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How to keep your pet safe and calm in a Halloween costume

Halloween is all about the eerie ambiance, trick-or-treating, and most importantly, the costumes. And it’s not just humans getting dressed up for the occasion. 

Pet costumes 

A growing trend in the US is dressing up pets, particularly dogs. However, a cautionary note has been raised by pet expert Christopher Masanto, co-founder and CEO of The PetLab Co., about keeping an eye on the comfort of our furry friends.

According to the National Retail Federation, this year’s national Halloween spend is expected to hit a record-high $12.2 billion, with $700 million projected to be spent on pet Halloween costumes. 

Comfort and safety 

With such increasing popularity in dressing up pets, it’s essential to prioritize their comfort and safety, taking measures to keep them from getting anxious and stressed.

“We all love seeing how adorable our dogs look dressed up in their costumes and its great owners think of their pets as part of the family,” said Masanto.

“However, some dogs may not feel the same love for their costumes as we do. Dressing up may even cause some of our pets to become stressed and anxious, especially if they’ve never worn anything similar before. They’ll be less spooky, and more spooked. 

Look for signs of stress

For those planning to include their pets in the festivities, Masanto offers guidance on signs of stress to watch out for: whimpering, excessive panting, rubbing or scratching. 

These could be signs of discomfort from the costume or sensory overload. If these signs are evident, it might be best to remove the costume and provide a calm environment for the pet. 

Establish a safe place

“To help calm your dog if they’re feeling uneasy, make sure they have an easily accessible safe place. This may be the room they sleep in or cuddled up on the couch under a blanket. You’ll want to ensure the place is quiet to allow your dog time to return to its usual happy state,” said Masanto.

“We love Halloween but we love our pets too and this way, we can ensure a safe and enjoyable Halloween for everyone!” 

Top dog costumes

Needing some last minute inspiration? By analyzing nationwide Google search data, PetLab Co. has identified the top 10 most searched-for Halloween dog costumes. 

Topping the list was Chucky, closely followed by an easy-to-DIY ghost costume. Other top dog costume searches included The Grinch, Scooby-Doo, Ewok, bats spiders, and dinosaurs.

Movie characters

From Darth Vader cats to Superman dogs, costumes inspired by popular movies and TV shows are a hit.

Classic Halloween characters

Think ghosts, witches, and skeletons. These timeless choices are always in style.


It’s always fun to dress a dog as a lion or a cat as a shark.

Food items

Dressing pets as tacos, hot dogs, or sushi rolls can be both hilarious and adorable.


With the popularity of superhero movies, many pets are seen sporting capes and masks.

Important considerations


Ensure that the costume doesn’t restrict movement, hearing, or breathing.


Avoid costumes with small, dangling, or easily chewable parts that a pet might ingest.


Not all pets like wearing costumes. Some might tolerate it, while others might become anxious and stressed.


Ensure the costume is appropriate for the weather. A thick costume might be too hot for some climates.

Helpful tips

Trial run

Before the big day, let your pet wear the costume to see how they react.

Stay supervised

Always supervise your pet while they’re in their costume.


Take photos early in the evening, so if your pet isn’t comfortable, they don’t have to stay in their costume all night.

DIY pet costumes

If you’re crafty, consider making a DIY costume for your pet. For instance, a simple bedsheet can turn your dog into a ghost, or a red cape can transform your cat into Little Red Riding Hood.

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