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The most spooktacular day of the year is creeping up on us, have you started looking for your dog’s Halloween costume yet?!

It seems like dog Halloween costumes get more creative every year. But, sometimes creativity can go too far when it comes to our furry friends. Here are some helpful things to keep in mind as you plan for your pet’s costumed cameos. 

H2: Things to Remember When Dressing Your Dog Up

  1. Check your dog’s Halloween costume for hazards.
    Your dog may think his or her new costume is a new chew toy. Make sure it is made from non-toxic materials and that there aren’t any small pieces that your dog could swallow. 
  2. Ensure a healthy range of movement.

Your dog’s Halloween costume shouldn’t limit his or her range of movement. Make sure they can walk, bark, see, and hear clearly while wearing the costume.

  1. Have a dress rehearsal!
    Don’t wait until the big day to put your dog’s Halloween costume on for the first time. Give your pet a chance to get used to the costume with a test run. You can add positive associations with the costume by rewarding your pet with treats while he or she wears the outfit. Plus, you get an extra opportunity for that perfect social media snap!
  2. Make a plan for movement.
    Your dog might not understand that he or she can still move while wearing a costume. Use treats or commands to demonstrate that he or she can still walk and move while wearing the costume. 
  3. Finally, if your dog doesn’t like it, don’t do it.
    While dog Halloween costumes are often very cute, they aren’t a tool for obedience. “Sit” and “stay” are basic parts of a dog’s training. Wearing a costume is not. If your dog shows signs of distress or looks uncomfortable, ditch the costume. 

Halloween is Monday, October 31! If you want to dress your pet up this year, start looking for a dog Halloween costume now, so your pet has plenty of time to get used to it. We also recommend having an alternative to a dog Halloween costume just in case they get stage fright. Try a Halloween-themed collar, bandana, or leash if a dog costume is stressful for them.

But whatever you decide, we’d love to see what you and your pet are wearing this Halloween! Join our pet parent community Ruffly Speaking, and let us know your spooky plans for the season. 

Founded by world-renowned The Dog Gurus, Ruffly Speaking is a membership community that offers real-time training exercises, insider information on the latest dog products and food, and access to some of the most experienced dog trainers and pet professionals around. 

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Robin Bennett is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, author, speaker, and expert on dogs. She founded one of the largest dog training companies in Virginia and for the last 30 years has been using her expertise in "reading dogs" to teach families how to train their pets as well as helping others in the pet care industry keep dogs safe.

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Susan Briggs is a Certified Professional Animal Care Operator, author, speaker, and pet care business expert. As co-founder of The Dog Gurus, she brings over 18 years of experience in the pet industry with 12 years as co-owner and operator of a successful dog daycare, lodging, grooming, and training business in Houston, Texas.

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