Dressing up your dog for Halloween is a guilty pleasure for many pet owners.
They look so damn cute as a little Ewok or Tinkerbell or whatever. Plus, there are always a handful of fun dog-centric Halloween festivities each year that you want to bring them to so you can celebrate the holiday together. Naturally, you want them to be dressed for the occasion—you don't want them to be laughed out of the dog park!
But there's no reason dog costuming can't be a guilt-free pleasure, given you take into account your dog's comfort level, instead of forcing him or her into some ridiculous affair that only serves your amusement.
The folks at the School for the Dogs, the East Village animal training and education center, want to educate dog owners about how to have fun with Fido over the holiday—in a way that insures he's having fun, too.
The school's co-founder, trainer Anna Jane Grossman, says that people don't always realize how stressful costumes can be for dogs.
"Common signs of stress to look out for: tongue flicked out, ears back, eyes wide, lips pulled back taut, yawning," she writes on the blog. "Solution: Either don't put your dog in a costume or train your dog to like being in a costume, by acclimating him to it early."
This Friday from 7-9 p.m., Grossman is teaming up with Brooklyn Craft Company to host a Cone Craft Night at the School for the Dogs to teach humans a specific trick: how to convert your dog's cone collar into a costume this season.
Here's the logic: "If you're going to spend any amount of time training your dog to wear something silly, why not teach him to wear something he might actually need to wear in the future?" Grossman writes.
It's common for a dog to have to wear a cone at some point in his life, due to injury, a recent surgery or another temporary medical condition that requires him to keep from scratching or licking a sensitive area. It's often an awkward transition into wearing the "cone of shame," but Grossman will give dog owners tips for how to make it less of an intimidating undertaking.
Craft supplies will be provided, but you're encouraged to BYOC (bring your own cone) or buy one there for $10.
Here are a couple ideas for cone costumes to help you brainstorm: Dirty martini cone (pictured above)? Sunflower cone? And of course, Pinterest has plenty.
Spots are limited! Register here.
If you go:
School for the Dogs
155 E. 2nd St.
Friday, Oct. 28, 7-9 p.m.
Entry is $20 for members, $30 for non-members. The event is open to any dog-loving humans, but unfortunately, non-member dogs cannot attend, due to liability issues.