As Halloween is just around the corner, vets are urging dog owners not to dress up their furry friends this year as it could be “potentially harmful” for their pets. The advice comes as thousands of images and videos of animals dressed in Halloween costumes have been circulating the internet.
Social media users have taken to platforms such as Instagram and Tik-tok to show the world their cute pets dressed in spooky halloween costumes. But professionals are advising against the phenomenon.
The British Veterinary Association has issued the advice to remind dog owners that “pets are not fashion accessories” and changing a dog’s appearance is “unnecessary”. The organisation has also said that some costumes can even cause health implications for certain dog breeds.
Senior Vice President, Justine Shotton, said: “Dressing up animals or otherwise unnaturally changing their appearance is not only unnecessary and potentially harmful but in some cases can also prevent pets from expressing their natural behaviours and from using their body language to communicate.
“Some costumes may also prevent pets from regulating their body temperature properly and breathing freely, which is especially a concern for flat-faced dogs like French bulldogs and Pugs.’
Ms Shotton highlighted that Halloween can already be a stressful time for pets with familiar people looking different in costumes and masks and lots of unfamiliar people coming to the door. She said: “It’s always best to try to keep pets calm and reassured, rather than to add to any anxiety and discomfort by dressing them up too.”
Meanwhile, the RSPCA has information on its website about how to dress your dog ethically stating that some items of pet clothing have “clear benefits” like keeping them warm or aiding visibility at night. However, it says that a lot of the outfits and clothes that are available to buy are purely for “novelty value”.