Whether heading to a special shindig, celebrating on social media or greeting little ghouls and goblins at home, getting the complete family – together with the four-legged ones –involved with Halloween festivities can be the biggest treat of all. However, it’s essential to take a few precautions to avoid spooking your pets, specifically if you’ll be dressing them for the occasion.
In addition to restraining your pets from the treat bowl and tempering their exhilaration throughout all the hustle and bustle, keep these pointers from PetSmart’s resident veterinarian and puppy care professional, Dr. Jennifer Freeman, DVM, in mind to make sure your pets are comfortable in their costumes so that they’re able to have fun stress-free.
Take baby steps.
Begin by attempting a simple accessory, like a bandana, on your pets. See if they permit this and will stroll around with it on for a few minutes. Not all pets like sporting garments and some may also become confused or agitated while wearing a costume. However, many just want a little coaxing and positive reinforcement, together with praise and a treat.
Reward with something tasty.
Once you place the apparel or dress on your pets, reward them with their preferred treat to create a positive affiliation between wearing the costume and getting a treat.
Ensure the costume is secure.
Once you realize your pets are comfy in a costume, it’s critical to make sure the outfit permits them to walk, bark, meow and see without issues. Moreover, if your pets can easily trip over their legs, try some other form of apparel. Make sure there aren’t any add-ons attached that may be easy for them to chew on or swallow.
Consider the weather.
Pets can overheat easily, so ensure their apparel isn’t too cumbersome or heavy if it is warm on Halloween. Watch for elastic features across the paw area that may be restrictive and be sure there’s sufficient room across the widest location of the chest to allow for proper air flow and ventilation.
Keep an eye on body language.
Pets regularly communicate through body language and their conduct may let you spot if they’re stressed or uncomfortable. Pay extra attention on your costumed pets’ body language while attending parties or activities and watch for symptoms of discomfort including pacing, hiding or refusing to move.
For extra guidelines and tricks for maintaining your pets secure this Halloween, in addition to ideas for seasonal costumes, toys and treats, visit PetSmart.com.