Most pet owners enjoy dressing up their pets for Halloween in costumes that are funny or cute, but some pets like dressing up more than others. If your dog is hesitant to put on his costume- don’t worry! You can get your dog to wear a Halloween costume, too. Our simple guide will teach you how to get even the most finicky of dogs to put on a costume and enjoy the holiday!
1. Pick A Costume Your Pet Likes
The first step is to pick a costume that your dog will like. If your dog is finicky about costumes, then you probably want a simple costume that doesn't impede his range of motion. A lion mane or jester collar can provide the perfect costume for dogs that are averse to bulky costumes. If your dog is more amenable to dressing up, you can spring for a more elaborate costume like this raptor costume or this octopus costume.
And check out our video supplement to this guide to watch us put these helpful tips into action! Watch with your dog so he can see that dressing up can be fun for the whole family!
2. Get Your Pet Used To Wearing His Costume
Don't wait until the last minute to put on his costume. Start training him a few weeks before Halloween, if possible. Make sure to repeat these steps and to gradually increase his comfort level by increasing the time he is exposed to the costume.
3. Give Lots Of Praise
Make him as comfortable as possible before bringing out the costume. This can be done easily by rewarding him with some delicious tasty treats as you're training him so that he will have a positive association with his costume.
4. Let Your Pet Sniff It Out
Bring out the costume and lay it down next to him and let him connect with the costume. If your dog goes on the costume and stands on it or starts sniffing the costume, it generally means that he likes it. This doesn't mean that he'll wear it right away- but it's a good indication that you stand a chance of getting him to enjoy wearing it. Don't worry if he doesn't approach the costume, as it may take some time.
5. Get Your Pet Used To Being Near The Costume
Once your dog seems comfortable around the costume, drape the costume over him for a few seconds while rewarding him with a treat. Don't strap anything on yet- just get him used to the idea of the costume being placed atop him. Repeat this step several times, putting it on and taking it off, to help him learn to like the costume before moving on. Be sure to praise him with some encouragement and treats intermittently as you extend the periods in which the costume is atop your dog.
6. Dress ‘Em Up!
This time, when you strap on the costume, try to distract him with something entertaining by bringing his attention elsewhere. Praise your dog with confidence and more treats by telling him that he's a good boy. Make sure the costume fits your dog comfortably so that your dog is able to move around freely.
7. Be Patient, Let Your Pet Get Used To Wearing His Costume
Don't just put on the costume on your pet and expect him to like it. It might take some time for some dogs to like their costumes. Keep these training sessions short and simple. Don't try to fight your dog into wearing it, because you won't win. Patience is the key to getting your dog to wear his costume since you want to make this as fun and entertaining for your dog as possible.