National Dress Up Your Pet Day

National Dress Up Your Pet Day

5 Ways to Keep Pets Safe—and Cute

DressUp DogHat2

You don’t need to justify your reasons for dressing up your pet on National Dress Up Your Pet Day. We get it: Your potbellied pig needs to express his personality; it’s cold outside and your dog “loves” sweaters; your cats really like to wear matching outfits—with you; or your furry companion takes pride supporting your favorite NFL team by donning a jersey.

Dressing up pets can be fun, it can create a bonding moment between human and pet and, let’s face it, it’s a fantastic photo opportunity.

Your pet, however, can become uncomfortable and be put at risk of health dangers if you don’t heed caution. Here are five ways to keep your pet safe while decking out in threads.

1. Allergies

Pets can have an adverse allergic reaction to clothing, due to the type of fabric or the brand of detergent or fabric softener used to clean the costume. If you notice your pet itching while dressed up, remove the clothing. An allergic reaction could cause a red, itchy rash which would then require veterinary treatment.

2. Dangling Objects

Dangling objects on pet clothing, such as bells, fabric, string and bows, can be chewed off and swallowed, leading to a life-threatening condition called linear foreign body ingestion. The item ingested can tear your pet’s intestines and require emergency surgery.

3. Constricting Fit

Make sure your pet’s clothing isn’t a tight fit. Tightness around the neck, paws, legs and torso can pinch your pet’s body and cause swelling, thereby creating discomfort and cause your pet to panic and lead to a potential injury.

DressUp Cat2

4. Constant Supervision

Never leave your pet alone while dressed up. Panic, boredom, anxiety or curiosity can lead your pet to chew on the clothing and ingest pieces of it. Intestinal obstruction is a serious condition that may require emergency surgery. There is also the risk the clothing could strangle your pet should he or she try hiding under furniture or in a favorite hiding spot that won’t accommodate the clothing itself.

5. Keep the Outdoors Off Limits

Don’t leave your pet alone outside. Your pet become entangled in the fence, a gate, a tree or even a bush, leading to injury or even strangulation.