Dressing your pet for Halloween can be a lot of fun, but it’s important to remember that the safety and comfort of your pet should be your number one priority.
- When searching for the perfect pet costume make sure to find something that fits your pet properly and does not restrict your pet’s movement. The last thing you want is for your pooch to turn into a stone statue for Halloween, because he won’t move in his costume. You’re likely to find the largest selection of costumes online, but be sure to purchase far enough in advance of any Halloween events, so that you have time to return the costume. If the costume doesn’t fit, return it. Pet costumes are available at a number of shops including Petco (both in store and online), and at your local neighborhood shops such as, Fish & Bone in Back Bay and Polka Dog Bakery in the South End and JP. Polka Dog in the South End currently has a $5 Halloween costume bin with some great deals. When possible try a costume on in store, so that you can make sure it fits.
- Avoid costumes with masks that cover eyes, ears, nose, or mouth. These could make it hard for your pup to breathe and your dog could suffocate. A number of costumes feature hoods that cover your pet’s ears. If you find a costume that you like, but it has a hood, hat or headpiece, remove the headpiece or don’t pull the hood over your pet’s head. Most people will grasp the idea of the costume, even without the cowboy hat. It’s important for your pet to have access to all of his senses and he’ll be much happier if his ears are uncovered.
- If your pet is not accustomed to wearing clothing, try the costume on several times before the big event, so that you pet can get acclimated to wearing it. Be sure to have plenty of treats in hand and praise your pet for taking his first steps in the costume.
- Know that some pets just won’t wear costumes. If after several attempts your pet won’t keep the costume on, or won't move, don’t force it and instead try going with a festive Halloween collar or bandana.
For more information visit www.arlboston.org. The Animal Rescue League of Boston will be posting Halloween pet tips for the whole month of October.