5 Warnings About Pet Costumes

Cute Outfits Can Be Dangerous

Labrador retriever in Halloween costume

Dressing up your cat and dog on Halloween may be a fun tradition in your family. Some Halloween pet costumes, however, can be potentially dangerous to our pets.

Make sure your pet is having fun, too; take caution when choosing an outfit for Fido or Fluffy this year and never leave your pet alone while in costume. Here are a few tips to consider.

1. Allergies

It’s possible that your pet could have an adverse allergic reaction to a Halloween costume, due in part to either the type of fabric or the brand of detergent or fabric softener used to clean the costume.

If you notice your pet itching while wearing the costume, remove it. An allergic reaction could cause a red, itchy rash which would then require veterinary treatment.

Lobster Halloween outfit for dogs

2. Dangling Objects

Dangling objects on a pet Halloween costume, such as bells, ornaments, fabric, string and bows, can be chewed off and swallowed, leading to a life-threatening condition called linear foreign body ingestion.

The item ingested can tear your pet’s intestines and require emergency surgery.

Chihuahua in a Halloween costume

3. Constricting Fit

Make sure your pet’s Halloween costume isn’t a tight fit. Tightness around your pet’s neck, paws, legs and torso can cause your pet to panic and lead to a potential injury.

Tight elastics can pinch your pet’s body and cause swelling, thereby creating great discomfort.


Dogs in Halloween costumes

4. Constant Supervision

Never leave your pet alone while dressed in a Halloween costume. Panic, boredom, anxiety or curiosity can lead your pet to chew on the costume and ingest pieces of it.

Intestinal obstruction is a serious condition that may require emergency surgery. There is also the risk that the costume could strangle your pet should he or she try hiding under furniture or in a favorite hiding spot that won’t accommodate the costume itself.


Cat in Halloween costume

5. Keep the Outdoors Off Limits

Don’t leave your pet outside by him- or herself. With Halloween comes a lot of unusual noises — trick or treaters, loud music or sound effects at the neighbor’s house, the doorbell constantly ringing — your pet could be feeling a great deal of anxiety. Escape may be an option for Fido or Fluffy. If your pet is wearing a costume and tries to flee, he or she could become entangled in the fence, a gate, a tree or even a bush, leading to injury or even strangulation.

Always keep your outfitted companion by your side during Halloween. Supervise your pet’s costume and behavior as well. Halloween can be a very stressful occasion for some pets. Be mindful of your pet gaining access to Halloween candy, which can be toxic. For more information, check out this printable Halloween infographic and read 5 Ways to Keep Pets Safe on Halloween.