Animal charity warns against dressing dogs up in Halloween costumes

29 October 2018, 13:43 | Updated: 3 October 2019, 09:03

fancy dress dog costume
fancy dress dog costume. Picture: getty creative

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home have spoken out on the damage that fancy dress costumes can do to dog behaviour

Pet owners who dress their dogs up for Halloween have been criticised by Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.

While costumes can be ridiculously cute, they can also hinder your canine pal's ability to use body language to communicate.

Chloe Jackson, Canine and Behaviour Training Manager at Battersea, said: "We certainly don't want to spoil the fun of Halloween for anyone and we want to make sure pets enjoy the day too.

"Not every dog is comfortable with a lot of handling and some will become very stressed if you try to put them in a costume - particularly if dressing them up involves forcing their legs into sleeves or putting something on their head."

It's thought that blocking the dog's ears could impact its ability to communicate
It's thought that blocking the dog's ears could impact its ability to communicate. Picture: Getty

She added: "Once they're dressed, even the most confident dog can be scared if the outfit is constricting their movement or covering their face."

Speaking to the Telegraph, the trainer then suggested using a festive bandana or collar could be a fun alternative that won't restrict your dog's communication.

Chloe explained: "Dogs use body language particularly their ears and tails, to express their feelings - so putting them in extravagant costumes can limit their natural behaviour and they could end up looking confusing or frightening to other dogs."