2. Don’t Leave Them Alone: 

Being alone in a costume is unsafe. Even if your pet loves to wear costumes, this is not their natural state of being. It is easy for them to get tangled up in their costume. If they get stuck, this can cause panic and may lead to your pet getting hurt.

3. Are They Able to Move?

You may like a tight and rigid costume that keeps you from moving your head or limbs, but your pet won’t. It is important that your pet be able to move in their costume. When you put on their costume, make sure that your pet can move their legs, head, and neck around easily. Most importantly, make sure that their airway is not obstructed. Make sure they can breath!

4. It’s Not All or Nothing

When you are getting your pet use to their costume you may find that they are comfortable with part of it but not all of it. Pay attention to their body language to see if maybe they are having an issue with part of their costume. Maybe you have a hat or a cape and they are pulling and tugging on it. If your pet is ok with some of the costume but not all of the costume, don’t be afraid to modify it. Just like with small children, sometimes you just have to adjust the costume to fit the being inside it.

5. Can Your Pet See and Hear?

Your pets sight and hearing are important for them to be able to navigate and to be able to determine when they are in danger or not. You never want to give them a costume that restricts their ability to see or hear. This is why full masks and hats can be a bad idea. Also a good idea to get a costume designed for pets, these typically are designed to accommodate their eyes and ears.

6. Hair Dye for Pets

We do not recommend putting any kind of hair dye or temporary hair color on your pets. When your pet bathes themselves, they ingest the hair dye and this can make them sick. In fact, it is best if you resist the urge to put any hair product of any kind on your pet. Hair dye and hair product can cause diarrhea, vomiting, upset stomach, and other issues. Best to give it a big pass.

7. To Glow or Not To Glow?

Halloween is prime glow stick season. Often we cover our kids and ourselves in glowing bracelets and necklaces. For humans this is fine, but for pets this is one that is better to skip. The glow sticks, necklaces, and bracelets, are toxic to your dog if they ingest them. If you pet chews on a glow stick it can make them incredibly sick. In fact, if you think your pet has swallowed any of the contents of a glow stick, get in touch with your vet immediately.

We hope that you are your pet have a wonderful Halloween!

We love to see pets in costumes, so if you need to get your annual vaccinations, bring your pet to our daily walk-in shot clinic in their Halloween costume!

Halloween Safety Tips

albuquerque halloween dog

Years ago we were interviewed by MY50-tv about Halloween Safety. The video features the wonderful Dr. Duffin, how we miss her.

6 Halloween Pet Safety Tips

Halloween may be fun for you but it can be a scary time for your pets. Make sure to help keep them safe and anxiety-free.

  1. No treats for you dogs – well chocolate and candy treats. Chocolate can be toxic to your dog. It can make them sick and in large quantities can cause some very serious health issues. Candies often contain ingredients, like Xylitol, which can be very bad for your pet. They can cause issues from diarrhea and vomiting, to seizures. We have lots of great dog treat recipes on our website for treats you can make just for your dog that won’t make them sick.
  2. Pumpkins are non-toxic but if your dog attacks your jack-o-lantern and eats it, his stomach might be upset. Pumpkin can be very good for your dog, but it is also a laxative. So pay attention to the quantity that you allow him to eat. Make sure that he doesn’t eat your jack-o-lantern as they go moldy pretty quickly and that can make your dog sick as well.
  3. Jack-O-Lantern’s usually have a candle in them. An excited dog may get into your pumpkin and knock over the candle and start a fire, or just eat the candle. Wax will not usually hurt your dog, and will generally just pass through their system. But it could cause some stomach upset.
  4. Pet costumes are a lot of fun but sometimes they can be stressful to your pet. If you pet is comfortable in a costume, then have fun, just make sure to get a pet safe costume. However, if your pet is not comfortable, wearing the costume could cause some anxiety. In which case, it may be better to let them stay costume free for the holiday.
  5. Microchip your dog! There is a lot of neighborhood activity on Halloween and that can get dogs really excited. With all the kids, cars and costumes, it can be easy for your excited pup to get disoriented. Make sure they have on their dog tags and have their microchip updated to your current address, so if they get out and get lost, they can be returned home quickly.
  6. Keep black cats inside. Unfortunately people can take suspicion very seriously and cause harm to black cats. To be safe, keep your black cat inside.

If you think your pet ate something toxic, call the ASPCA poison control center at 888-426-4435 and call your vet.

Remember in Albuquerque it can get a little chilly in late October. So make sure you and your dog are wearing warm clothes when you go out trick-or-treating!