Dressing up your pets in clothing can be fun, and is a neat way for your pet to participate in costuming events like Halloween. Some pet parents, however, hate the idea of pets being dressed up and feel it's unsafe. If you're wondering which side is right, the easy answer is both! If you want to dress up your pet but are afraid of hurting them, or you feel that dressing up pets is irresponsible, here is how to safely dress up your pet without endangering them.

For Fun

The bottom line is, clothing on pets can be fun, but it's definitely not natural. Pets should only be dressed up for special occasions and photo shoots, rather than being left in their clothing all day long. The only exception to this rule is if your dog or cat is a hairless breed and is genuinely too cold. In this case, talk with your vet to determine what variety of clothing is safest for your pet's condition, and is manufactured to be worn all day long.

Additionally, don't fret about pet harnesses or anxiety vests that are intended to calm a pet during a stressful situation. While you should always follow the directions that come with these products, they're intended for longer wear, and should be safe.

The Dangers of Clothing

Dressing up your pet can be fun in moderation, but you should always keep the following considerations in mind. This simple checklist can help you to keep your cute and fun outfits from turning into an unpleasant situation for your pet, or even a health hazard.

  • Tightness - Pet clothing should fit comfortably, with enough looseness for your pet to be able to breathe and move around easily. However, don't choose clothing that's so loose that they can become tangled up in it, or accidentally step out of the leg holes.
  • Material & The Weather - Always dress your pet in clothing that's made of lightweight and breathable material, like cotton or rayon. While pets don't sweat, extra layers can still make them overheat, causing discomfort or even heat stroke. Additionally, never dress up your pet when it's hot, or when you intend to leave them in a car or other hot place.
  • Supervision - You should never leave your pet alone while they're dressed up. They can become stuck, tangled, or panicked, and those clothes can suddenly become a choking hazard. If you need to step out for a moment, take their clothes off first; they can always go back on later.
  • Choking Hazards - Many reputable companies make pet clothing that's well-designed and safe, but not every piece of clothing intended for pets is necessarily safe. Avoid clothing with studs, rhinestones, buckles, or anything else that could come off and become a choking hazard. Furthermore, never buy clothing intended for human children to use on pets; they're not designed for a pet's proportions, and may be uncomfortable or worse.

Dressing up pets is fun and amusing, but it can potentially be dangerous, as well. While it's up to each individual pet owner to decide whether they want to dress up their pet, this guide can help you to avoid the dangers of irresponsible pet dress-up. Click here to get a vet's opinion.