Involving your pet in your daily activity is something many people like to do. Whether you have a dog, cat, pet bird, or other type of pet, pets are more like family members than just furry, feathered, or scaled animals that inhabit your house. When it comes to Halloween celebrations, however, it is important to consider your pets’ health and safety above your want to include them in your All Hallows’ Eve festivities.

When thinking of Halloween and pets, most people immediately think costumes. Humans love to dress up for Halloween, and they love to include their pets in the fun. However, not all pets are happy with being dressed in clothes or costumes. You can help prepare your pet for being dressed up or determine if a costume is not in your pet’s Halloween plans by planning ahead.

Here are some tips to help your pet prepare for being dressed up:

  • Choose a costume that still allows your pet to move. If your dog or cat is having problems walking or moving freely, you should reconsider a new outfit. Your dog or cat should still be able to move like he normally would, especially if he needs to run.
  • Check how the costume is held in place. Elastic bands that are stitched into the costume can be safe for your pet. However, using rubber bands can be very hazardous. Rubber bands can get left on your dog or cat, which could then cause some skin irritation and potential health problems. For a pet bird, using a rubber band in the wrong spot can cause choking.
  • Look at the face components of the costume. If the costume includes masks, you should carefully evaluate the how your pet reacts. If your dog or cat cannot breathe, bark, meow, or drink water, the mask is a bad idea. You also want to check to make sure the eye holes are large enough for your pet to view through and that nothing is constricting your pet’s snout or beak.
  • Have your pet practice wearing the costume. Once the appropriate costume is chosen, start putting it on your pet a few weeks or a month before the costume is to be worn. By slowly introducing the costume to your pet, he should not feel as anxious or nervous about wearing the new clothes. Start out slow and add pieces of the costume as your pet feels more comfortable with what he is wearing.
  • Watch your pet wearing the costume. Once your pet is comfortable with wearing the costume, watch him walk around in it to make sure there are no pieces that can be chewed on or ripped off.

If your pet never gets used to wearing a costume, don’t feel bad. Some pets do not react well to wearing clothes or being constricted. You can try a bandana or nice decorative collar to allow your pet to participate in the festivities. While you may be disappointed that your pet can’t wear his costume, he will be much happier in his birthday suit.

Whether your pet is decked out in a full costume or a decorative neck piece, you can both enjoy Halloween knowing that your pet is comfortable and safe in what he wears.

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