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Happy Howl-o-Ween

Author: Andrea Miller | Date: October 18, 2013

Halloween costumes aren’t just for the kids anymore. I know pet parents who totally get into this holiday, choosing their pet’s costume months in advance and sparing no expense. Practically every city has some type of “Barktoberfest” celebration where you can parade your pup’s outfit to oohs and aahs of other dog lovers.

But there are other factors to consider other than cuteness and creativity when selecting your dog’s Halloween costume.

Trainer Nicolette Meyer gave some great advice in last year’s blog, including making sure the costume doesn’t cover your dog’s face, rear and genital area. Like Nicolette, I also learned that last one the hard way. She recommends getting your dog used to the costume slowly by having him wear it several times before the actual day. And for those of us who have dogs who aren’t comfortable in costumes, we just need to accept it and not force the dog into gear that makes him uncomfortable. My dog Bosworth refuses to wear his LSU hat even on the most important of game days, so I know a Halloween costume is out of the question.

Other factors to keep in mind for pet costumes:

1. Be Visible

Make sure the costume is reflective so your pet can be seen by drivers. Buy reflective tape and add strips to the costume.

2. Check for Loose Ends and Parts

Make sure there are no loose parts on the costume that your pet can ea,t like buttons or loose fabric. This can also cause your pet to trip or become tangled in the costume.

3. Make Sure it’s Not Too Tight

Use the same test as you would for a collar. You should be able to get two fingers between your pet and any fabric, especially around the neck. Costumes that are too tight can restrict movement and breathing.

4. Consider Weight

A heavy costume could exhaust your pet as well as cause them to overheat. Excessive panting or falling behind should signal you to remove the costume.

5. Leash and ID Tag

Make sure your dog’s costume includes his everyday wear such as an identification tag and leash.

Halloween can be a fun time for kids, adults and pets, but it’s important to make sure your dog is comfortable throughout the festivities. If you need additional help in making sure your dog isn’t a scaredy cat this Halloween, join us for our upcoming Google+ Hangout: How to Help your Dog Survive Halloween.

If you are planning on dressing up your dog this holiday, enter our Howl-o-Ween Costume Contest by posting a picture of your dog in costume to AnimalSense’s Facebook page. The picture with the most “likes” wins a free six-week training class valued at $195.

Are you planning on dressing up your dog this Halloween? Share your favorite pet costume ideas here.


Pickles is now a confident, well-behaved dog. He is changed because of AnimalSense!

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