By: Home Sewing Expert, Kimberli MacKay from Brother International, the leading supplier of innovative products for the home sewing enthusiast.
According to the United Federation of Retailers, over 23 million Americans will dress up their pets this Halloween and spend over $300 million doing it, but there is a cheaper, more original alternative, and that is DIY. Using online sites like Instagram and iBroidery for costume ideas and pet friendly patterns, you can save time and money. Then use the guidelines below to make sure your pet enjoys a safe and comfortable all hallows eve.
- Take your pet’s temperament and size into consideration when designing your costume. Often times, simple is best. A light fitting body wrapping with an embroidered logo or design will often get across the look you’re trying to create.
- Be sure to use only soft, lightweight, natural fabrics and materials. Even though most pets have fur to protect their skin, pay special attention to the straps and other connectors that secure the costume to the pet – those are the areas chafing is most likely to occur.
- Make sure your pet can comfortably move in any costume. Long wigs, strings of beads and other long hanging items can become hazards that could hang up or trip your pet. Be cautious about “bedazzling” your pets costume with decorations that might become a chewing temptation or choking hazard. Brother encourages designs that let the fabric and embroidery do the decorating. Pets are less likely to try to ingest it.
- Pay special care to protect your pet’s head when designing your costume. The head is the most sensitive area for a pet so try to design around it. Especially make sure your pet can see. Blocking their eyesight for the sake of the costume can result in panic or injury to your pet or others.
- Read your pet’s body language as you dress them in their costume. If adding that wig makes them anxious, perhaps you don’t need it after all. Check that the costume is secure but not tight. And if you have the time, do some “dry runs” with your pet, dressing them up for increasingly longer times, before their day of their big debut.
- Finally, be aware that candy and chocolate are not healthy for pets! Be watchful of children if trick-or-treating is a part of your pet’s costuming activities. Have some breed appropriate treats handy instead and let children give the pet their treat.