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Dog Halloween Costumes 101

Dog Halloween Costume Guide

finding the cutest costume for your canine!

Howl-a-ween is here! Wondering what the perfect outfit for your pooch is? We’ll help you choose the best costume for your canine with this Halloween getup guide!

Full Body Halloween Costumes

where to buy: hot dog (Amazon) / bad dog prisoner / crayon / Chewbacca (Party City) | rainbow dog (Petco) | puppy latte / ghostbusters (Baxterboo)

Full body dog Halloween costumes consist of any costume that goes across your dog’s entire body, and most costumes probably fall into this category.

There are some classics that you’ll always see – your dog as a hot dog, as a pod of peas, etc. It can be pretty fun to play off of your dog’s natural size for these costumes – seeing a Dachshund dressed as a wiener never gets old.

PROS: Full body costumes are delightful and look good from every angle. Since they are composed of full outfits, they also tend to stay pretty secure on your dog and won’t be too likely to fall off even if your dog moves around quite a bit.

CONS: You’ll need to measure your dog carefully for full-body costumes to ensure you order the correct size.

your dog as a "scary animal"

A big theme with dog Halloween costumes seems to be dressing up your dog as a different animal that is much scarier and more menacing than your furry pal. 

Dinosaurs make sense, they are pretty bad ass. Spiders though? Your pooch may be a little insulted that you find a spider more threatening than him, but if you’ve seen videos of a spider-clad canine scurrying around dark corridors, you know just how terrifying Fido can become!

Here are a few of our favorites!

where to buy: t-rex /stegosaurs / spider / scorpion (HalloweenCostumes.com) | shark (Party City) | triceratops (Baxterboo)

rider style dog costumes

Rider costumes consist of shapes and figures that are strapped to your dog’s back, giving the illusion that your dog is serving as the faithful steed of some smaller cowboy or creature.

These costumes are utterly hilarious, and probably won’t annoy your pup as much as a full-body costume might.

where to buy: dog jockey (Petco) / Star Wars dewback (Baxterboo) / Star Wars bantha (Chewy) / headless horseman (Little Paws Boutique)

PROS: Rider costumes are absolutely hilarious – there is something so surreal about seeing your pooch with a little cowboy on his back.

CONS: Depending on the quality and durability of the attachments, rider costumes can slip around or fall off easily, especially if your pooch is not a fan of being ridden.

front facing dog halloween costumes

Front facing costumes consist of hilarious visual illusions where your dog appears to be a totally different creature from the front. These costumes usually have dangling arms that allows your dog to transform into an elf, TV character, you name it.

The issue with these costumes is that they only work from the front. From the sides, your dog just looks like he has a bunch of stuff hanging from his chest.

At the right angle, these costumes will generate tons of laughs. However, with all of the costume material front and center, it’s easy for your dog to chew and mangle it if they so desire. For that reason, this style of costume is probably best for more low-key dogs.

where to buy: UPS delivery / action hero (Baxterboo) | Donald Duck (Party City) | Lumberjack (Petco)  

PROS: These costumes are very amusing, and it’s pretty wacky being able to see your dog imitating favorite characters with arms!

CONS: These costumes are cute, but only at the right angle (facing forward). From the sides and behind they just look kind of goofy. It’s also fairly easy for your pooch to tear and mangle the material since everything sits right below your dog’s face.

ears / head accessories

Where to buy: unicorn horn / Micky Ears (PartyCity) | viking dog  (Baxterboo) | Butterfly / Batwings (HalloweenCostumes.com) | puptini / cupcake head (Petco)

Some dogs simply won’t put up with full-body getups or any outfit that alters their sense of self. 

For those pooches, sometimes a simple accessory is all you can get away with. Ears and unicorn horns are popular head toppers, but a well-placed bat wing or shark fin can do wonders as well.

PROS: Ears and accessory-style dog costumes are cheap to purchase and easy to put on your pup. 

CONS: Some dogs will shake their head like crazy until the weird thing up on their head finally falls off!

DOg sports jersey

While not technically a costume in many peoples’ book, canine sports jerseys are a pretty cute getup for die-hard sports owners. If your dog can tolerate it, that is.

where to buy: cowboys / packers / patriots / & more (Party City)

PROS: Dog jerseys are a fun way to support your favorite sports team, and they are sure to garner your canine a good amount of attention!

CONS: Dog jerseys are designed to cover the top half of your dog’s body, which can feel very unnatural for some canines. Try practicing with an old t-shirt before you spend money on a dog jersey that Fido refuses to wear!

Diy dog halloween costumes

DIY dog Hallloween costumes are tons of fun – check out some of the ideas creative owners came up with on Instagram below!

PROS: Your imagination is the limit – you can get really creative with DIY dog halloween costumes.

CONS: DIY doggie costumes are definitely more work than your standard costume you can buy at the store. Decide if the time commitment is worth it or not!