Written by Marissa Ann Portillo, BS, RLATG, CM
Halloween is just a few weeks away and we are sure you’re just as excited as we are! We love to celebrate with silly costumes and hilarious makeup, and who says you can’t get your dog or cat a costume too! Whether they’re dressing up as a hotdog, a superhero, a lion, or a Star Wars character, there are some guidelines to follow for their safety and comfort.
Here, we share some tips on how to find/create a pet-friendly Halloween costume for your furry friend:
If the Shoe Doesn’t Fit, Don’t Make Them Wear it.
Just like your favorite pair of jeans, pet costumes should not be too tight or too loose. Keep in mind, pets cannot tell us when something feels too restrictive. Items that are baggy can also pose a tripping/choking hazard as well. Less is more when it comes to playing dress-up so keep it simple and comfortable!
Headwear and Wigs – Best Left for the Humans.
Headwear and wigs that are made for pets often have an elastic band on them. It is very difficult to find an appropriate fit with elastic bands that sit around the chin/upper neck of your pet. If a band is too tight, it may begin to dig into the skin and potentially cause trauma. Opt for something that sits towards the back of the head or rests softly about the ears. The less fastening an item requires, the more comfortable your pet will be.
Makeup and Paint – Make Them Fabulous, Safely.
It’s very tempting to draw designs on your pet this time of year. It seems that many folks either want a fluorescent pink companion or to turn their all white dog into a zebra. Choosing a paint that is vegetable based and non-toxic is vital to preventing reactions to chemicals and other additives. Do not use human make-up on your furry friends; it is generally not pet safe. If you want some help picking out pet-friendly dyes or makeups, visit your local pet store for guidance. Some of the products even wash away with one rinse!
Cast Light Upon Thy Pet!
If you plan on taking your pet on an adventure for Halloween night, be sure to use a high-visibility leash and a light source. Walking your pet in the dark can be dangerous without the proper visibility items – stay safe and keep the light on. You can even pretend it’s a spotlight for your pet!
Trick-or-Treat, Without the Treat
With all the candy that will surely be floating around this Halloween, it’s critical that you keep track of your pet’s activities. Ask your friends and children around you to not give your pet any treats without your permission and always inform those around you that chocolate and other sweets can be very toxic to pets. Sharing this knowledge can help prevent an accidental ingestion of a toxin. Accidents do happen, however; and we are here for you if they do. If you suspect your pet has eaten any chocolate or other candy items, please visit one of our hospitals for assessment. It could save your pet’s life!
We hope this advice provides you with some basic guidelines to enjoy this Halloween with your pet!
Have a safe and fun Howloween!