Help Your Pup Feel Comfortable in Their Howl-oween Costume!

Dog Care, Helpful Tips

Halloween is right around the corner! We don’t know about you, but we can’t wait for the big night. A cute dog in a Halloween costume is arguably cuter than a cute baby in a Halloween costume, but that’s a debate for another day. Although most dogs can be comfortable in a costume, they are certainly not for every dog. You know your pup best. Here are a few tips to help your fur-baby feel at ease in their Howl-oween costume!

Choosing the Right Costume

Your pup is much more likely to embrace their spooky outfit if their costume is not restricting in any way. Dog costumes should always allow free movement of your pup’s legs and tail, and there should be no parts of the outfit rubbing against them. On the other hand, a costume that is too loose has the possibility of getting caught on other objects, which can create discomfort, panic, and even danger for your dog. Keep in mind that it is also important to pick a costume that is easy for your fur-baby to do their business in.

Getting the Costume On; A Process

A positive introduction to your dog’s costume is essential. Taking it slow and using lots of positive reinforcement is key to creating a comfortable environment for your pet. Take some time for your introduction, it might take multiple tries for your dog to feel familiar with their costume so don’t leave this step to the last minute!

  1. Let your pup sniff out the costume, and praise them. Having treats on hand is also good for this step. Associating praise and treats with your dog’s costume is the main goal here, so teaching this early on will make the rest of the process much easier.
  2. Start putting on the costume, one part at a time (this could be putting your dog’s leg through one arm hole, or putting on a hat or other accessory). For example, put your pup’s leg through one of the arm holes, and then praise and treat them. Take off the costume and praise again. Put your pup’s leg back through the arm hole, then praise and treat them. Repeating this process will help your fur-baby associate their costume with treats and praise, which will ultimately make them more comfortable in it. You can slowly introduce your pup to the whole costume using this same method.
  3. Get that tail a waggin’! You are now tasked with being the ultimate hype-person, so let your dog know how amazing they look.

Keep an Eye on your Pup, and the Time

Your pup may seem comfortable in their Halloween attire at first, but that can change at any minute! The costume may start to irritate or rub against your dog or get too hot. It’s always better to take the costume off before your dog starts showing signs of discomfort. Here are some signs to watch out for:

  • scratching at the costume
  • tucked-in tail
  • excessive yawning
  • whining or barking
  • freezing in place

The best way to avoid these signals of stress and discomfort is to keep your pup’s costume on for a short amount of time. Don’t be discouraged if your pup doesn’t adore their costume immediately, helping them feel comfortable in it takes time. If your pup is really not having it, it is much better to not force a costume on them. Just snap a cute pic of them and put a fun Halloween filter over it. Either way, we would love to see your adorable spooky pets! Post your pictures to your story on Instagram and tag us @dog_jogs. Happy Howl-oween!