Searches for ‘dog Halloween costumes’ are up by 1150% in the last week
Our four-legged friends might look adorable in a spider costume or dressed up as Frankenstein this Halloween, but Head Vet at tails.com Sean McCormack, has warned that certain fabrics can be irritating and itchy to the skin and restrict movement for your dog.
Below, we’ve asked Sean to share which fabrics should be avoided this spooky season, how to recognise the signs of skin irritation and when clothing fits your dog incorrectly to ensure your pet is happy and safe this Halloween.
Head Vet Sean McCormack at tails.com shared his insight on the matter:
“With Halloween fast approaching, it can be more tempting than ever to dress up your furry friend and get them to pose for a photo. As cute as it might look on Instagram, many dogs do not enjoy wearing fancy dress, while others may be irritated by certain fabrics the clothes are made from. It’s not just allergic reactions to fabrics that can be an issue, rubbing and restricting movement can also irritate your dog”
Which fabrics should I avoid when buying a costume for my dog?
“One of the main offenders is wool. While luxurious for most humans, wool can be very irritating for dogs. Wool might seem like a good, warm choice for a dog when taking them trick or treating with you, but for pups with sensitive skin, it can cause itching and discomfort.
Another fabric that might cause irritation is nylon. While nylon is a very commonly used fabric, canines who are allergic can experience itchy and inflamed skin. If your pet has toys, blankets, and collars made from nylon, a Halloween costume should also be safe.
Faux fur can be hugely itchy for certain dogs. While it is great for keeping humans warm, there is a risk of it being incredibly irritating for dogs. It could also cause dogs with thicker coats to overheat, as they are, essentially, already wearing an insulated coat.
A less obvious fabric is that of cotton blends. If an item of doggy clothing isn’t crafted from 100% pure cotton, it is usually woven with polyester or nylon – which can cause your dogs to itch.
Finally, we have feathers. If a Halloween costume party is on the horizon for you and your pooch, then feathers are a definite no-go. As well as presenting a potential choking hazard, feathers can be extremely irritating for dogs.
Even if feathers are not in direct contact with your dog’s skin, a costume filled with goose down could also present the same problem. Due to this, you should always check what outdoor dog clothes are stuffed with.”
What are the signs of a dog having an allergic reaction to fabric?
“If your dog is irritated or, worse, having an allergic reaction to a certain type of material, there are always signs you can look out for:
If your pooch starts to present any of the more serious signs of irritation or a reaction, such as swelling, baldness, cuts or even infections, you must take them to a vet.
In order to avoid any unnecessary stress for your furry friend, we would recommend only dressing your dogs in clothes made from pure cotton. When deciding whether or not to dress your pooch up this Halloween, you should always prioritise their happiness and well-being. Certain dogs find wearing any sort of additional clothing extremely uncomfortable and stressful, and the feeling of annoyance can be difficult to recognise.
When making the decision, check whether your dog can move freely in the clothing. The clothing should not restrict their movement in any way – they should be able to eat, breathe, drink, and visit the toilet easily.
Make sure your dog is not wearing clothing for a long period of time. If they start to show signs of distress, remove the outfit immediately.
When the heating’s on and the house is crowded, your home can become hot and uncomfortable for your dog. If your dog has a warm jumper on, they may overheat quickly. It’s important to monitor the temperature of your home and pet, if they start to display signs of overheating, including panting and salivation then it’s a clear sign your dog is uncomfortable.
It can be difficult to read your dog’s body language, but there are key signs to recognise if your pet feels irritated when wearing clothing, including; they have their tail tucked between their legs, rubbing against furniture or excessive licking.
If your pet is wearing a fun Halloween costume, then they shouldn’t be left unattended near potential hazards including a fire. Check before dressing your pets up in fancy dress that the surrounding environment can’t cause any harm to your pet, or that the clothing itself fits correctly and won’t cause injury from snagging or discomfort.”
City Dog Expert is Europe’s number one resource for urban dogs.
As featured in Wall Street Journal, New York Press,
The Sun, Chicago Tribune & Financial Times