a small dog in a party hat

Although they are always adorable, pet costumes are not always a safe or comfortable idea for your dog. Our Village West animal hospital came up with a few tips and tricks to ensure your dog is safe and at ease when wearing a costume:

How to Spot Signs of Stress

Playing dress up is not worth making your dog feel uncomfortable for more than the few minutes it should take for a brief photo shoot of the silliness. If you’re dressing up your dog and it’s panting more than usual, has its ears pinned back, or is pacing, then your dog is probably not feeling too comfortable in the costume you’ve provided. It’s important you realize these cues in the early stages so you have an opportunity to find a better costume before your pooch becomes aggressive and unforgiving.

How to Spot Signs of Comfort

If your dog remains calm after being dressed in the crazy costume you’ve selected, then his or her ears will be pointed semi-erect and forward. Eyes may appear soft and rounded, maybe even a bit closed. If no sign of the costume battle persists, then it’s safe to say your dog may enjoy the fancy new outfit, or at least be displaying casual indifference!

Tips to Help Your Dog Feel Comfortable

Some dogs will never approve of any costume you’ve selected, but many will tolerate a costume just fine if you keep it reasonable! Follow these guidelines when you’re dressing up your dog:

  • Make sure your dog can move freely and the costume is not too tight.
  • Never put anything on their face that could restrict breathing or injure an eye.
  • Keep the costume lightweight and loose for optimal comfort.
  • If your dog shows aggression towards any particular part of the outfit, try removing that one part to see how your dog reacts to the rest.

Your pet’s health and comfort is our number one priority at Village West Veterinary animal hospital. If you ever have a concern about your pet’s anxiety, please call us at Village West Vet, (773)-697-7052.