With Halloween coming up, it’s the right time to find the perfect costume for your pet. However, dressing up your pet could cause a few problems. What happens if your dog absolutely hates the costume, and they end up shaking and shimming their way out of it?
The answer is quite simple, prep your pet and desensitize them to the costume before they wear it for Halloween. If you follow these few simple steps, your pooch can proudly prance in their Halloween costume, and be comfortable while doing so!
1. Don’t force your dog to put on the costume the first time you present it to them. Start easy, present the costume to the dog with food on top of it. This gives the dog a positive introduction to the costume without being too invasive. Leave the costume on the floor or somewhere your dog can approach it freely and continue to reward them with food for any interaction with the costume. If they sniff it or approach it on their own, feed them. If you can get to the point where your dog sticks their head in the costume, that would be wonderful! They should be greatly rewarded for this behavior.
2. Put your dog’s costume on for short periods of time once they grow comfortable around it. A great time to put the costume on would be when your pooch is about to eat dinner. When putting the costume over your dog’s head, always make sure you lure them and reward them with treats. Putting on a costume can be stressful for your dog, so do everything possible in order keep the experience positive. If you have a toy motivated dog, you can put the dog’s costume on and play with them.
3. Reward, reward, reward. Once your dog gets used to wearing the costume for short time periods, you can start leaving it on for longer periods of time. Remember to always supervise your dog when they are wearing their costume. You never know what they could choose to eat off their costume or whether or not they may get stuck and hurt themselves.
Be sure to recognize when the costume is not working. Don’t force your dog to wear something that they absolutely hate. If you try to get your dog acclimated to a costume and they still can’t seem to stand wearing it, don’t force them to wear it for your own satisfaction.
Remember to be safe and always watch over on your pooch on Halloween. Halloween can be fun and adorable for your dog, but all the activity can be scary and rambunctious, so keep an eye on your dog while you have trick-or-treaters.