Is It Okay to Dress Up Your Dog for Halloween?

Updated: October 28, 2022

"Costume safety for your pet is very important. This should be focus every time you dress up your dog, not how fancy your furbaby’s costume should be."

Halloween is an exciting time! Spooky movies, funny costumes, and lots of candy are just a few things that help you get in the spooky season mood. It can be tempting to want to get your pup in the mood, too, by dressing them up! However, all dogs are different. The answer to whether or not it's okay to dress up your dog depends greatly on your dog and on what you let them wear.

In this article, we’ll talk about the safety tips you should always follow every time you dress up your dog, the warning signs to look out for to check if your dog is uncomfortable in their costume, and the things you can do about it.

Safety Tips to Keep in Mind When Dressing up Your Dog

Costume safety for your pet is very important. As a matter of fact, this is what you should be focusing on every time you dress up your dog and not how fancy your furbaby’s costume should be.

Check what the costume is made of. Is an itchy sweater comfortable for you? No. The same goes for your furbaby. If you don’t want to wear it, then your furbaby wouldn’t want to wear it either!

Your dog will feel uneasy if the material their costume is made of is uncomfortable. If your pup is uncomfortable, they will incorporate wearing a costume as a negative experience and might never wear one ever again.

Make sure the costume is the right fit. A costume that’s too loose will easily fall off and may cause accidents and injuries. A costume too tight won’t allow your furbaby to breathe and move properly. It is extremely important to dress up your pet with something that fits them just right. Take the time to measure your pup’s body and adjust their costume to fit them well.

Stay away from beads, sequins, plastic, and sharp objects. Dogs are curious beings and we are aware of how some of them are fond of chewing and biting. They may want to chew on anything dangling and shining that catch their attention. This may pose choking risks if your dog accidentally swallows it.

Check, double-check, even triple check. See to it to always check your furbaby’s costume. Check your furbaby’s costume for any malfunctions that may cause them harm – parts that may strangle or tangle your dog, sharp objects that may have been a defect. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

Never leave your furbaby in a costume unattended. A lot of things can happen if you leave your furbaby unattended while in their costume - choking, strangling, tangling, suffocation, heatstroke, injuries. And these are probably the last things you want to happen. So even if your furbaby seems to feel comfortable in their costume, always keep them under your supervision.

Do not cover your dog’s eyes, mouth, and nose. When dressing up your dog, make sure you don’t cover their eyes, mouth, and nose. Doing so will hinder them from seeing, hearing, and eating or drinking properly.

Be careful of heat exhaustion. According to the experts at Memphis Veterinary Specialists, some dogs are more prone to heat exhaustion. Dogs with thick fur, short noses, or those going through certain medical conditions are predisposed to heatstroke and heat exhaustion. Some dog breeds prone to heat stroke and heat exhaustion include English Bulldogs, Pugs, Boston Terriers, and Boxers.

Is It Okay to Dress Up Your Dog for Halloween?

If your furbaby is one of those dogs that are likely to experience heat exhaustion and heat stroke, be careful of what you let them wear. Avoid dressing them up with extra layers of cloth. If you notice your furbaby is panting and salivating heavily, take off their costume immediately and let them cool down.

Warning Signs to Look For With Dog Halloween Costumes

Your dog in a costume might look absolutely adorable, but here are the most common signs to look for to know if your dog is stressed out being in a costume.

Tail Between Legs. If you notice your furbaby’s tail tucked behind their rear legs, it might mean that they are stressed out, exhausted, anxious, scared, or unhappy.

Unwilling to move. Wearing costumes is not normal for most dogs. If you observe your furbaby not wanting to move even if their costume is pretty and fits them well, it can mean only one thing: that they don’t like to be dressed up and is stressed out about all of it.

Chewing on the costume. If you see your furbaby trying their utmost best to chew on or rub their costume off onto the ground, this is an obvious sign that your dog is not happy wearing it and wants it off.

According to Purely Pets Insurance, if your pet is pawing at their clothing, trying to take off or jump out of their outfit, whining, snarling, or running away from you, you may need to reevaluate the costume.

Panting. It is normal for dogs to pant, but excessive panting is different and may already be a cause of concern. Panting is one of the signs of stress and anxiety in dogs. It is also one of the signs that your dog is dangerously exhausted from heat because of what they’re wearing.

A sudden change of behavior. You might know your dog to be calm, relaxed, and behave in many circumstances. If your furbaby is terribly uncomfortable with what they are wearing, they might go through a sudden change of behavior and may snap at you or at anyone.

Whining and whelping. A whining furbaby is a crying furbaby. If your dog is crying while all dressed-up, it can be a sign that they are distressed, unsettled, and uneasy.

How Pet Parents® Can Help

Pet Parents® is able to help in many ways when dressing up your dog.

To make your furbaby feel more comfortable while in a costume, you can have your furbaby wear Pet Parents® Washable Dog Diapers and Pet Parents® Washable Belly Bands so that they can still be able to pee and poop properly and freely while all dressed-up. What’s even greater? Pet Parents® Washable Dog Diapers and Pet Parents® Washable Belly Bands are also available in various colors that can go well with your furbaby’s costume! We came up with a few costume ideas that will work great with our washable diapers and belly bands. Read about them here.

Aside from diapers and belly bands, there are also Pet Parents® Calming SoftSupps® that can help aid your anxious furbaby to remain calm and relaxed during stressful situations and circumstances. These supplements contain Suntheanine® that promotes better concentration and focus in your furbaby and Valerian Root that has mild sedative properties that help alleviate stress & anxiety in your dog.

"Pet Parents® Washable Dog Diapers and Pet Parents® Washable Belly Bands are also available in various colors that can go well with your furbaby’s costume!"

To answer if it’s okay to dress up your dog, it really depends on your furbaby as all dogs are different. In general, yes, it is okay to dress up your dog in a halloween costume. But, be sure that you are watching for signs of stress and only using a dog halloween costume that they are comfortable in.

Dressing up your pup can feel strange to them – especially if they are not used to it. If they really feel uncomfortable with wearing costumes, don’t force it on them. They might never want to wear costumes again as they will associate it as a bad or as a traumatic experience.

However, if your furbaby is relaxed about being dressed up and shows no warning signs of being stressed while in a costume, make sure to take cute photos and have fun! Happy Howl-o-ween!