Is It Safe to Dress Your Dog in a Holiday Costume?


Let’s be honest: Costumes are for you, not your dog. It can be hard to resist cute outfits during the holiday season, but it’s important to remember that they prevent dogs from fully communicating with other pups and humans. Dogs use signals from their tail, ears, hair, and even body positioning to speak.

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Placing articles of clothing on your dog can even give them a feeling of being dominated, which can cause them to freeze in position until you take off the items. Also, pet costumes like antlers are cute, but are they safe? Sometimes they’re not. If you must put a costume on your pet, make sure it doesn’t pose a choking or tripping hazard.

If you insist on dressing your dog up, here are a few helpful tips.

  • When putting a costume on your dog, use treats to make it a positive experience.
  • Only leave the costume on for a short period of time, such as two to four minutes.
  • Be sure your dog seems comfortable and is not struggling to remove the item.
  • Always supervise your pet while they are wearing clothes or costumes.

Check out my video for more tips:

[brightcove videoID=5467460241001 playerID=HJNwsLuMW height=400 width=700]


About the author: Travis Brorsen is one of the most sought after dog trainers in America today and is Founder of Greatest American Dog Trainers. In 2008, Travis and his 14-month old, highly energetic and untrained boxer, Presley, won the grueling 12 week CBS’ national dog training competition, Greatest American Dog. As a result of the show, Travis discovered he had a passion to help other dogs and their owners create similar positive learning and relationship building experiences. Today, Travis and his Greatest American Dog Trainers team specializes in basic and advanced obedience, dog health and fitness training, as well as behavioral issues. For more information, please go to

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