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To costume or not to costume? That is the question.

It's that time of the year when humans and their four-legged buddies shed their everyday personas to become something they're not for a brief period of time. But how receptive are pets to wearing costumes? Let's take a look at the top three most popular companion animals in America and how they measure up when it's time to dress up.

"We wear these outfits every day. Seriously."

Dogs: Some dogs live for the limelight. They bask in attention and will proudly strut their stuff in the latest Halloween fashions. Many dog owners insist that their canine companions enjoy dressing up and look forward to it with great gusto. Of course, dogs that are accustomed to sporting sweaters and outerwear are far more likely to tolerate a costume when it's go-time. On the other hand, a dog that has never been asked to wear clothing might not be so easygoing. Either way, make sure your pet is used to their costume well before Halloween. That way they won't have to worry about the costume in addition to the extra stress the holiday can bring.

"Someone will pay for this. Pay dearly."

Cats: Cats generally are not fans of costumes. Certainly exceptions do exist...but there's a reason we don't see too many Kitty Costume Contests this time of year. Or any time of year. Ferrets: One of the joys of ferret ownership is dressing up your fuzzy buddy. When it comes to success, your mileage may vary. Some ferrets are much more tolerant of decoration and adornment than others. New ferret owners often marvel at pictures of ferrets in costume. "How do you get them to sit still like that so you can take a picture?" they ask. And that is exactly the trick--to get them to sit still just look enough to take a picture. Because it's likely they'll wriggle out of the costume in short order. But that's all part of the fun! Starting your ferret young and getting him used to costuming and the attention that comes along with it is a solid strategy.

"You don't like my cosume? Then buzz off!"

Whether or not you decide to get your pet into the costume game this year, remember that Halloween can be a spooky time for furry companions. Here are four tips to keep in mind for the witching hour:

  1. Keep your pet away from children running around in costumes. Anything that flaps, sparkles, wiggles or otherwise intimidates your pet is a cause for concern, because a spooked animal might run away or even nip.
  2. Keep candy out of pets' reach. This one's a no-brainer--but pay close attention! Especially when kids are around.
  3. Make sure your pet's costume is not restrictive. An ill-fitting costume could cause injury, and Halloween is a crowded night for emergency animal care clinics.
  4. Keep your pet safely inside. If your pet were to run away, Halloween is a chaotic night to be looking around the neighborhood, and police will be too busy to give your pet the attention he might get on a normal night.

With just a little planning and forethought, you and your pet will enjoy a happy and safe Halloween. Have fun, and be sure to post some pics for us!

Earth's Balance Ferrets First Aid Living with Pets  

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