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Dress Your Pets for a Safe Halloween

Dress Your Pets for a Safe Halloween

Who can resist the idea of dressing your pet up for Halloween? Yeah it’s silly and some might say it’s a little cruel, but it’s so dang cute! But before you do, check out these tips from the ASPCA:

Dress-up can be a big mess-up for some pets. Please don’t put your dog or cat in a costume UNLESS you know he or she loves it (yup, a few pets are real hams!). For pets who prefer their “birthday suits,” however, wearing a costume can cause undue stress.

If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume isn’t annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict the animal’s movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe or bark. Keep a look out for small, dangling, or easily chewed-off pieces on the costume that your pet could choke on.

Take a closer look at your pet’s costume and make sure it does not obstruct her vision in any way. Even the sweetest animals can get snappy when they can’t see.

For ideas or just for fun, check out these Care2 pets in costume.

We also have a great story about protecting your pets on Halloween that has some very smart, and some surprising, advice. (Who knew that black cats require special treatment in late October?)

To add to this is some general pet safety tips from the ASPCA. If only I had read the second one before yesterday when my kids and I made jack-o-lanterns outside, with Louis the yellow lab at our feet, dutifully snatching small bits of pumpkin as we carved. Sorry, Louis.

That bowlful of candy is for trick-or-treaters, not for Scruffy and Fluffy. Chocolate in all forms can be very dangerous for dogs and cats, and tin foil and cellophane candy wrappers can be hazardous if swallowed. If you suspect your pet has ingested a potentially dangerous substance, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered to be relatively non-toxic, yet they can produce gastrointestinal upset should pets ingest them. Intestinal blockage could even occur if large pieces are ingested.

Keep wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations out of reach of your pets. If chewed, your pet could experience damage to his mouth from shards of glass or plastic, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.

A carved pumpkin certainly is festive, but do exercise extreme caution if you choose to add a candle. Pets can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames.

All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room during peak trick-or-treat visiting hours. Too many strangers can be scary and stressful for pets.

When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, take care that your cat or dog doesn’t dart outside.

Read more: Pets, Safety, , , , ,

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.


+ add your own
5:31AM PDT on Oct 29, 2012

Kostimi su dobri za ljude ali ne i za zivotinje.Mislim da njima ne prija kostimiranje
u bilo kakvom smislu.

3:28AM PDT on Oct 29, 2012

Thank you for the article, but dressing up my pets is not something I would do.

2:16AM PDT on Oct 29, 2012

Thank you!

10:13PM PDT on Oct 28, 2012

While I love the idea of dressing our cats up for Halloween I know they wouldn't like it and so I don't.

12:16AM PST on Dec 9, 2011

Thanks for sharing.

6:09PM PDT on Oct 25, 2011

Good tips. I do love the costumes on pets but only on Halloween. Be safe and have fun everyone.

7:25AM PST on Jan 19, 2011


12:38PM PST on Dec 18, 2009

tee hee

9:38AM PDT on Jun 14, 2009



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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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