INDIANAPOLIS — Consumer spending on Halloween-related items is close to pre-pandemic levels, according to the National Retail Federation, which of course, includes costumes. This year, one in five intend to dress up their pet in a costume for the spooky season.
With this in mind, Camp Bow Wow, a dog daycare center, has advice to share to those buying or making Halloween costumes for their pets this year.
- Don’t force your pet to wear a costume.
While you may think they look adorable, some pets don’t like getting dressed up. It may be helpful to try on costumes before the big night to see how your pet adjusts. If your pet seems distressed, anxious or tries to bite or scratch it off, don’t bother.
- If your pet is going to wear a costume, make sure it’s safe.
Costumes should not constrict your pet’s movement, hearing or sight, or impede their ability to breathe, bark or meow. Before your pet participates in any Halloween activities, take a closer look at their costume and make sure it does not have small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces. If you live in California, Texas or a number of warmer weather states, make sure their costume isn’t too heavy.
- Keep human treats unaccessible.
Candy bags are strictly for the enjoyment of trick-or-treaters, not your pet. Chocolate in all forms, especially dark or baking chocolate, is very dangerous for dogs and cats. Instead, give your pets their favorite treat or snack. If you do suspect that your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian immediately.
- Limit your decorations to safety.
An authentic jack-o-lantern complete with a lit candle inside may look amazing, but it’s a serious fire hazard if your pet or even a child bumps into it. While mini pumpkins and gourds are considered to be relatively nontoxic, they can cause upset stomachs should a curious pet nibble on them.
- Make your pet easily identifiable.
The excitement of Halloween, coupled with several people walking the streets in strange costumes, can make it easy for your pet to get spooked, lost or run away. If your pet is a runner, consider keeping them in a separate room while handing out candy. If they’ll be joining you for trick-or-treating, make sure their collar has a name, address and phone number on it.