Should you dress your dog up for Halloween?
With Halloween just around the corner, is it time to start shopping for a dog Halloween costume for your canine companion? Do dogs like dressing up? The answer to both of these questions is probably no, however cute dogs in Halloween costumes look!
Dressing up dogs at Halloween can be restrictive and upsetting for them, and might even be dangerous.
Find out why dog Halloween outfits are best avoided, and how Halloween costumes for dogs can actually be harmful to their health and wellbeing.
Do dogs like Halloween costumes?
Every dog is different but no, most dogs don’t like dressing up in Halloween costumes.
If your dog is generally calm and good natured, you might not even realise this; but the fact that they are not protesting does not mean that they are having fun.
Why don’t dogs like being dressed up for Halloween? Dogs aren’t used to wearing clothing at all, and will find the sensation restrictive, uncomfortable and confusing. They need time to get used to even useful clothing like coats for cold weather, which are properly designed for the dog’s comfort.
Halloween costumes for dogs are designed as novelties, and will confuse your dog, make them uncomfortable, and in the house, probably make them too hot as well; and they cannot exercise any choice in this to take their outfit off or get away from it.
Dressing a dog in a Halloween costume is stressful for them, and it will also tend to mean they are the centre of a lot of excitement and attention that can further stress them out and make them hot, anxious and uncomfortable. Not so much fun after all.
Are Halloween costumes for dogs safe?
There are a lot of different dog Halloween costumes on the market and some are undoubtedly more thoughtfully made and safer for dogs than others, and less likely to make them stressed and uncomfortable.
However, there are a number of ways in which dog Halloween costumes are dangerous to dogs if poorly made or thought out, and as they’re designed as novelties, this is common to many such offerings.
The fabrics in question might be irritating, flammable, or contain toxic or small parts that could be dangerous to your dog if they chew or bite at them. They might catch on obstacles and hang your dog up, or catch one of your dog’s own claws or teeth and cause them to panic and injure themselves, just for starters.
Can dressing a dog up for Halloween hurt them?
Wardrobe malfunctions when dressing dogs up for Halloween are common even when it comes to costumes you can buy, and the risks increase when you make a dog Halloween costume at home and so add a number of other variables into the mix.
However, there are other ways in which Halloween costumes for dogs can be dangerous for them too, such as by causing them to overheat, restricting their breathing, and increasing their stress levels, causing them to pant heavily and risk hyperventilating.
The added risks of Halloween costumes for French bulldogs and other flat-faced dogs
Halloween costumes for French bulldogs and other small, popular dog breeds tend to be those most in demand because French bulldog Halloween costumes are often incredibly cute, and social media tends to be full of pictures of such dogs in their trick-or-treating finery.
However, dressing French bulldogs up for Halloween is an even worse idea than it is for most dogs – and the same applies when it comes to Halloween outfits for flat-faced dogs of other breeds too.
Frenchies and other flat-faced breeds are prone to suffering from breathing difficulties due to their short muzzles and narrow nostrils. The high levels of brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome in French bulldogs is indicative of this, and French bulldogs are also more sensitive to heat and prone to overheating as a result too.
This means that Halloween costumes for French bulldogs are best avoided, as they’re likely to stress your dog out and increase the chances of them suffering from breathing problems and overheating, and this will have more acute and potentially dangerous consequences for Frenchies than other dogs too.
Whatever type of dog you own, play it safe and ensure that Halloween doesn’t turn into a real-life horror movie – Don’t get Halloween costumes for dogs, or otherwise dress them up or put them in novelty outfits.