Tips for Safely Dressing Small Pets for Spooky Season, from PetSmart

This Halloween, PetSmart is offering spooky costumes and safety tips for small pets, so every guinea pig, rabbit and bearded dragon can join in on the fun.

Whether you’re getting ready to dress your small pet or reptile, PetSmart will do anything for your pets and has a variety of costumes for each species.

PetSmart carries cute costumes for small pets like a unicorn or ladybug costume and carries other fun costumes like a dragon, pumpkin and even a cowboy.

Pet parents of reptiles like bearded dragons also have a variety of costume options and can dress their pet up like a pumpkin, shark, biker, clown and even a stegosaurus!

After finding the perfect look, PetSmart’s Resident Veterinarian, Dr. Gregory Costanzo, says that pet parents should take specific precautions to ensure that small pets and reptiles are safe in Halloween costumes.

“At PetSmart, we love to see pet parents involving their pets in celebrations like Halloween,” said Costanzo. “The bottom line is, when dressing up any kind of pet, pet parents should take it slow and watch for any negative reactions to ensure pets are happy and safe.”

Tips for Dressing up Small Pets & Reptiles in Halloween Costumes

Find a good fit. Ensure your pet’s costume is not uncomfortable or interfering with their movements. Costumes should not cover their eyes or nose and should not be too tight.

Use treats. Costanzo recommends using treats to let pets know that dressing up can be fun. “Positive reinforcement has been shown to work with small animals when doing basic training,” he said. “This could help your pet get more comfortable with clothing.” 

Do not to leave pets unattended in their ensemble. Pet parents should always directly supervise their small pets and reptiles while wearing costumes or clothing to ensure they are comfortable and safe.

Watch for signs of stress. For small pets like guinea pigs, Costanzo says signs of stress would include increased respiratory rate (breathing), hunched posture, closed eyes, tooth grinding, pinning their ears back, increased vocalization, aggression or attempting to physically remove the costume from themselves.

For reptiles, signs of stress may include increased respiratory rate (breathing), closed eyes, aggression or attempting to remove the costume from themselves.

Be gentle during photo opps. “Small pets like guinea pigs are easily startled by bright lights and loud noises, meaning pet parents should be careful taking photos,” Costanzo said. “Avoid using the flash and make sure your pet is comfortable being the star of your photoshoot before you start taking pictures.”

For more information, including PetSmart’s Halloween collection, visit petsmart.com/halloween.

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