Keeping your pups safe and comfortably spooky this Halloween
Truth: The only thing cuter than a dog is a dog in a Halloween costume.
And while it’s easy to lose an hour down the rabbit hole of #dogsincostumes pics on Instagram, it’s not always so easy to get OUR pups into a costume that’s comfortable and safe – and one that won’t end up flung to the floor in mere seconds.
The Snoozer UK team has picked up some tricks over the years, though, and so here are some helpful hints for creating a clever costume that your dog just might wear all the way to the end of the block come trick-or-treat.
1. Start slowly.
It’s understandable that your pup might be alarmed by going from his normal ‘au natural’ state to being wrapped in a full-out costume.
If your dog isn’t used to donning any clothing, go ahead and begin introducing the idea by trying on sweaters, jackets, and the like. Allow your dog to wear those pieces for only as long as he seems keen, and he will likely maintain them longer day-by-day. The same recommendation goes for headgear and glasses.
If your dog is used to ‘street clothes’, she may still feel wary of the odd bits of her Halloween costume. As you build her costume, allow her to investigate it.
2. Play it soft and keep it light.
Pet costumes should be fun, and that means there should never be a risk of any harm. Choose soft fabrics and lightweight construction materials, and always sew or glue pieces together, avoiding safety pins and straight pins.
We like to build costumes off of traditional canine clothing, like t-shirts, bodysuits and harnesses. Some of our favorite materials are felt*, craft foam, puff balls, and pipe-cleaners (for costume bits that require structure.) We avoid cardboard, wire, and floral mesh.
*The craftiest among you may be anxious to sew, say, a shiny dragon costume. First, we wish we had a parent like you when we were kids. Second, we recommend using your fancy, shiny material on the external side of the costume, but using felt or jersey for the parts that will touch your dog’s coat.
3. Employ smart details and work-arounds.
These are tips we’ve learned the hard way:
Keep costume pieces out of your dog’s peripheral vision. Your dog may agree to wear a headband, but as soon as he spies his own antennae out of the corner of his eye, that headband is coming off! The fix is as simple as pointing the antennae straight up, as opposed to bending them forward.
Boots and shoes are rarely worth it. Occasionally we meet a pupper who will tolerate wellies on a rainy day, but most seem to lose their ability to walk once they’re wearing shoes of any sort (you’ve seen that funny high-step they do, right?)
The fix? SPATS. Worn around the lower leg, spats give the appearance of shoes, while leaving your dog’s paw pads free to maintain direct contact with the ground. Full disclosure: Your dog might hate the spats, too. Maybe try a dry-run using scraps before buying any fancy fabric.
If your dog hates wearing any sort of clothing, you still have an option! Over the past couple of years, veterinarian-approved spray color for fur has been introduced to market. These colors allow you to turn your Black Lab into a zebra and your Vizsla into a (albeit short-necked) giraffe. Check out products like Pet Paints online.
4. As always, Safety First
Be sure to keep a close eye on your pup when she’s in costume. Even with your best intentions, she may get hot or itchy, or may attempt to gobble up any small pieces that shed from the costume.
Additionally, if you will be parading outside during the evening hours, be sure to attach a light to the back of your dog’s collar or harness so that other revelers see him.
Are you hard at work on a Halloween costume for your pooch? Tag us in your Instagram photos, @SnoozerUK !