Chihuahua Wearing Clown CostumeIt’s fall, and the Pet Experts at Naperville Animal Hospital couldn’t be more excited for all that is in store for our community! We’re talking about Howl-o-ween, of course! The haunted houses, the creepy crawlies, and the foggy spookiness are just too fun to pass up, but your pet may not harbor the same enthusiasm for the Hostess cupcake costume you picked out for him or her.

As with any major calendar event, there are holiday hazards to be aware of. If your plan is to dress up Fluffy or Fido this Halloween, pet costume safety should get your full attention.

Where to Start

For pet lovers, it’s not shocking to learn that for every three dollars spent on a child’s costume, one dollar is spent on a pet’s. Indeed, Halloween is becoming more of a pet-centric holiday every year, but does your pet want to join the costume parade?

The answer might be “yes”, but only with the right combination of your pet’s general personality, disposition, and patience with the size, fit, and material of the costume. You can certainly get crafty and make your pet a costume, or choose from the seemingly endless variety out there. Hint: Have your pet wear the costume a few times before the big night!

Have a Stress-free Halloween

If your pet’s behavior indicates that crowds, loud noises, and flashing lights aren’t easily tolerated, you may still consider just dressing him or her up for a quick photo opportunity (or opt for an accessory like a bandanna or bow tie). Please never force your pet to remain in an outfit that makes him or her unhappy or uncomfortable.

Many pets that are relaxed one minute may not give a great deal of notice that something isn’t right. One of the best pet costume safety tips we can offer is to simply remain as aware of your pet as possible, and watch for any signs of stress or anxiety, such as:

  • Hunched back
  • Tucked tail
  • Folded ears
  • Looking off to the side or eyes rolling back
  • Hiding
  • Pawing or scratching at the costume
  • Whining

Pet Costume Safety Tips

Whether your pet will be a temporary Ewok or carrot monster, the following pet costume safety tips should be put into practice:

  • Free movement should not be restricted or limited, and the eyes, ears, mouth, and nose should never be covered up
  • Your pet should be able to carry on as usual, meaning he or she can walk, run, communicate, sit, drink, and answer nature’s call
  • Ribbons, strings, or anything that dangles from the costume should be trimmed in order to avoid choking or entanglement
  • Bright colors are considered safer than dark ones, as they increase visibility at night
  • Don’t tuck in your pet’s identification tags beneath the costume – make sure they can be easily seen in case you become separated, and update any microchip information, if applicable

How Do You Approach Pet Costume Safety?

The Pet Experts at Naperville Animal Hospital hope that these pet costume safety tips help you watch out for your dog or protect your cat on Halloween. Please contact us at Naperville Animal Hospital if we can address any concerns or answer your questions. Have a happy, safe Halloween!

Looking for a pet-friendly Halloween Party? Join us:

Sunday, October 30th

Howl-O-Ween Party & Adoption Event at Naperville Animal Hospital


Naperville Animal Hospital

1023 E. Ogden Ave. Naperville, IL

Trick or treat at Naperville Animal Hospital for family and pet friendly activities including: costume contests for best dressed, pet photos, food, raffles, giveaways and more! Local rescues will be on hand with adoptable animals!