Halloween – Pet Costume Safety

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 13,791
    Pet boutique owner Lucy McCausland discusses pet Halloween costume safety.

    Lucy McCausland

    Lucy McCausland remembers her first pet, Muffy, a small dog her family loved when she and her sisters were children.  Years later her love of animals led her to take up horseback riding, and raising dogs and cats of her own.  As Lucy developed her career, managing large retail stores, serving as CFO for a large retail chain, and as VP of Finance for a major catalogue retailer, she also developed a strong desire to combine her business talents with her love of animals.  And in 2003, she opened a.k.a. spot, in the Clarendon section of Arlington, the hottest neighborhood in the DC metropolitan area. 

    Pet boutique, doggy grocery, and doggy self-wash, a.k.a. spot has outgrown its original location, and now has a new home just a few blocks away in a larger, more comfortable space.  The Bark magazine has called a.k.a. spot "The Ralph Lauren of pet boutiques," and the shop is widely known as one of the very finest retailers of unique, premium pet supplies in the United States.  In addition to its retail offerings, a.k.a. spot also serves the community, hosting regular adoption days, sponsoring local animal welfare organizations, scheduling annual portrait sessions for customers with acclaimed photographer Amanda Jones, and coordinating the annual Howl-o-ween doggy parade and costume contest through Clarendon.

    Hosting this annual event has provided Lucy with a great education on costume planning and preparation, with a strong emphasis on safety, creativity, and finding the right costume for each and every pet.  Each year the event grows bigger and better, and, while it's hard work pulling it all together, it's also very rewarding to see people and pets bonding and interacting, making new friends and coming up with dazzling new costumes.

    Lucy McCausland: Hi! I am Lucy Mccausland from a.


    a Spot. Were a dog store in Arlington, Virginia and this Jessica and Gracie. Were doing a video on how to dress your dog for Halloween and this segment is about safety in dressing your dog for Halloween. So, when you are getting ready to start picking costumes for the costume contest and parade that you may be interested in, the first consideration is you are the best judge of whether or not your dog will be in interested in doing something like this, sort of let your freak your dog out. So if you have a got a dog that wont tolerate a costume and will not like being in a group of big dogs or dogs walking on a parade, you probably need to take that in consideration. After that you probably want to consider, if the costume you pick will allow you to maintain control of your dog as you would on a normal walk. So, you need to be able to put the harness and the collar and lead on that you use on a regular day. So, if you start picking different costumes, go ahead and put the costume on and make sure that you still have that control functionality that you have on a regular walk. Also want to make sure that your dog isnt going to overheat in the costume that you pick.

    Also want to make sure that its not a costume that will bind the dog or have any thing on it that the dog can get off and choke on or that might be poisonous if the dog swallows it. In addition to that, we have something that will help you show up more effectively if the parade route just getting dark during the parade. Have such things as reflective collars and leads that you can use on your dog with the costume.

    There are also blinking attachments that you put on the dogs collar that will show up as it gets darker and make your dog more visible. There are also reflective leg bands that you can use, put them around one two or four legs, just something to help your dog show up. And then, I think additionally you should make sure that if you have a water bottle to take, just in case the dogs are getting hot on the parade route or whatever, go ahead and fill it up and take it with you on the parade route so that the dog can be hydrated during the parade.

    Also, if your dog is going to draw a lot of attention from kids on the parade route or whatever, make sure that your dog is a dog that feels comfortable with people and kids approaching it, otherwise just keep your situation under control, because you know that you can keep the dog away from passers by that may want to pat your dog and that kind of thing.

    So to wrap up, a little check list for the parade make sure that your dog has ID tags on the collar, in case the dogs get lose for some reason, your dog can be identified and you can be contacted. Also make sure that your dog doesnt get treats from strangers. You dont want any chocolate, it can be toxic to dogs so make sure you are aware of what people are giving the dog and make sure that dog doesnt pick things up on the road as you are going through the parade.

    And basically you just have fun on the parade route and enjoy the holiday and thats how we talk about safety on the Halloween parade route for dogs.