Trick or treating with your pet – good idea or not?

Dressing up your pet for Halloween seems to becoming a fad that is not going away very quickly. Major retail stores are now selling costumes for dogs and cats. But does that mean that your dog or cat will go along with the idea?

Let me tell you a little story about a small dog my daughter had when she was growing up. The little Jack Russell was the perfect size for donning whatever my daughter in mind that her dog should wear. The at home dress up sessions were taken in stride by her little dog. One year she wanted to dress up as Dorothy of the Wizard of Oz fame and her dog was to be Toto to go trick or treating.

Normally her dog was pretty bold and was never timid out in public. That personality trait was about to be tested.

Halloween night is often scary to very small children whom have never experienced it with older siblings. Just imagine how a dog feels when confronted with humans dressed up in weird garb and often running all over the neighborhood. My daughter’s dog, whom nothing bothered her during the daylight hours was on the end of a leash when she first saw the trick or treating crowd of children. She was terrified and was trying to hide as best she could by lower herself to the ground and looking for something to crawl under. This went on for the first few houses visited until I stepped in, picked her up and took her away from the crowds. I had to carry her the rest of the trick or treating trip. Although she seemed to settle down in my arms, when I put her down on the ground she would sink to her belly again and cower.

That was the first and last time we ever took a dog trick or treating with us. It was just too traumatic for the dog.



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