Halloween is such a fun a holiday. Kids get to dress up in the cutest and spookiest costumes, but why not double the fun and take your dog trick or treating as well? But your dog’s safety and comfortableness should always come first, so here are a few tips to ensure your four-legged best friend’s safety.
The ten tips for choosing the right Halloween costume for your dog are:
- Make sure that your dog’s safety is your number one priority.
- Your dog’s costume should not be too big.
- Your dog’s costume should not be too small.
- Take your dog’s temper into consideration.
- Be mindful of your dog’s costume design.
- Be patient.
- Gradually train your dog to get used to their costume.
- Praise your dog when they’re wearing their costumes.
- Reward your dog with treats when they’re wearing their costumes.
- Keep the human candy out of your dog’s reach.
Without any further ado, let us jump into the ten tips for choosing the right Halloween costume for your dog.
The ten tips for choosing the right Halloween costume for your dog
Tip number one: Make sure that your dog’s safety is your number one priority.
Making sure that your dog’s costume is safe for them should be your number one priority. There are three critical things that you should consider while purchasing your pooch a Halloween costume. They are:
- It should not restrict your dog’s movements.
- It should not restrict your dog’s ability to breath, see, or even bark.
- It should not have anything that could be a choking hazard.
It should not restrict your dog’s movements.
You should always make sure that your pooch’s Halloween costume does not restrict their movement in any way, shape, or form.
If you notice that your dog is struggling as they sit down, get up, or even walk while they are wearing the costume that you are considering to purchase, then take it off and look for another one or opt for a bigger size. I will talk about sizes in a bit.
It should not restrict your dog’s ability to breath, see, or even bark.
Sometimes, people purchase the wrong costume size for their dogs. This is only one of the reasons why your dog might struggle to breathe, see, and bark while they are dressed up in their costumes.
Avoid costumes that include masks, as it will hinder the ability to breathe and might make them even panic.
It should not have anything that could be a choking hazard.
Some costumes come with many accessories, like dangling things, that your dog might pull and chew on it. If they manage to break it off, they might end up swallowing it and choking on it. So please try to avoid anything that could potentially be a choking hazard.
Also, never leave your dog while they are in their costumes unattended! Constant supervision is a must!
Something that falls under the safety tip is the size of your dog’s costume.
Well, a wrong sized costume might cause a lot of safety issues. That is why you should always accurately measure your dog so you can get them the perfect size for them.
Usually, dog costumes are packaged. On those packages, there should be a size and measurements table. Use the readings of your dog’s measurement to be able to figure out their perfect size from the size and measurements table that is on the costume’s package.
Here is why you do not want your dog’s costume to be too big or too small.
Tip number two: Your dog’s costume should not be too big
If your dog’s costume is too big, they might either trip on their costume or tear it down.
Also, if the costume has a headpiece and it is too big on them, then their sight might be obstructed, which might lead them to have serious accidents and injuries.
Tip number three: Your dog’s costume should not be too small
If your dog’s costume is too small, then the costume is going to be very restrictive and tight. This could cause your dog to be unable to walk, sit, or stand properly. It could also affect their breathing, so make sure you get your dog a costume that fits them well.
Tip number four: Take your dog’s temper into consideration
If your dog gets anxious, angry, or scared when you touch a specific body part, then do not get them a costume that makes you touch those particular body parts while you are dressing them up in their Halloween costumes.
So, if your dog hates it when someone touches their feet, stay away from costumes that require you to insert your dog’s feet inside those outfits.
Tip number five: Be mindful of your dog’s costume design
One thing that many pet owners often overlook while purchasing a Halloween costume for their dogs is the design. They are often attracted to the funny, cute, or spooky looking outfits that they overlook the costume’s efficiency in certain aspects.
For example, if your dog does not often get dressed up, having a costume that has many (safe) accessories should be out of the question. If they love getting dressed up, but they are too energetic, then they are more likely to lose some parts of their outfits.
But the major costume design element that you should look for is at the back of the costume.
Will it be easy for your dog to go to the bathroom without you taking them out of their costumes?
Can they go to the bathroom in their costumes without getting it soiled?
The answer to both questions should be yes. If you answered any of those questions with a “NO”, then you should not get that costume for your pooch.
Tip number six: Be patient
This might sound cheesy, but it is true. Any sort of puppy training requires a tremendous amount of patience on the parent’s part. I am not going to deny how cliche this sounds, but that does not mean that it is not true. Here is why.
Patience is not only a virtue, but it is also one of the essential foundations and building blocks of any sorts of puppy training.
This habit is a bit challenging to have and always practice, but it is not impossible. It is also going to be very beneficial for you and your dog whenever you have to train them and teach them something new.
If you want someone to guide you and help you achieve being mindful and patient, then I highly recommend you search on YouTube for videos on meditation and Yoga for mindfulness.
Tip number seven: Gradually train your dog to get used to their costume
No matter how much your dog loves to dress up, you should never put them in their costumes on the day that you are planning to take them on a walk or invite guests while they are in their adorable costumes.
Like anything else, you should gradually train your dog to get used to wearing their costume. The best way to do that is by implementing positive reinforcement.
What is positive reinforcement?
It is the number one training tool that all dog experts always recommend. What makes it great is that it is not cruel whatsoever to your dog, unlike the old training methods that were used decades ago.
It is so safe that even puppies who are only eight weeks old can be trained to do anything using that technique.
But what exactly is it?
It is a type of behavioral training where you praise your four-legged best friend when they display good behavior and turn a blind eye when they display bad behaviors.
Yelling or hitting your dog is bever acceptable and is considered to be animal abuse!
So, start training your dog to wear their costumes a couple of weeks before Halloween. You can start by dressing them up, giving them some treats and praising them, then take the costume off.
On the second day, do the same but leave them for five minutes inside their outfits. Continue to increase the duration gradually until they are comfortable enough to have lunch and go on a walk in their costumes.
In order to do that, you must be patient, and you must implement positive reinforcement ( so reward them with praise and treat).
If you notice that your dog gets anxious or terrified when you put their costume on, do not ignore that. Take them out of that costume and try to understand why they are so scared. Is the costume too tight? Do they hate getting their feet touched?
Understanding these things will help you figure out whether your dog should or should not get dressed up in costumes because let us be honest, not all dogs are going to enjoy that.
However, if they end up getting used to it, do not forget to keep on practicing the following tips when they are in their costumes.
Tip number eight: Praise your dog when they’re wearing their costumes
The praising should not stop once your dog gets used to wearing their costumes comfortably.
Continue praising them whenever they are wearing their costumes to give your beloved dog the sensation that they are doing something right.
Tip number nine: Reward your dog with treats when they’re wearing their costumes
Giving your dog treats is yet another way of practicing positive reinforcement that you should continue implementing when your dog is wearing their costume.
So, before you leave your house, make sure that you have some treats to keep on rewarding your dog for their good behavior.
Tip number ten: Keep the human candy out of your dog’s reach
Some of our candy can be toxic for our four-legged best friends, and it might actually send them to the ER if they consume it.
To avoid that, hide the candy in places that your dog can’t reach and be careful while you are taking them trick or treating.
Make sure that you carry with you some (dog) treats so you can easily distract them from going for the candy that is all around them when you are not at home.
What are three fun costumes that I could get for my big dog?
1) The Hot Dog Costume
A Hot Dog costume is a fun, punny costume that is great for Halloween. This costume is made of soft and breathable fabrics. It is made of both cotton and polyester.
If you are looking for a comfy yet funny costume for your dog, then check out our Hot Dog Costume here.
2) The Lion Mane Dog Costume
The Lion Mane costume is great for large dogs. This costume is going to transform your dog into a lion. Aslan who? Make your dog be the mightiest lion with this awesome costume.
The Lion Mane Dog costume is made from high-quality polyester that is durable and easy to clean.
This costume is great for dogs that are medium to large in size that have a neck size that ranged between sixty and eight centimeters (60- 80 cm).
Learn more about this costume and grab it here.
3) The Dinosaur Dog Costume
This Dinosaur Dog costume is very adorable. It is made mainly of fleece, so it is great if your dog does not have much hair and weather is a bit chilly cause it is definitely going to keep them warm.
What makes this costume great is how easy it is to put it on and take it off your dog.
This is great for large dogs because it comes in sizes that range from 3 XL to 7 XL! However, make sure to measure your pooch’s neck, chest, and back to get them a costume that fits them perfectly.
If you want to learn more about this costume or if you are interested in getting one for your dog, then click here.
For more costume options, make sure you check out our Top 30 Large Dog Halloween Costumes to Glamour Up Your Dog blog posts
Should We Dress Up Our Canines?
It depends on the dog. If they are comfortable and not anxious about wearing clothes or costumes, then go for it. Some pooches actually enjoy getting dressed up. However, make sure that the quality of the fabric, the size of the outfit, and how hot or cold it is.
If you want to learn more about this, then make sure you check out our Should We Dress Up Our Caninesblog post.
What are some problems that are associated with choosing the wrong costume for your dog?
Three significant problems could occur if you choose the wrong costume for your dog. If the costume is too tight, your dog’s movements are going to be restricted, and they might begin to grow anxious because of the tightness of their clothes. If the costume is too big, they might not be able to see properly and injure themselves.
If the costume has potential choking hazards on it, your dog might bite them, swallow them, and thus choke.
That’s it for today’s post. You should now be able to pick your four-legged best friend the perfect costume for Halloween.
If you have any questions regarding today’s topic, then feel free to leave them in the comments section down below.