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Are Halloween Costumes OK for Pets?

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Are Halloween Costumes OK for Pets?

What are you going to be for Halloween? A witch, a goblin or a ghost? Or something altogether different and original such as the government shutdown, 50 Shades of Grey or a cereal killer?

What about your pet? Do you plan on dressing him or her up as well? I have seen some pretty cute pet costumes such as hot dogs for doggies and a bird for a cat.  But, I admittedly have mixed feelings about dressing up our furry friends in frills, hats, horns, wings and wigs. Especially wigs.


So many of the dogs I see in costume look absolutely humiliated such as the boxer dressed as a carrot bunch below. He seems to be thinking, please, oh please, do not let any of my buddies see me – and God forbid, PLEASE do not let my photo go viral on the internet! (Sorry, too late.)



The cats I have seen dressed up also generally look displeased, but more irritated than humiliated, and I have the distinct impression that those costumes will be off and/or shredded in mere minutes!

I recently wrote a post about a cat fashion show where cats were forced into ridiculous costumes and then thrust upon a stage with bright lights, lots of people, noise and flashing cameras. That to me, was over the top and borderline abusive in some cases.

To be fair, I have seen some dogs and even cats, ferrets and parrots that do not seem to mind the theatrical entanglements imposed upon them by their beloved humans. And if the animal clearly does not mind, that seems okay with me.

I also met a lovely dog owner yesterday who had her pup dressed up as a bumblebee. I told her about the post I was writing and she responded, explaining that her dog loves wearing a costume as he associates putting on clothing (especially in the snowy winter) with going out for a walk. His tail starts wagging very enthusiastically when his costume or any of his clothing items come out. He also loves the extra attention he gets with the bumblebee ensemble.

Pet experts have, of course, weighed in on the subject of whether pet costumes are okay or not and this is what they say: it depends on the pet and the costume. In general, the pet experts say costumes are okay as long as you are certain that your pet is comfortable and safe in his/her holiday gear.


Next page:  ASPCA guidelines for pet costumes, plus photos of pets in costume

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Read more: Animal Rights, Behavior & Communication, Blogs, Cats, Crafts & Design, Crafts & Hobbies, Cute Pet Photos, Dogs, Feline Muse, Fun, Halloween, Holidays, Humor & Inspiration, Life, Pet Health, Pets, Safety, , , , , , , ,

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Cherise Udell

Cherise Udell is a mom, clean air advocate, anthropologist and feline aficionado with the nomadic habit of taking spontaneous sojourns to unusual destinations. Before her adventures in motherhood, she was an intrepid Amazon jungle guide equipped with a pair of sturdy wellingtons and a 24-inch machete, as well as a volunteer at a rainforest animal rescue center.


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3:01AM PDT on May 11, 2015


5:39AM PDT on Jun 26, 2014

thanks for sharing

3:16PM PST on Nov 27, 2013

In my opinion it depends on the animal. Some are easy going and don't mind dressing up to please their owners. Others are clearly bothered by it. Treat your pet like you would a friend and don't force them to do anything that makes them uncomfortable.

6:53AM PST on Nov 9, 2013

Saw the ultimate in humiliation for a dog............. a squirrel costume.

3:28PM PST on Nov 8, 2013

There's really something wrong with people who insist on humiliating animals.

10:11PM PST on Nov 7, 2013

Heh. The witch cat doesn't mind, but is thinking about the unusual feeling of it.

5:11PM PST on Nov 7, 2013

costumes are great but only if they are able to remove them&actually enjoy wearing them. some pets just dig dressing up others dont

2:28AM PST on Nov 7, 2013

They do look cute if they are willing to wear it but they shouldn't be forced, it's not natural after all.

6:23PM PST on Nov 5, 2013

depends on the pet and costume : )

4:31PM PST on Nov 5, 2013


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