Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Dressing your dog for Halloween can be fun for you, but it could be stressful for your dog unless you spend a little time getting your dog use to wearing a costume.
Suggestions for teaching your dog to wear a costume.
If your dog has never worn anything but a collar and leash, start the costume experience with a simple bandanna knotted around her neck. Put it on and praise her verbally and with treats.
Add a "cape" by tucking one end of a scarf or towel under her collar.
Next step is to slip a T-shirt over her head and gently place her front legs through the armholes. Tie a knot in the bottom hem of the T-shirt, so it does not trip her.
Each time you put a new garment on your dog, encourage her, with treats, to follow you around so she gets used to the feel of the costume.
Put each new item of clothing on her for just a few minutes, then take it off. Soon She will be happy wearing her duds for longer periods of time. Any time she seems to be getting uncomfortable, take the costume off and let her relax.
When choosing costumes for your dog, keep safety and comfort in mind. Avoid anything that might hinder vision, hearing, or movement. Choose costumes that are fairly easy to put on and take off, with no dangling accessories she might swallow if she chews on them. If the costume extends out to the sides at all, making your dog wider than normal, walk her around furniture and other obstacles to get used to her new size.
Never leave your dog unattended when she is wearing a costume. She might decide to chew her way out of it or get it caught on something and panic.