Fall is upon us and so is the hunt for the perfect Halloween costume for your dog. Your choices have become plentiful with the overwhelming number of creative costume designs that are on the market today. So when shopping for that perfect Super Hero, Elvis or little devil dog costume, keep these 5 tips in mind:
Tip 1: Every Dog Has Their Style & Shape
While the Yorkshire struts her small stout frame around the block, the Beagle wants to dig up everything he can get his nose in to. The bulldog carries all of his attributes up front around his head and neck, as the Husky guards his thick and furry coat throughout the year. Take in to consideration your dogs’ distinguishing physical characteristics such as body shape, coat density and weight when selecting a pet costume. These physical attributes can often enhance the costumes’ design and “adorable factor”.
Tip 2: What Makes Your Dog Tick?
Is your dog shy and reluctant to greet visitors or is he the welcome wagon of the neighborhood? Your dogs’ tolerance level for attention and distractions is a very important factor when dressing him up for Halloween.
When costume shopping, keep in mind if you dog is comfortable in any clothing, be it a headpiece, t-shirt, or flowery collar. Is this her first costume or is she the talk of the catwalk? Always expose your dog to his costume well in advance of the holiday with ample treats on hand to encourage his acceptance. Remember putting any costume or clothing on a dog can be stressful to the pet. Be mindful of introducing the costume to your dog slowly while scheduling several short periods of time when your dog is actually wearing the costume before the big night.
Tip 3: Size Does Matter
Any Halloween costume choice be it a simple t-shirt, head wear or a full outfit must fit your dog promptly in order for him to be safe and comfortable throughout the festivities. Most costume manufacturers and retailers offer a general sizing chart that consist of two measurements; your dogs’ neck diameter and back length. These two measurements then make up the standard small, medium, large or extra-large costume size ranges.
With you dog standing, first measure her neck diameter with a flat measuring tape (usually where the collar lies). Secondly, determine her back length by measuring from the base of her neck to the base of her tail. Then compare these two measurements to the retailers’ sizing guide of the desired costume.
Always round up to the next larger size if the measurements are near or over the range maximum in the smaller size. Also round up to the next larger size if your pet has a thick coat, broader chest, or wider underside. REMEMBER, a slightly looser fitting dog costume is more comfortable and adjustable than a tighter fitting one. If in doubt, always order one size larger.
Tip 4: Safety First Then Fashion
You will find almost any type of dog costume you and your pooches desire this Halloween. The retail demand for dog costumes has exploded thus causing an array of fashionable choices for the pet parent. But take that extra second or two to look past the glitter, bangles and dangles of the dog costume design to consider your dogs’ safety. Look for any loose wires, buttons or extra fabric that will tempt your dog to chew on and potentially swallow. Keep in mind that your dogs’ body temperature will rise quickly when cloaked in a full ensemble, so have plenty of water on hand. And lastly, make sure that the costume design allows your dog her full range of vision. This will keep her safe and stress-free to enjoy the evening with friends and family.
Tip 5: Bright Colors Are a Must
One final shopping tip to keep in mind is the visibility factor of your dog’s’ costume. Dark colored clothing at night or in a dimly lit neighbor will make your pup difficult to see to Halloween drivers and their walking goblins. So make sure you add reflective tape or material to your dogs’ dark costumes or simply go for the brighter decorated costume option. The bottom line here is to make sure that your Halloween dressed pet is a site for ALL eyes!