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How to Choose Best Halloween Costumes for Pets and Teach your Pet to Wear Them

Updated on September 28, 2010
dog halloween costume, patriciaegreene, morguefile
dog halloween costume, patriciaegreene, morguefile

While Halloween is mostly a celebration revolving around humans, many cat or dog owners may feel tempted to invite their four legged friends to join in the festivity as well. While Rover and Fluffy may look cure in some Halloween costumes it must be remembered that they are pets and do not really understand the concept of ''dressing up''. It is  therefore part of human's mentality to anthropomorphizepets attributing them human characteristics which are only fruit of imagination.

Having that said, if as a dog owner or cat owner you really want to dress up your four legged friend in order to entertain your guests, keep it simple and make sure your pet accepts getting dressed up with not much fuss. Do not insist if your pet literally hates getting dressed up, be respectful and pass on the idea to your kids or human friends which understand the concept better.

How to Get Your Cat or Dog to put on a Costume

Not many cats will put up with wearing a costume. Many mellow ones may allow you to dress them up, but once they figure out how uncomfortable the suit is, they will walk away in an awkward manner or even literally run away and search for a place to hide. Chances of success are much higher if the costume does not impair movement. Be always kind and gentle when dressing up your cat and give out a treat for collaborating. If after wearing the costume, the cat looks comfortable, then perhaps he or she will take well dressing up for this Halloween.

Dogs are a different story. They are much easier to dress up than cats. Some dogs may also look like they appreciate dressing up. This may attributed to the fact that they have associated good things with being dressed up. These are often attention seeking dogs who love the commotion they get upon walking down the street.

To teach your dog to accept the costume teach him that great things happen when he wears it. Always give a treat upon putting on the costume, but never give a treat upon taking it off. You can also clicker train a dog to learn to accept the costume by clicking and treating every time you start the process of dressing him or her up.

One important rule is to be gentle and talk in soothing positive voice when dressing your pet. Do not rush or worse, scold your pet for not collaborating. This will cause your pet to not like the process of being dressed up. Positive associations need to happen. Your dog or cat will always get rewards under the form of treats and attention upon dressing up . With time, some dogs may even come running to you upon getting the costume out and ready to be worn.

The Best Costumes for Your Pet

So if you really must, make sure your dog or cat accepts well the costume and do not force him or her to do something that he or she doesn't like or appreciate. As already mentioned, find a costume that does not impair movement and will not cause your dog or cat to move awkwardly.

If your pet seems to accept costumes well you may go with something fancy, just make your pet's comfort and well being top priority. If worse comes to worse, you can always let your pet wear a decorative collar or a bandanna if the costume is not tolerated.


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