1. Be highly visible: Make sure the costume is very reflective so that your pet can be easily seen by drivers. You can buy reflective tape and add strips to the costume.
2. Check for loose ends and parts of the costume: Make sure there are no loose parts on the costume that your pet can eat. Objects such as loose fabric or buttons can become lodged in the intestines causing an obstruction. Loose parts can also cause your pet to trip or become tangled in the costume, resulting in fear, anxiety and a future dislike of this holiday.
3. Make sure the costume is not too tight: You should be able to get two or three fingers between your pet and any fabric or tie that goes around your pet, especially around the neck. Costumes that are too tight can restrict movement and breathing.
4. Do not pick a costume that is too heavy: Your pet could overheat if the costume is too heavy. A heavy costume will exhaust your pet as well as cause them to overheat. Take special care to check his level of comfort several times during the evening. Excessive panting or falling behind should signal you to remove the costume.
5. Use a leash: Your pet may become frightened or spooked by loud or unusual sounds and may try to run away from out of your reach and into ongoing traffic.
6. No tricks, no treats: Candy is for tick-or-treaters, not for your pet. Pets may often be tempted to taste treats that are not intended for them. Candy can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Chocolate in all forms is toxic to dogs and cats. Give your pet a Halloween Crunch Card or take some pet treats with you so he can get his own kind of goodies.
7. Strangers can be scary: Pets should be kept away from the front door during peak trick-or-treating hours. Too many strangers can be scary and stressful for pets.
8. Make sure your pet has their ID tag: Should your pet should get spooked and run loose an ID tag will help with your pet’s return.
9. Listen to your pet: If your pet doesn’t like their costume they will let you know by trying to take the costume off and by barking. Costumes may be cute, but they can also be irritating to a pet that does not want to be in one.
10. Practice: Get your pet used to the costume you have selected. Have him wear it several times before the actual day. He will be so busy watching all the Halloween activities that he should not have to worry about some strange new piece of clothing.