Categorized | Costumes

So what’s your pet going to be for Halloween this year? This is the question being asked around dog parks everywhere during October. And notice, to be politically correct, the question isn’t limited to dogs anymore; people now dress up their cats, rats, parrots and any other creature that shares their home.

The pet clothing business has become a multimillion-dollar industry lately with Halloween being the busiest time of the year. Even those who don’t embarrass their dogs on a daily basis by dressing them in little outfits get caught up in the frenzy of Halloween and all the ads pushing cute (and not so cute) costumes. You can find special and unique outfits at Web sites such as costumecraze.com, spoiledrottendoggies.com (go on, admit your dog is spoiled!), and bestfriendsgeneralstore.com. Even mainstream stores such as Target are getting into the market with a dog Santa suit or elf outfit.

What really made me laugh is the line of dog clothing armoires being sold. I don’t know why I was surprised to see the extensive collection (check out www.thefind.com/crafts/info-dog-armoire). I guess if you have a different outfit for your dog for every day of the week (month?), you would need a place to hang up his clothes. They are beautifully constructed pieces of furniture and would make any dog proud, that’s for sure.

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Back to costumes. If your dog is not used to being dressed up and you want him to wear something, you’d better start now to acclimate your dog or you will be mighty disappointed come Oct. 31. You can’t just throw a cape on a dog who has never seen one before and expect instant cooperation – these things take time and probably a package (or two) of hot dogs (otherwise known as bribery or, in dog training lingo, behavior re-enforcers). With enough treats you might cajole your dog to sit still in costume at least long enough to snap one decent photo.

Besides being just plain embarrassing, Halloween does pose some real issues for our pets. All that candy laying around can be very tempting for some dogs – and chocolate contains a chemical that is toxic to dogs. Even if the chocolate doesn’t get them, all the sugar and caffeine will certainly make Fido one sick puppy, so be sure to keep your stash of candy out of reach of your dog.

Some dogs, even really nice ones, can get freaked out at the unusual looking creatures that are roaming the night. No one looks like they are suppose to and with the doorbell ringing and all the excitement in the air, it wouldn’t take much for a dog to get overly excited or defensive and accidentally nip. Be sure to keep your pets away from the door so that doesn’t happen, and let’s keep this holiday safe for everyone, even your “wiener” dog dressed as a hotdog. Poor thing!

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