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pet costumesThere’s a significant amount of cause and effect in the world shared by our pets, and either positive or negative behaviors are the result of certain stimuli. In the case of pet costumes, it’s never a given how an individual pet will react, but excessive panting, hiding, and growling aren’t entirely uncommon. In fact, pet costumes can repel the pet you so dearly want to dress up, but The Pet Experts have a few tips to keep your Halloween game strong and safe.

Good Show

Many pet owners might purchase or create a costume with the understanding that their four-legged buddy will detest it. In spite of your best efforts, enthusiasm, and encouragement, your pet reserves the right to hate every possible option under the sun. That’s okay. Don’t force the issue. Instead, spend a quiet night at home watching scary movies together.

“A” for Effort

On the other hand, there are pets out there who either don’t mind pet costumes or who decide to tolerate dressing up for a portion of the evening. That’s great news for you, but it’s still imperative to watch out for any signs of stress, including:

  • Pawing or biting at the costume
  • Reluctance to move around
  • Obvious shift in behavior
  • Running away
  • Whining or hissing
  • Aggression

Not all pet costumes are created equal. Make sure your pet is in a snug-fitting costume, with no normal action or behavior covered up or restricted. Pets can easily overheat in costumes, so be sure to always offer cool, fresh water.

Dangling or loose parts, like beads, bows, glitter, etc., must be removed.

Fun, Enduring Pet Costumes

It’s not a bad idea to use the same costume from year to year. At least that way, your pet will grow accustomed to the way it looks, feels, and smells. This option doesn’t really feature an owner’s imagination or creativity, however.

For inspiration this year or the next, The Pet Experts at Wheaton Animal Hospital recommend the following pet costumes:

  • Pets dressed as other pets (bunny dressed as a lion, dog dressed like a cat, and so on)
  • Pets dressed as humans (doctor, chef, carpenter, gardener, etc.)
  • Super hero pet costumes
  • Pets dressed like their favorite food or drink (hot dog, martini, spaghetti, and more)
  • Movie buff pets (from popcorn to Harry Potter, there’s no shortage of film inspiration)
  • Pop icons (David Bowie, Marilyn Monroe, Steven Tyler, Bob Marley, Elvis, Andy Warhol, etc.)
  • Pets dressed up as a bucking bronco, chariot, racehorse, and more transportation-savvy costumes

However you celebrate Halloween and whichever costume your pet decides to tolerate, The Pet Experts hope it’s a safe evening. Remember, while your pet may exhibit a calm, relaxed demeanor at first, stress, anxiety, fear, and exhaustion can happen quickly. Please keep a close eye on your pet’s behavior, and call us with any questions or concerns.

Happy Halloween!