Halloween is right around the corner and you need a costume for your dog that is worthy of Instagram. Of course, you want it to be creative, we’ve all seen enough dachshunds dressed as hot dogs and pugs as pumpkins. But in that creativity you must remember that there is still in a living, breathing dog in that costume.
Read Your Dog’s Body Language
Your dog may be the most precious looking thing dressed as a bumble bee, but the lowering of the head, flattening of the ears and saddened eyes are actually signals of distress. Signs of discomfort can actually be read through facial expressions.
Other signs of distress in your dog:
- Slipping away from you
- Heavily panting
- Flat Whiskers
- Wide eyes
- Pinned-back ears
Gradually Introduce the Costume
If you go ahead and shove your dog in a plastic bag with a whole piece, they, of course, are going to freak out. Instead, take things slowly:
- Before the big day, allow your dog to get familiar with the costume by leaving it out of its package where it can pick up familiar smells.
- Leave it in a place your dog can observe it, smell it, and become familiar with it.
- Your next step should be to lay the costume on his/her back, without fastening it on.
- Spend the next couple of days, dressing your dog up only when he/she is in a good mood – tail wagging and bright eyes.
Remember, the number one rule when it comes to dressing up your dog is safety first. Be mindful of how the costume is made and how it fits your pet.
The fit: Not too tight or too loose. Your dog should be able to function (sitting, walking, going to the bathroom) properly without any digging in or dragging.
- Free whiskers: The costume should not impair the dog’s senses and should never cover the mouth, whiskers, eyes or ears.
- Free of scent: Your dog’s sense of smell is more sensitive than humans. Your dog may find it distressing to covered in something that smells strongly of chemicals or other odors.
- Not Flammable: Only use non-flammable materials for obvious reasons.
- No chewable parts: Avoid small parts such as buttons that could fall off and be swallowed.
Additional Dog Costume Tips:
- Don’t force your dog outside his/her comfort zone.
- Don’t leave your dog in a costume unattended.
- Don’t humiliate your dog
- Don’t overwhelm your dog with attention such as photos or trick-or-treating.
- Do make sure he/she is enjoying him/herself. Make sure the dog is having fun rather than tolerating the dress up.
- Do make sure she can eat, drink, pant, and toilet comfortably.
- Do limit the time the costume is worn.
- Do check the costume regularly for parts that could be swallowed.
Lastly, make sure you and your dog have a fun Halloween! And don’t forget to get a great Instagram photo of your dog.