a torture-free halloween for pets: let's play dress-up

Each October I see some informative articles about how to keep your pets safe during Halloween. The tips offered are important and valuable, especially for new pet owners. Since these Halloween safety articles are abundant and readily available and I don't really have anything new to contribute, I started thinking a bit more about pets and Halloween and why these tips are necessary. If we use our common sense, it's pretty obvious that an entire bowl of chocolate shouldn't be left out for the scrounging dog to enjoy or that we shouldn't let our black cat go on the prowl. Problem is, so many of us don't use our common sense.

I guess for every ghoulish soul who would harm a black cat on Halloween, there is a misguided soul who would let the black cat out. Sigh.

So–really–let's think about this. The most common torture pet owners subject their furry friends to is the Halloween costume.

Perhaps one in a hundred pets will tolerate a costume. And if we're talking cats, I'd bet the odds are more like one in a thousand. And even those few aren't enjoying it. Your dog doesn't care if he's Spiderman or a ballerina, but he's probably totally uncomfortable either way. Let's think about how our pets feel...like hell. They feel like hell in that costume. Just restrain your selfish desires to make your pet look like Yoda. He doesn't like it. 

The good news? There's a great alternative! There are countless photo-editing web sites out there, so you can take a plain old pic of your pet and virtually dress her up to your heart's content, then spread the silly photos all over Facebook. We'll all get a laugh and you'll enjoy making your pet look like a doofus. All the while, your pet relaxes, curled up on the couch, none the wiser. My favorite editing site is PicMonkey. There are free and paid versions, and though the paid version is stellar, the free version is more than sufficient for your average Joe. They have a whole Halloween-themed section, complete with fonts and embellishments. You can even zombify or vampire-it-up. Go wild.

I recruited a couple of willing participants. Neither of them would have tolerated an actual costume. Jack and Suzanne got to try out a couple of different looks:

Jack is a wiggly rough-and-tumble pooch, and Suzanne is so old we don't remember exactly how old she is, but she's likely made it through two decades of Halloweens. So–voila! Instant dress-up party sans torture. Purrrrrfect. 

I know, I know. Your pet is that one-in-a-thousand who tolerates the costume without shaking, rolling, or ripping it off in a rage. No...your pet actually enjoys the costume. Really! He loves all the attention...am I right?