This festive season, you might want to re-think dressing your dog or cat in costume. By Dawn Chen
While it’s heaps of fun to play dress up and get into costume, your dog or cat might think otherwise. Yes, your pup looks adorable in his little tuxedo costume, and your cat is darling in her little get-up, but the wrong costume can be dangerous for your pets. Here, heed these tips from the ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) on how to keep your furry friend safe during dress-ups.
1. No forcing
No matter how much you love the costume you bought, don’t put it on your dog or cat if they resist. Forcing an animal into a costume can stress it.
2. Pick the right getup
The costume should not restrict the animal’s movement or hearing, and should not hinder its ability to breathe, bark or meow. In other words, if the costume is making your pet wheeze or walk funny, take it off.
3. Avoid adornments
Check that the costume doesn’t have small, dangling or easily detachable pieces like streamers or pompoms. Pets can mistake these choking hazards for toys, and if the items get stuck on furniture, they could cause an injury.
4. Place it well
The costume should hug your pet around its chest and shoulders, not its throat. Make sure the costume can easily be removed too in case your dog or cat starts panicking.
5. Watch out for your pet
Keep an extra close eye on your dog or cat when they have the costume on. If it shows signs of fear or stress (such as shivering, pawing the ground and moving abnormally), undress it immediately. Chuck the costume for the rest of the night too and let your pet strut around in its birthday suit!