It has been a long time since Halloween was a holiday mainly enjoyed by children. It has become a big deal for everyone, dogs included. Costumes for pets abound in pet stores, big box stores, and online. Many lucky dogs have costumes made by their loving owners.
Keep in mind that your dog is not as interested in Halloween as their people are. They think the fur outfit they wear every day is just fine, thank you. If their personality is reserved, it would be kinder to just let them relax at home without a costume.
But if they’re a social butterfly, then they may not mind wearing a silly outfit for their favorite person. Just plan ahead, so he has time to get accustomed to wearing the costume.
When you find the perfect costume for your canine family member, do a safety check before purchasing. The outfit should not make him too hot or restrict movement or breathing.
How to Get Your Dog Into a Costume
Purchase the costume at least two weeks before your dog will be wearing it to an event. Introduce your dog to the costume slowly. First, simply show it to him and give them some treats. After a couple of days, drape it over their back; give more treats. A couple more days, put the outfit on them and give them lots of delicious treats.
Give your dog reason to believe that while wearing this outfit, great things will happen to them. After plenty of practice wearing it at home, they will be ready to party. But be sure to always supervise your dog when they are in costume.
What to Do if Your Dog is Overwhelmed
Think about how people will react to seeing your dog in the costume. They may shriek with delight, point, or laugh hysterically: behaviors that would give pause to any dog. This might make them very uneasy or even anxious. Again, the costume means nothing to them (well, except for all the great treats they associate with it). If they look unhappy, remove them from the situation.
Signs of stress in a dog include whites of the eyes showing more than usual, ears pinned low, and/or tail tucked. They may cower with their body and have their head held low.
Make a point of knowing how they look when they’re happy, and it will be easy to tell when they’re stressed. They deserve to enjoy the party, whether or not they’re in disguise.