Just maybe, if your dog is mature and is accustomed to family kids dressing it up frequently, you can succeed in getting Fido to wear a Halloween costume.
If you try it on your cat, be prepared for considerable struggling and possibly to be scratched and/or bitten. It just isn’t in most cats’ nature, no matter what age, to allow being draped with uncomfortable and unnecessary clothing.
However, if you’re determined to have Fido and Fluffy accompany family members to a party, do some trick-or-treat roaming or participate in other Halloween events, there are certain basic rules you should observe.
1. If you’ve decided on a pet costume, try several sessions of training. Do it gently and repeat it often so the animal gets used to it. However, when you attempt to put clothing or shoes on your pet, if the animal struggles desperately and cries, remove the costume immediately and forget the Halloween plans for it.
2. If you’ve worked daily on training your pet gradually and gently over a week or so, you may succeed with the costume. Just don’t try to force anything that could cause the pet pain, to feel restricted or otherwise angered.
3. No matter how loose and simple your pet costume may be, it’s not a natural situation for any animal, no matter how docile. If you do succeed to clothe your pet, keep the costume on just for a few minutes at a time, until you can photo or video it or introduce your creation to incoming guests. Then take it off.
4. Of course, simple costume touches that don’t interfere with the pet’s normal actions, such as small ribbons or a non-intrusive hat, can be left on through the party or trick-or-treat trek, so long as the pet doesn’t show discomfort or tries to pull it off.
5. Putting shoes on your pet’s feet will cause them to stumble, and the distressful scene may be funny to some people. However, it’s often a cruel thing to do and is tormenting to your pet.
6. Don’t put on face masks that could restrict your pet’s sight or normal breathing. If you feel creative about your pet’s Halloween costume, don’t do anything that could cause illness. For example, spraying potentially dangerous dyes or paints on your pet’s fur, especially around the eyes and nose, could cause serious damage.
7. If your pet is wearing a Halloween costume, and because it’s strange, restricting or frightening, don’t allow it outside near automobile traffic without putting it on a leash. If panicked by wearing a costume, it could run into a busy street.
If you are considerate about your pet’s comfort and health, and can get your cat or dog to accept wearing a Halloween costume, it may be worth a try. However, there’s no reason to be unnecessarily cruel just to please yourself or other thoughtless humans.