How to Prevent Halloween from Becoming a Scary Time for your Pet

Bivvy

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September 10, 2020

This Halloween might look a little different from others, because…2020. But we, along with Bivvy pet parents everywhere, are grateful to have things to look forward to in these (ahem, pardon us as we say it again) *unprecedented times*. All Hallows’ Eve, that most haunting of holidays, definitely qualifies as something to look forward to and break up the time.

Being the savvy bunch of pet parents you are, you’ve probably already thought of this, but a refresher course is never a bad thing. Read on to brush up on Halloween safety tips for your beloved furry friend, including how to safely costume them, plus how to keep associated costs of Halloween fun from becoming exorbitant!

Making Your Own Pet Costume

If you want to costume your pet this Halloween and you’re the crafty type, you can avoid a lot of expense by making a simple costume at home.

You know those lion-mane-wearing dog videos that make their rounds on social media? Why not crochet a mane instead of buying one? Putting a mane on a light-colored dog like a Golden Retriever or Yellow Lab, or a tiny one on the orange or buff distant-lion-cousin living in your home, makes for a fairly believable and humorous look. Have a photo shoot, make a fun video, or make your family members or trick-or-treaters do a double take.

For your small dogs, or perhaps cats, you can repurpose an unwanted stuffed animal by doing a little cutting, stuffing removal, and re-assembly. See tutorial here.

Or how about a super-sized beanie baby? All you’ll need for that one is to either print out, or design your own, big “ty” tag and affix it to your critter’s collar.

Inexpensive Places to Buy a Pet Costume

In today’s pet-crazed culture, you’d be hard-pressed to spend ten minutes on the internet without bumping into an ad for, or photo of, a pet costume or accessory. They’re in high demand, they’re everywhere, and an inexpensive but quality one is not at all hard to find.

Check your local pet store, or search for pet boutiques in your area, as the prices there would probably not be much higher than if you were to order your pet’s Halloween costume online. But if the convenience of online ordering is what you’re looking for, all the places you’d think to look have huge, low-cost selections. Most prices across the board are in the teens and twenties.

There are also tons of options for individual pieces that can be a costume, or the essence of a costume, all on their own, like Yoda or Minnie Mouse ears and festive collars. These are generally cheaper, often in the single digits. Dressing animals up for Halloween would have been unbelievable not long ago, but these days, whether you’re after a full-on character costume from a show or movie, or something simple like bat wings, affordable pet costumes are everywhere.

Halloween Safety Tips for Pets

If you do plan on costuming your furry friend, we at Bivvy recommend that you get them acquainted with the costume, or test the idea out on them to see if it’s a-go, well ahead of Halloween night. See how your pet likes the costume. Build a positive association with it, for example by giving them some of their very favorite treats while you’re doing their initial fittings and fashion shows.

It’s a staunch no-go if the costume is in any way hampering your dog or cat’s breathing, sight, hearing, opening of their mouth, or movement, in any way. Don’t force it. If the costume does seem to be restricting them, or if they don’t care for it, consider taking just a quick picture of them in it and then taking the costume off, rather than leaving it on for hours. And even if they do take kindly to it, never let them be unsupervised while costumed. Consider having (or just opting for in lieu of a costume) on hand something less invasive like a festive bandana if the costume doesn’t go over well.

And on a non-costume note, remember to of course keep your furry little one away from your trick-or-treat stash. While you may know chocolate and xylitol are awful for your pet, there can be a lot of distracting hubbub on October 31, between costuming and photographing your human children, watching spooky movies, and greeting trick-or-treaters. Make sure there’s no way your dog or cat can get into your candy stash. Empty wrappers floating around also can be intriguing to them and can lead to choking.

And speaking of greeting trick-or-treaters, make sure your pet is microchipped and/or wearing a collar with a tag that displays your contact information, in case they make a run for it in the midst of all the door-opening and -closing. Pets can quickly become disoriented out in the world amidst the unusual sights and sounds of the night.

You’ll also want to watch your décor. If you’re the candles in your jack-o-lanterns type, be mindful of your pet around the live flame. Watch them around decorations’ cords, and other décor like plastic spiders and cobwebs, pieces on kids’ costumes (or their own!) that could fall off and be seen as a chew toy.

And…pssst…do you know what all the savvy Bivvy pet parents know? That for $15/month, regardless of your pet’s breed, size, or age, you can have simple, affordable pet insurance that covers accidents, surgery, hospitalization, prescription medicine, emergency care, x-rays, and more?

So from all of us at Bivvy, have a happy—albeit 2020-brand-of-weird—Halloween with your family and your pets. Keep the tips above in mind, and be sure to have dog health insurance, or cat health insurance, in place before the big night, so in case you have an unforeseen accident involving your furry friend and a costume or piece of candy, you can take them to *any* vet and have your Bivvy insurance cover it. Happy haunting!

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