VCA Animal Hospitals

Are you dressing your pet up for Halloween?

Published: Oct 04, 2012

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Halloween has become increasingly popular over the past few years, especially for pet owners. According to a recent survey conducted by the National Retail Federation (NRF), seven in 10 Americans plan to celebrate the holiday this year, with the average person spending nearly $80 on costumes, decorations, candy and other Halloween items.

But the holiday isn't just for children any more. In fact, the NRF's annual Halloween spending survey revealed that 15 percent plan on including their pets in the festivities by dressing them up. It's not surprising, considering many people treat their pets as part of their families.

The Associated Press reports that the assortment of pet Halloween costumes available at nationwide pet retailer PetSmart more than doubled last year, although company officials wouldn't divulge how many they sold. They did share which costumes are most popular for our furry friends - bumble bees and pumpkins.

Whether you choose a store-bought costume or make one on your own, pet health experts say there are some things to keep in mind if you plan on dressing your cat or dog in costume this Halloween.

According to, dog and cat owners should take the same precautions when it comes to pet costumes as they do with costumes for their human children. For instance, it's important to put safety first and ensure there are no small pieces that can be chewed off.

In addition, costumes should not be overly snug or restrictive to the animal's breathing and movement. Your pet's eyes, ears and nose should not be covered. If a mask is used, it should leave plenty of room for the eyes and should not affect the animal's vision.

Experts say it is often helpful to allow your animal to wear his costume ahead of time so he can get used to it. And, it shouldn't be forced if he is clearly miserable with it on.

Whether you plan on dressing your cat or dog up for a Halloween party or parade, or to go trick-or-treating, it's important to remember to keep them leashed or in a carrier.

Keeping chocolate and other sweet treats meant for humans away from your pet is also crucial, as they can be dangerous if eaten by animals. If your pet ingests these foods, you should contact a veterinary hospital. Keep an eye out for more Halloween pet safety tip articles this month.


General Practice

We have over 540 animal hospitals in 41 states that are staffed by more than 2,000 fully qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, with more than 200 being board-certified specialists. The nationwide VCA family of general practice hospitals give your pet the very best in medical care, providing a full range of general medical and surgical services as well as specialized treatments*: Wellness, Spay/neuter, Advanced diagnostic services (MRI/CT Scan), Internal medicine, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, Cardiology, Neurology, Boarding, Grooming

*services may vary by location.

Our family of pet hospitals stands out by delivering the greatest resources in order provide the highest quality care available for your pets. By maintaining the highest standards of pet health care available anywhere, we emphasize prevention as well as healing. We provide continuing education programs to our doctors and staff and promote the open exchange of professional knowledge and expertise. And finally, we have established a consistent program of procedures and techniques, proven to be the most effective in keeping pets healthy.

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Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

We have twenty-eight specialty hospitals across the US so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology and surgery.

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Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately. If it is after hours, check with a local animal hospital emergency clinic.