Dressing up your pet

The RSPCA does have genuine concerns about the dressing up of pets in costumes and advises against this practice. We believe that helping owners to understand our concerns and how they relate to their pet is important.

We understand that many owners are well meaning in their intentions and may be dressing up their pet as part of their celebrations but some pets can find being in a costume frightening. The signals which dogs use to tell us how they are feeling can be subtle and covering up their tail and ears for example when wearing a costume makes it even more difficult for dogs to communicate with us and other dogs.

There may be occasions when dog clothing may be necessary to protect a vulnerable individual such as a very small, old, ill or short haired dog, however any items should allow a dog to express his natural behaviour e.g. going to the toilet and not restrict ear and tail movement etc.

If the only cause for concern for a dog's welfare was that they couldn't exhibit normal behaviour due to them been dressed in a costume, the RSPCA would look to resolve the matter informally by way of advice, guidance and education.