12 Halloween Costumes That’ll Help Your Dog Keep Up With the Cool Kids
Because there’s nothing scarier than being off-trend.
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When that first fall leaf hits the sidewalk, only one thing comes to mind: Spooky season is finally upon us, and you know what that means — it’s time for pumpkin motifs, Halloweentown rewatches, and Destiny’s Child alum Michelle Williams singing about candy corn. If you’re looking to absolutely own fall this year, Halloween is included in that mission, which is why we’ve rounded up some of the cutest costumes for dogs and cats. Whether you’re taking a mini Winifred Sanderson trick-or-treating or just kicking back for a scary movie night with your furry Squid Game contender, there are tons of culturally relevant costumes for your pet to rock for Halloween 2022.
As with all things, your pet’s comfort is of the utmost importance. Be sure not to dress your cat or dog in anything too tight, itchy, or a fabric that they can chew or choke on. That being said, not every pet is OK with being dressed up in any context — let alone one that’s unpredictable, loud, and unfamiliar.
Keep It Spooky — But Safe
But for those who fall on the sliding scale between tolerating and enthusiastically endorsing new get-ups, celebrity dog groomer Jess Rona offers a few tips dressing up or dyeing your dog for Halloween to ensure your pet’s full comfort. “Just make sure it doesn’t rub or chafe your dog’s armpits if it’s something that slides over them,” Rona says.
This is particularly important for dogs or cats with sensitive skin who are already prone to irritation. While skin irritation is most common in costumes that are too tight, the same is true of those that are too loose.
In addition to the comfort factor, Dr. Leni Kaplan, a clinician with the Cornell Hospital for Animals, told The Wildest it’s best to steer clear of “costumes with accessories that are easy to grab or pull off — your pet might eat the accessory, predisposing them to a gastrointestinal foreign body obstruction, which will require veterinary medical attention and possible surgery.”
Costumed pets should never be left unattended. Always be sure to reward your pet for not tugging at their costume, which will help build a habit of that positive behavior.
Keep Those Halloween Eyes Sharp
Another important consideration, according to veterinarian and The Wildest Collective member Dr. Annette Louviere, is not to inhibit your pet’s vision or airway.
“It’s always important to avoid neck constriction in brachycephalic (flat-faced) breeds due to their facial conformation,” she says.
She also shares her concerns about costumes with face coverings: “Be mindful of accessories or costumes which can cover the face as this may impair your pet’s ability to hear or see well. This can make wearing the costume a scary experience.” This is especially true for disoriented pets or those who might find costumed humans frightening and try to bolt.
After the Fourth of July, Halloween is the most common day of the year for pets to go missing. That’s why, when your pet is out showing off their costume “be sure to include the collar so that your pet can continue to wear their ID tag,” says Dr. Louviere. “In addition, when leashing pets, connect the leash to the collar or harness rather than the costume (as these are often less stable materials).” And always be sure to talk to your veterinarian if you have safety concerns about dressing up your pet.
The final word on Halloween with pets, according to our experts? Dr. Louviere: “Be respectful of your pet’s preferences.” Jess Rona: “Try to honor your dog.” Dr. Kaplan: “If your pet eats moldy pumpkin, contact a veterinarian immediately.” Stay tuned in to your pet’s needs, and you’ll both have a great Halloween.
Btw, our editors (and their pets) picked out these products. They’re always in stock at the time we publish, but there’s a chance they’ll sell out. If you do buy through our links, we may earn a commission. (We’ve got a lot of toys to buy over here, you know?)
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Avery is an editor at The Wildest. She has written for numerous publications, including Refinery29, BuzzFeed, and V Magazine. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her fiancé and cat, Chicken, and has high hopes that one of them will let her adopt a dog.