Colorful Halloween 'costume' ieas for the family pet

Many families want to include their pets in Halloween festivities, dressing up their dog or cat to coordinate with the kids’ or their own costumes. But some pets get stressed about wearing costumes and end up left out of the fun.

Creative grooming is a great alternative for those pets, says Traci Simo of Canine Company of Wilton.  “Pet-safe paints and accessories can give a pet Halloween flair without the discomfort of a costume. Most groomers offer these; if you’re crafty, you can try them yourself.”

  • Temporary tattoos. Paints in bright colors can be stenciled onto the coat to create fun designs. A big blue “S” on his back can transform a dog into a superhero; bright orange peace signs on her hip can turn a cat into a flower child. Use only pet-safe paint that is non-toxic and washes out easily.

  • Punk hairstyles.  Spiking his hair with non-toxic styling gel can give any dog a rock-star look. It can be left natural or painted in a rainbow of colors. A Mohawk can be extended down the dog’s backbone for a pre-historic creature look.  These styles work best on dogs with longer hair.

  • Hair accessories. Colorful feathers or a fake flower tied into the hair over a pet’s ear is another fun Halloween option. Indian princess or flower child, most dogs don’t even know they are wearing this light accessory; just don’t pull the hair tightly.

  • Nail art. For a final touch to the look, think nail color.  Pet-safe polish is available in a range of colors and patterns to coordinate with your pet’s tattoo, or your own nails. Adds Simo: “Just be sure to use one that’s designed specifically for pets so it’s safe if they lick and chew at their paws.”

From now through Halloween, Canine Company’s Mobile Spa will include a free stencil, hair feather or nail art with its pet pampering package. For information, visit or call 800-818-3647 .