5 Considerations When Choosing Pet Costumes
Many dog owners enjoy dressing up their pets for Halloween and taking adorable photos of them. Pet costumes are a great way to show off your cute pup as well as involve your furry family members in the season’s festivities. It’s certainly fun to see your dog dressed up as a witch, ghost, or cartoon character, but you also need to be cautious about what you make your pet wear.
Some costumes can come with health risks, like possibly limiting your dog’s movement, breathing, and vision. Others might have small pieces that your dog may try to ingest and possibly choke on. If you want to dress your dog, make sure to carefully choose your pet’s costume. Otherwise, the fun outfit can lead to your dog getting hurt and potentially needing an emergency trip to the vet.
Whether you plan to take your dog to go trick or treating or to celebrate at home, here are five considerations when choosing pet costumes.
Do the Clothes Fit Properly?
Many pet costumes available today often come in small, medium, and large breed options. The problem with this kind of sizing is that even dogs of the same breed don’t necessarily have similar body proportions. For example, a Chihuahua and a miniature poodle are both considered small breeds but have different body sizes and heights, so a small-sized costume isn’t sure to fit both or even either of the dogs. And when a costume doesn’t fit well, it can lead to several health risks.
If the costume is too big for your dog, they can end up tripping over it, which could lead to an injury. But if the outfit is too small, it could squeeze the body of your pet. They may have trouble breathing properly, get sores in areas where the garment causes chafing, or simply feel very uncomfortable. Before you buy clothes for your dog, it’s best to measure your pet’s body and compare it to the measurements of the costume you plan to buy. If your dog is in between sizes, opt to get the bigger size and make alterations for a better fit.
Keep an eye on your dog while they are wearing the costume so you can immediately intervene if there are any problems. If they look uneasy or scared, take the costume off right away and opt for stylish accessories. Customizable canine caps, dog bandanas, and neckties may not completely cover your dog’s body, but they look just as cute. In this way, your pet can look dressed up for the season without getting stressed.
Can Your Pet See Well?
Pet costumes that cover the face can block your dog’s vision or hearing. Hoods and hats that are too large for your dog’s head may droop over your pet’s eyes and obstruct their vision. This could result in your dog getting injured by bumping into things or falling over.Not being able to see well can cause your dog to become easily frightened and stressed. Going out at night and seeing other dogs and people in costumes can confuse and aggravate them even more, which can be traumatic. As such, it’s best to avoid choosing costumes that cover your pet’s face and ears.
Can Your Pet Move Normally?
Apart from fitting well and being comfortable, your pet’s costume must allow them to move as they typically would. The costume must also let them exhibit other normal canine behaviors such as barking and scratching themselves, or else you might not immediately notice if your dog is in distress.
If you’re uncertain about the costume, do a trial fitting a few weeks beforehand. This gives you more than enough time to adjust the outfit or look for a less restrictive one. Additionally, it will help your dog get used to the costume and feel more comfortable wearing it, especially if it’s their first time dressing up.
Are There Small Parts that Your Dog Could Choke On?
Many pet costumes are made to be attractive to the owners and are not necessarily designed for a dog’s safety. Some outfits can have accessories that are loose or can be easily chewed, which could become a choking hazard or cause a gastrointestinal blockage if swallowed.
Given the potential harm to your pet’s health, carefully inspect the costume before trying it on your dog. Look for any loosely attached items like bells or small embellishments. If possible, remove these pieces or choose a different costume that will be safer for your pet.
Can They Wear Their Collar?
When choosing a costume for your dog, get one that will allow your pet’s ID tags to stay visible. This means picking an outfit that won’t get in the way of wearing their dog collar. Remember, Halloween can be spooky for humans and pets alike. Your pet might see something that frightens them and causes them to run away. Should this happen, your dog’s collar with ID tags that bear your name and contact information will help rescuers return your dog to you.
Dressing up your dog for Halloween is fun, but costumes should never compromise their safety or comfort. So it starts with choosing appropriate pet costumes. By carefully considering the points mentioned above, your dog can participate and thoroughly enjoy the festivities just as much as you would.