- Keep it safe. Make sure outfits do not constrict breathing airways, vision, smell, or other critical functions. Pets rely on their senses to evaluate their world; if a costume cuts off their ability to detect what's around them, it could be very frightening for an unaware animal.
- Forget the couture, remember the comfort. High fashion might be important to some pet owners, but most pets care about comfort first. Make sure outfits and costumes are loose, breathable, and made from gentle materials. Outfits should be avoided when they are too tight, abrasive, or generally uncomfortable.
- Are they in the mood? Just like people, animals have specific temperaments. If your pet is antisocial or cranky, putting them in that cute Halloween costume just might push them over the edge and make them aggressive.
- Beware of zippers and pins. Zippers, pins, and other clothing elements can get caught in a pet's skin or fur, resulting in significant pain. Also, some pieces of clothing can be tempting for a pet to chew on, creating a possible choking hazard. Make sure your animal's outfit is safe from these potentially harmful items.
- Get pet-specific clothing. Many stores and manufacturers offer clothing that is designed specifically for dogs, cats, and other pets. These items tend to be safer and may not include elements that could be harmful or irritating to your animal.
"It's the holidays and most everyone wants to dress up and have fun." noted SEAACA Executive Director, Dan Morrison. "Pet owners should consider the animals' welfare first plus safety and comfort issues when they decide to include their pets in their holiday activities", he added.