Does your pup want to dress up?
Your dog may react to wearing a costume much like he does during a thunderstorm: run and hide. Sure, he would look adorable in a Chewbacca custom but will he like wearing it? “The most important thing is to be aware of the dog’s response,” says veterinarian Paul Calhoun. “If your dog shows signs of irritation or discomfort, it’s best to remove the costume,” advises Calhoun. You can try it again another time, but be mindful that he just might not be comfortable with dog Halloween outfits, like these pugs in costume. If his eyes roll back or he’s looking to the side, has folded ears, scratches at the costume, or makes a run for it, those are pretty clear signs he’s just not into it. You can try it again another time but he may never feel comfortable dressing up.
Are certain dogs more chill about dressing up?
According Travis Brorsen Animal Planet’s pet expert and trainer, costumes aren’t breed specific. Although dogs that are calm and well-balanced seem to tolerate Halloween dog costumes more, using a costume to cover up their natural coat can cause anxiety. “It’s more about the dog’s temperament, whether or not they were acclimated to clothes as a puppy, and the owner’s response when they are wearing the clothes,” says Brorsen. “A dog that has never worn a costume before, but is highly motivated by praise, could do great in a costume if the owners praise the dog during the experience.”
Super cute and hilarious Halloween dog costumes aren’t hard to find, but don’t wait till Halloween night to buy one. Select one a few weeks before and try it on your pooch a few times before the big night. The dress rehearsals should be short and sweet. “Before meal time, place one piece of the costume on your dog then offer the food,” instructs Brorsen. “If your dog eats with it on, that’s a good sign the acclimation process is positive. You have now associated the costume with something of high value, something positive.” But if your dog freezes up, runs away or shows other signs of distress, then you may be moving too fast, expecting too much for the trial run. If she doesn’t seem to mind it, still keep the process short, one to two minutes. Praise her and then remove the costume.