If you do decide to dress your pet up for Halloween – Here are nine safety tips to keep in mind

Written by Contributor. Posted in Community News & People in the News, Featured

Published on October 17, 2018 with No Comments

By Jennifer Eberhart 

While pet lovers often enjoy dressing up their dogs or cats in what they think are cute costumes, many don’t realize their pets may not appreciate it as much as their owners. Some pets really do love dressing up and goofing off for the camera and costumes often don’t cause any issues. But whether big or small, it’s always important to keep your pet’s needs first.

“The most important thing to consider when dressing your pet up for Halloween is safety,” says Dr. Louise Murray, vice president of the ASPCA Animal Hospital.

If you do decide to dress your pet up for Halloween this year, here are nine safety tips to keep in mind:

Be Aware of Stress
Dr. Murray highlights this as one of the major factors against dressing a pet up. “Watch out for any signs of stress or anxiety when you put a costume on your pet. If your pet hates her costume, don’t force her to wear it! A nice orange bandana or bow tie is a happy alternative to a full-fledged costume.”

If you have a pet that dislikes wearing items of clothing and acts impatient, annoyed, uncomfortable or unhappy, it could cause serious problems for your furry friend.

Don’t Limit Movements or Senses
“It’s crucial that any pet costume does not limit the animal’s movement, hearing, sight or ability to breathe, bark, eat, drink, urinate or defecate,” says Dr. Murray

Beware of Choking Hazards
Ribbons, frills, bow ties or other loose items around your pet’s neck might cause issues if it gets stuck. Always watch for these kinds of items and any potential choking hazards, like hanging beads or pieces that might fall off.

Stay Comfortable
If you notice something bothering your animal — scratchy material, too-tight shirts, swinging beads, floppy hats — adjust the costume.

Keep a Pet’s Head Free
You wouldn’t want a too-big hat covering your eyes or annoying beads hitting your face as you walk, so don’t put your pet through that.

Choose a Bright Color 
Your pet should wear brightly colored clothing, so oncoming vehicles or other people know it’s there.

Keep Your Dog Close
In crowded parade settings or areas heavily trafficked by trick-or-treaters, keep your dog on a short leash and don’t lose sight of your pet.?

Know ThatLess is More
Don’t overpower your pet with too many clothing items. If your pet seems too uncomfortable, stick to a simple ribbon or bandanna instead.

Display Proper ID
Always make sure your cats and dogs are wearing tags, especially during this time of year. “Halloween can be scary for our pets, and if a pet gets loose, they are much more likely to be returned back to you if they have an ID,” says Dr. Murray. Use a collar, tags or even a microchip to be assured your pet will find his way home.

There are so many options for pet owners to choose from at so many shops, but, when it comes to dressing up your pet, keep these safety tips in mind.

Chesterton Feed & Garden Centers Annual Trick or Treat for Pets, Pet Portraits, and Micro-Chipping Event 

On Saturday, Oct. 20, Chesterton Feed & Garden Center will hold their annual Trick or Treat for pets. Customers can bring their pet in costume to receive a treat bag full of goodies for both dogs and cats. From 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., pose with your pet and family for a Halloween photo printed and sent home with you same day! A $5 donation for each photo will go to Best Buddies Pet Pantry. In addition to the Halloween festivities, Dr. Mcafee from Mcafee Animal Hospital will be available from 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. to Micro-Chip your pets. The cost is $25 per pet and $5 of each micro-chipping will be donated to Best Buddies Pet Pantry.

“It is always great seeing community bring their pets into our store, whether they are in costume or just visiting our store. The costumes get more creative each year” says Chuck Roth, owner of Chesterton Feed & Garden Center.

Chesterton Feed & Garden Center has been a pet friendly store for over 40 year and enjoys seeing people inter-acting with their pets & other customers during their visits. And whether “Halloween” or not, Harriet always has special treats to give her furry friends.

Chesterton Feed & Garden Center is open year round. For more information call the Garden Center at 219-926-2790.

Best Pet Costume Contest 

Hobart Animal Clinic, 2650 Ind. 130 in Hobart will, hosts a best pet costume contest for pets from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27. Any pet is welcome as long as they have proper vaccinations and owners must provide proof at the door. There will be people snacks and doggie treats as well as prizes for the three best costumes. For more information call 219-947-4442.

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