Should Animals Wear Costumes?


Q: No animal should be condoned to wearing a costume. Do you think animals like wearing costumes? No. this is not for the animal this is for human entertainment at the cost of the animals’ discomfort. Stop doing these things to your companion animals. KLC, via Twitter

A: I disagree. Actually, it’s clear that many dogs and admittedly a small percent of cats do like wearing costumes, or at least the attention it brings. Other dogs (and a small percent of cats) could care less one way or the other and seem to go with flow.

True enough many dogs and the vast majority of cats don’t like wearing a costume. It looks like they are feeling humiliated, and perhaps they are. The majority of these pets could be trained, counter conditioned to actually enjoy wearing a costume, if family members want to bother putting in the effort.

This all also greatly depends on the costume of choice. Masks are not a good idea, or anything that obstructs vision. Conversely, there are costumes, like bat ears or bandannas that even pets who otherwise don’t like wearing a costume, have no issue with because these things are so unobtrusive.

Many dogs are accustomed to wearing coats or sweaters for a part of the year anyway, so the costume can have the utilitarian dual purpose of keeping a pet warm and these animals are totally acclimated to the idea.