Pet stores are full of doggie costumes this time of year – from Santa hats or reindeer antlers to holiday clothing. They are so cute and very tempting but is it a good idea? Will your dog hate it? Will it be uncomfortable? Are pet costumes safe? Before you purchase a holiday pet costume for your dog, consider these things first.
Consider Your Pet’s Temperament
Cassie absolutely loved to wear costumes. She would get so excited whenever I got one out for her. She loved the attention she would get when she wore them. But she only tolerated them if they were comfortable. Although Cassie loved dressing up, most dogs do not like it at all. Sephi loves to wear a scarf but anything else, she hates. And Maya hates both scarfs and clothes. It took time for Sephi and Maya to get used to their dog seat belt so it would take even more time getting them used to wearing dog clothes. A dog seat belt is necessary but clothing is not. So why subject them to it? I know it can be cute and even amusing. But if your dog hates it, it is not nice.
Consider Your Pet’s Comfort
If your dog likes wearing pet costumes, make sure to purchase something which fits well. Dog clothing should neither be too tight nor too loose. Sleeves should be placed well so that the clothing does not irritate under their legs. Straps should not pinch their skin or pull their hair. And their tails should be free to wag. It would also be nice if the clothing left places for your dog to go to the bathroom. (Cassie once pooped in a pair of doggie pants.)
Consider Your Pet’s Safety
For the most part, dog clothes are safe. Read the labels for any warnings and abide by them accordingly. Consider if your dog has allergies as the stuff used to clean and/or package the clothes may cause irritation. Make sure that your dog is always supervised when they are wearing their costumes. You wouldn’t want them to eat their costume or get tangled in it. And don’t allow your dogs to wear their costumes during vigorous play where injury is more likely with clothes which might get in the way of the fun.
(The photos above are of Sephi and Maya. Since they hated the antlers I bought for them, I put them on, took a quick photo, and never made them wear them again. They got lots of treats afterward.)
If your dog loves to wear costumes, send us a photo. We’d love to see them!