If you remember back to earlier this year, we talked about how the RSPCA was kindly asking Aussie animal owners to be a bit smarter when it came to Christmas and Halloween dog costumes, clothes, and other trendy lil’ numbers.

Well, now that it’s getting scarily close to Halloween, the RSPCA has given some solid, smart guidelines for the most humane way to get your pup (and maybe your moggy if they don’t mind) looking perfect for those dress-up parties.

Now we’re not saying that you can’t get your best four-legged mate in on the dress up action for parties, playdates, and park runs, but there are definitely things to be mindful of so that everyone can enjoy themselves.

Us humans need to remember that our animal pals don’t have the ability to talk, so they use body language when they’re feeling uncomfortable or they’re just really not stoked with being dressed up as a bumblebee so keeping an eye on their behaviour when we introduce the idea of a cute little outfit helps to make sure they’re not extremely cheesed-off about it all.

So keep these handy tips from the RSPCA in mind when you’re choosing a dress-up for your furry friend.

How To Pick A Humane Halloween Dog Costume According To The RSPCA

1. Make Sure The Snoot Can Be Booped

This means you want to make sure your pet’s nose and mouth aren’t covered by fabric or any other part of the costume. Obviously, it restricts their ability to eat snacks and drink water, but halloween dog costumes that cover the head also makes breathing difficult.

That feeling of claustrophobia when you’ve got your whole face under a blanket or doona is definitely something that doesn’t feel nice, so think about that when you’re considering dressing your pooch up like Bane.

humane dog costumes for fancy dress

2. Keep Those Peepers Free

Everybody wants to know where they’re going, so don’t let your little mate’s eyes get covered over with their snazzy new fit. They say the eyes are the window to the soul, so make sure you take a good look at your pet’s eyes when they’re in the costume – if they’re showing signs of distress like their eyes are as wide as bloody dinner plates, it’s pretty obvious they don’t feel good in that little cowboy costume you’ve put them in.

humane dog costumes for fancy dress

3. Don’t Be A Tightass, Or A Loosey Goosey

No, it doesn’t mean don’t go for the cheap option of Christmas or halloween dog costumes – it’s all about sizing and making sure you get that right. Just as you wouldn’t wear an outfit that you’re swimming in or struggling to squeeze into, your pets should be the same.

Make sure you’re choosing a dress-up outfit for them that gives them ample room to run around without restriction or overheating, but isn’t so loose that they’ll trip over it or get it caught on anything.

humane dog costumes for fancy dress

4. Keep It Simple, Stupid

Elaborate dog costumes might look amazing and get you a shitload of likes on your Instagram (or your pet’s insta, if you’re that kind of person), but you gotta make sure your floofer mate can do normal animal things, like running, walking, lounging around, scratching themselves, and going to the loo.

Gotta remember that your buddy doesn’t have opposable thumbs to pull pants down, so it doesn’t even matter what way a dog would wear pants.

humane dog costumes for fancy dress

5. Stay Away From Chomp-able Bits

Much like curious toddlers, animals will absolutely put anything that fits into their mouths right in their gob. Think about all the other times you’ve had to sternly tell them to spit out whatever they’ve monched on when they’ve looked at you with something VERY CLEARLY IN THEIR MOUTHS.

That means don’t go buying dog costumes covered in dangly sparkly things. Don’t dress your pooch like a Christmas tree with baubles. Don’t bloody put them in an outfit that they can very easily chomp and probably choke on. Pretty simple stuff.

humane dog costumes for fancy dress

6. Don’t Put A Pin In It

This one’s pretty obvious, but make sure your dog costumes do not have any safety pins or other pointy, jabby bits that could seriously hurt your mate. Nobody likes to be pricked with an awkward pin every time they move, and it’s really dangerous for your pet to be exposed to sharp objects, in case they think it’s some weird shiny treat (please see above on the whole monch thing).

humane dog costumes for fancy dress

It’s all common sense, really. Whatever you wouldn’t like to happen to you is proooobably going to be the same for your pup. And if in doubt about putting your best mate in Chrissy or Halloween dog costumes, best to just not do it at all.

Source: RSPCA Australia Knowledgebase
Image: Getty Images / Edward Berthelot