Halloween is no longer just for humans. Estimates suggest as that many as 16% of owners plan on getting their pet involved in the fun by dressing them up in costume this year. In fact, Halloween costumes and accessories for pets are so popular that the industry is worth an estimated $440 million!
While there are some wild, wacky and downright bizarre pet costumes out there, and you really can let your imagination run wild, it is important to bear the safety of your furbaby in mind. Your dog doesn’t necessarily have the same concept of danger that you do, nor is he probably aware of potential risks when wearing his costume – such as tripping or walking near an open flame in a flammable outfit.
To help you and your dog enjoy Halloween to its fullest, here are our top 5 tips to choosing him a fun, but safe costume.
1. Choose costumes that do not obstruct your dog’s senses
Many Halloween costumes for dog involve cute or clever headpieces. As humans we can appreciate all too well how frustrating it can be to wear a mask that limits our vision or breathing, and the same consideration should apply to your pet. In fact, many dogs will not understand why one or more of their senses has suddenly been obstructed and this can cause them to feel anxious or downright distressed – not quite the fun participation in Halloween that you were hoping for. Make sure you choose costumes that do not have any parts that will affect your dog’s sight or hearing!
2. Avoid choosing costumes with lots of loose fabric and dangling embellishments
They may look great, but lots of small pieces on your pet’s costume is a choke hazard waiting to happen. If he doesn’t become annoyed or intrigued by them and chew them off himself, they may fall off and he may eat them afterwards. Even something like a button could cause an obstruction in your dog’s airway – a potentially life-threatening situation. Similarly, even if the item is swallowed, it could become stuck in your dog’s stomach and cause all manner of problems.
3. Choose a costume he can move around in freely
Would you want to wear a costume that means you can’t sit down, go to the toilet or move around properly? Well neither does your pet. Mobility should be a key priority when it comes to choosing a costume for your canine companion. At no point should he find himself unable to walk, sit, lay or move around.
4. Pick a costume that isn’t flammable!
While you will undoubtedly do everything that you can to ensure that your pet doesn’t come into contact with any open flames, many costumes are made of highly flammable materials. If your dog comes near anything hot, there is a chance that his costume will go up in flames – putting his life and those of people and animals around him at risk. Choose a safe, non-flammable costume and keep a very close eye on your furbaby while he is wearing it.
5. Make sure he can be seen
It is going to be dark outside and if there is even a chance that your dog will be heading into your backyard or beyond, it is advisable to make sure he can be seen. This will make him easier to spot if he runs away and makes him less likely to be injured by passing traffic. Where possible, choose a costume that has reflective material or add your own fluorescent accessories!
For further advice on the best and safest costumes for your dog this Halloween, please feel free to contact our Nashville offices where our staff will be happy to help.