The Only Locally-Owned Emergency and Specialty Hospital in Minnesota

Halloween Pet Costume Safety Guide

Many pet owners enjoy including their pets in the Halloween fun by purchasing pet costumes. It’s completely okay to put your pet in a costume if he/she is comfortable wearing clothing. With that being said, we have six important guidelines when it comes to pet Halloween costumes.

1. Supervision

You should always monitor your pet while he/she is in costume. This way, you can intervene if your pet shows any signs of distress or discomfort.

2. Test Run

A few weeks before Halloween, we recommend testing out your pet’s costume to determine if he/she is comfortable with the outfit. Folded-down ears, eyes rolling back or looking sideways, a tucked tail, or hunching over are all signs that your pet does not enjoy the costume. If this is your pet’s response, remove the costume and take the hint. If your pet’s behavior does not change and he/she is moving around freely, you just might have yourself a pet that enjoys being clothed!

3. Allergic Reactions

Rarely do pets suffer an allergic reaction to a costume’s fabric or to the detergent in which the costume was washed. However, potential allergies are another important reason to test the costume before Halloween night. If your pet becomes itchy or there is visible irritation such as a rash or hives, remove the costume immediately. If the reaction does not diminish after the costume has been removed, contact your family veterinarian.

4. No Restrictions

A pet’s costume should not restrict his/her movement or any of his/her senses. Do not purchase a costume that will cover your pet’s eyes or ears. If your pet cannot move freely or has mobility issues in the costume, consider a different costume. Your pet should also be able to use the bathroom without interference from the costume.

5. Proper Sizing

When selecting a costume, view the sizing guide carefully. It’s very important that you choose a costume that will properly fit your pet.

6. No Choking Hazards or Potential Foreign Bodies

Prior to purchase, carefully examine the costume. There should be no small or dangling pieces that could be chewed off and choked on. This includes sequins, metallic beads, yarn, or similar items.

7. ID Tags

No matter what your pet’s costume is, ID tags should be clearly displayed, especially if you are taking your dog trick-or-treating with you. ID tags are also critical if there’s a risk your pet may sneak out amongst the ghouls and goblins at your door.
We hope you find these guidelines to be helpful when considering your pet’s Halloween costume. Have a safe and happy Halloween! Remember, if your pet does experience an emergency on Halloween night and your family veterinarian is unavailable, both our emergency clinics in St. Paul and Oakdale are open 24/7.

By Janine Hagen

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