It’s spooky season, and we don’t know about you, bu,t we’re already anticipating the eeriness of Halloween night.
Wearing costumes adds to the fun of Halloween, especially if your dog can participate. One thing to consider is whether your dog is comfortable wearing a Halloween costume! Some dogs will be interested in wearing costumes, while others won’t care for them. If you know your dog will not enjoy wearing a Halloween costume, just leave them be. However, if your pup is a social butterfly, we will help break down four steps to get your dog comfortable in their Halloween costume!
Does My Dog Have to Wear a Costume?
Is it really necessary for your dog to wear a Halloween costume? The answer is no! Whether or not your dog wears a costume is entirely up to you. Dogs, like human beings, have their unique personalities. While some fur babies may love dressing up, others may hate it. It is important to handle each dog’s personal preference individually.
Some pups may love wearing costumes since it will earn them extra attention and treats. Others will hate it, and in that case, it’s best to leave them alone. Their eyes and body language will say everything. Big, buggy eyes and a long face are clear indicators of unhappiness in your dog. If you see any of these signs, don’t try to make them wear a costume until you try the steps we have outlined below.
Steps To Get Your Dog Comfortable With Their Costume
Choose the right costume.
When choosing a Halloween costume for your dog, it must be comfortable.
Whatever they wear should allow them to move freely and not make walking difficult. Their heads and tails should also be free. Ensure the neck area isn’t tight; otherwise, you will hinder your dog’s breathing.
You should be able to fit two fingers between your dog’s neck and their costume – similar to how collars are fitted.
It is also important that the costume doesn’t prevent your dog from going to the bathroom. They will need potty breaks while you’re out trick or treating.
Lastly, materials should be soft to avoid irritation to your pet’s skin or fur. The overall fit of the costume should be comfortable for your pooch.
Slowly Introduce The Halloween Costume
Bring your dog with you when you are ready to costume shop. It will give you a chance to allow them to sniff out the best costume and also try on a couple of different sizes. Bringing your dog along will also save you trips back and forth to the store to ensure you have the correct size costume for your pup.
Once you return home with the costume, it’s time to introduce it slowly to your dog. First let him sniff it again, give plenty of praise and feed him a couple of treats while he interacts with the costume. You can then move on to slowly putting the costume on. Monitor your dog for any signs of stress. If your dog seems stressed out, stop right away. If they can handle putting their leg into one piece of the costume, then be sure to reward them for that.
Continue this process until your furbaby seems comfortable enough to wear the costume entirely. Positive reinforcement will help condition your dog and create a positive association with the costume.
Don’t leave the costumes on for too long.
Wearing clothing is not natural for your dog, so they may have a hard time with it, especially if you didn’t follow the steps above to get your dog comfortable wearing their Halloween costume. As cute as your fur baby might look, they cannot wear it all night. Your dog may overheat if they wear the costume too long, especially if you keep your Halloween festivities indoors.
One thing you should never do is force a costume on your dog. They are much happier wearing their natural fur coat! It is probably best to put the costume on early so you can snap some photos and give your dog a break.
When in Doubt, Try Making Your Own Costume!
If all else fails, and you cannot find a costume to fit your pet at the store, you can always try your hand at making one yourself. Making this a DIY project means you get your pups’ exact measurements to ensure everything will fit properly. It is always fun to get creative and try new things for fun occasions like Halloween!
When introducing anything new to your dog, you must understand their personality and temperament. It is unrealistic to expect your dog to love their costume the second you put it on them. Be patient, and give your dog some time. If they love it, great! If they don’t, just let them be. You will both be happier in the end.
If you need help with dog walks on Halloween night, Comfy Cozy Pet Sitting is here to help! Contact us today so we can help with your dog walking needs!