Getting your dog the wrong costume can be worse than having no costume at all.
Even if they live through the horror of the awful costume you’ve stuffed them into, your relationship may never be the same.
So, the question is, how do you choose a costume for your dog?
Whether you are looking to buy a dog costume for Halloween, Christmas, or any other fun occasion, there are a few things you may want to consider before you start picking it out. This list below will help you narrow down your options and avoid the hazards of an ill-chosen costume for your pooch.
1) Will My Dog Be Comfortable?
While you might be able to deal with the annoyance of a costume that is too tight, or poorly made, your dog should not have to suffer through a costume causes them pain or any other form of discomfort.
Make sure that you choose a costume that is appropriate for the size and breed of your dog and made out of materials that work for the current season. It’s not just about comfort, it’s also about safety.
2) Is the Dog Costume Going to Be Safe?
Anyone who cares about their dog would hate to accidentally harm them with a bad costume choice. It’s important to stay away from choking hazards, items that can get wrapped too tightly around their neck, or costume pieces that cover your dog’s mouth and nose.
One of the best ways to determine if a costume is safe is to have your dog wear it for a short period while you closely watch them to make sure that everything fits the way it’s supposed to.
3) How Often Does My Dog Wear Costumes?
If your dog never really wears costumes or other types of costumes, then it can be a good idea to give them a chance to get used to them before the costume event.
Get a few inexpensive items in your dog’s size and use them to train them to be comfortable with the experience. This may also give some ideas about the types of costumes they will tolerate best.
4) How Active Is My Dog?
What will your dog be doing while they are wearing their new costume? If you have a mellow pooch that is likely to lounge or do some light walking then your costume options for them are a little broader than for a dog that cannot hold still.
Make sure that openings around the neck, legs and tail are wide enough to allow them to move comfortably and that any velcro or elastic on the costume won’t be pulling on their skin or fur.
5) What is the Costume Made Out Of?
If you want the dog costume to last for more than a single use, it’s important to consider the material that it’s constructed from and the quality of the costume. Poorly made costumes that are produced with cheap fabric or plastics are not only more likely to fall apart easily, they can also be less comfortable for your dog.
Check to see what type of fabric and chemicals are used for the costume to avoid anything that your pet might be allergic to. Itching, scratching, sneezing or other odd behavior from your dog can be a sign that it’s time for the costume to come off.
6) What Size Should I Get?
This is one of the most important considerations for your pet’s costume. If you get them a costume that is too small it is guaranteed to be uncomfortable and could even restrict breathing and movement. A costume that is too large could also become a hazard if your dog gets tangled in it or trips over the long material.
When you’re looking for sizes take advantage of sizing charts and recommendations for different breeds. If you want to order your dog’s costume online then you may want to have them try on some similar items in a local costume store.
7) What Will This Experience Be Like For My Dog?
While there are many reasons to buy a costume for your dog, the ultimate goal should be to find something that will also be fun for your dog. If your dog is in pain, has difficulty breathing, gets panicky or even feels humiliated in the costume you’ve picked for them, they will not associate costumes with pleasant feelings.
Check out our recent post, 13 Dogs That Absolutely Hate Their Halloween Costumes, for ideas of what you might want to avoid.
Additional Dog Costume Considerations
A dog costume often falls into the same category as a toy — which makes supervision important. Even if your dog is exceptionally comfortable with their costume and is being well behaved, they should not be allowed to run loose and be out of your sight for too long. Keep your dog in a contained area when you are indoors and on a leash if you are venturing outside.
When it comes to choosing a costume for your dog, pair your judgment with the points above you should be set for a fun time for the both of you. If you have any other tips for selecting a dog costume we’d love to hear about them in the comments below!