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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Pet Care Library > Articles > Halloween Costume Tips And Tricks

Halloween Costume Tips and Tricks

PetSmart Debbie McKnight/Accredited PetSmart Trainer

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 Have you planned your pup’s Halloween costume? The big day is right around the corner and Fido might want in on the fun! If your pooch isn’t used to wearing a costume, there’s still time to get him used to it. Here are some steps that might help:

  • Start small. If your dog isn’t used to wearing anything, try something easy like a bandana or possibly a t-shirt. A t-shirt might take more getting used to, but he won’t be able to get it off as easily as a bandana. Most importantly, when you put anything on, make it a fun experience with lots of treats, games, and praise.
  • If your dog is comfortable with a bandana or piece of clothing, you may want to try something flashier like a hat or headband. Choose something that is the appropriate size and shape for your dog (i.e. not too tight, loose and wobbly, or one that scrunches up his ears). As always, leave it on for short amounts of time and lavish him with treats, fun, and praise.
  • So your dog is a hat and shirt wearing machine, eh? Let’s try some shoes! These are the hardest for most dogs and you may find him walking pretty weird when you put them on. Sometimes it’s easiest to put them all on and then walk around the yard or block so he has some scenery to distract him. If he’s not up for it or the shoes won’t stay on, you could always tie a pair together and let him wear them over his neck. They will still “complement” the outfit and won’t stress him out.
If, however, he’s not adjusting to the costume, he can still be part of your Halloween dress up plans! 
  • Create a costume “theme” that can include him even without a costume.
  • Get him a Halloween-themed collar and leash.
  • Decorate a wagon or cart and let him ride “in the costume.”
  • If your dog is used to wearing a harness, you could attach a cloth “sign” to the sides of the harness that might not bother him too much.
No matter what costume you have planned for your pup, keep his health and well-being as a foremost concern. There’s no need to stress him out just so he’ll look cute. With some planning, patience, and yummy treats, most dogs can be convinced to sport an outfit from time to time. Have a safe Halloween!

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