Will you dress your pet up this Halloween?

A sixth of Scottish pet-owners are planning on dressing their pet up for Halloween.

When it comes to costume choices, pet owners have been inspired by politics on both sides of the Atlantic, with Donald Trump and Boris Johnson topping the list of dog outfits this year.

Pet owners are also taking inspiration from celebrity culture, replicating the iconic styles of Snoop Dog, Lady Gaga and Ozzy Osbourne. However, it’s Spaniel, Labrador and Border Collie owners who will ‘creep it real’ and are most likely to choose traditional Halloween outfits for their dogs.

Millennials are most passionate about crafting a costume, with a third (28%) spending more time and money on their animal’s outfit than their own. In addition, one in 10 (12%) are even coordinating matching outfits. One in ten Scottish pet owners (9%) are also celebrating the occasion by throwing a pet-friendly Halloween party.

Megan Teepe, VP of International Business at Rover.com, said: ‘Dressing up our dogs, particularly for Halloween, is more popular than ever before and on October 31 our social feeds will be littered with cute and amusing canine costumes.

‘However, not all dogs are up for joining in the fun, and it’s important to be conscious of which activities your four-legged friend doesn’t enjoy doing. For the one in 10 pet owners who plan to leave their pups at home on Halloween, Rover.com makes it simple to find a sitter to keep them company on what could be an unsettling night. This companionship can distract them from everything that is going on and help make them feel more relaxed.’

With this in mind, Rover.com’s dog behaviourist expert Louise Glazebrook shares top tips for keeping pets safe this Halloween, whether you’re out and about or at home for the night:

1. Avoid taking your dog trick-or-treating. Amongst the masks, loud noises and darkness, it can be quite a distressing environment for dogs, so it’s best to leave them in the comfort of their own home.

2. If you do leave your dogs at home, then do not display any Halloween decorations that will encourage trick-or-treaters. Constant knocking and doorbell ringing is a real disruption to a dog’s normal routine, and this may cause stress.

3. Whilst Halloween costumes on dogs may seem like a good idea at the time, be careful of the fabric. Often, they can be made from polyester, which can be uncomfortable for dogs and cause them to get too hot. Also be wary about costumes that have items hanging off them, as these can be sometimes be distressing and restrict pups from their natural behaviour.

4. Halloween sweets are more trick than treat for a dog – make sure you keep them out of reach. Chocolate is particularly toxic for dogs, and even a small piece can be a cause for concern. If you suspect they’ve got their paws on your pile of candy, contact your vet immediately.

5. Overall, keep an eye on your dog’s behaviour – they will tell you if they’re not happy with their environment over Halloween. Look out for cues in their body language or tell-tale signs that they’re stressed, such as whining, pacing or licking more than usual.

For more information or to sign up either as a walker, sitter or owner, visit: https://www.rover.com/uk/