How to Win a Pet Costume Contest
Halloween has always been fun, but it’s no longer a holiday just for kids. These days, everyone in the family seems to spend inordinate amounts of time and money finding or creating just the right costume. However, the individuals who upstage everyone else are, of course, the family pets! Sure, not all animals get into this (some would rather get out of a pet costume quickly), but when a pet costume fits well and feels comfortable, the fun multiplies.
You’ll likely see all manner of creativity in various pet costumes fashioned by dedicated and imaginative owners. Of course, the traditional costumes always have a place (like ghosts, mummies, spiders, etc.), but it’s not uncommon to see pets dressed as pop culture icons, trending foods, or other original ideas. Time to get crafty!
The right approach to dressing up your pet in costume should involve:
- Careful consideration of your pet’s personality and behavioral patterns
- Extreme scrutiny of potential pet costumes
- Close observation for any signs of stress, fear, anxiety, or discomfort
The Right Pet Costume
Before you dress up your pet in the costume of your choice, introduce the garment and accessories to him or her in a very relaxed, neutral way. Allow your pet to investigate the entire pet costume before attempting to slip it on.
Remember, many pets don’t like clothing that goes over the head. Try to find a costume that slips onto the legs or belly first, with enclosures on the back or hips. The birthday suit is always a great “pet costume” for animals who detest wearing clothes. Also consider Halloween kerchiefs, dog colloars, ties, and cat bowties.
Pet Costume Pointers
Guarantee your pet’s safety and comfort by choosing costumes that:
- Do not limit movement
- Restrict or compromise vision, breathing, drinking, or going to the bathroom
- Do not bother or distract him or her (masks, dangling parts, extending arms or legs, etc.)
- Do not expose your pet to entanglement risks or choking (check for loose parts!)
If your pet tries to humor you but decides the pet costume just doesn’t cut it, stay calm and don’t force your pet to wear it. Just be sure to snap those pictures quickly! Keep an eye out for these telling symptoms:
- Tucked tail
- Hunched back
- Eyes rolling back or looking to the side
- Pinned-back ears
- Running away or hiding
- Scratching or clawing at the costume
Going out and about with your pet on Halloween? Be sure to wear bright colors, reflective gear, or flashing lights (not glow sticks/jewelry as they can be toxic). Don’t forget to update your pet’s microchip, and check the tags for security.