Halloween: Costume Ideas for your Dog with Safety Tips for Pets

With Halloween right around the corner, it’s important to include your pet in the fun while also ensuring their safety and comfort! This article includes and last minute DIY costumes halloween safety tips for pets, suggestions for making your pet feel comfortable in their costume.

Small Dog Wearing a Pumpkin Halloween Costume

DIY Last Minute Halloween Costumes for Your Dog

This year, why not bring the whole family out, including your beloved doggy!? Now that you know how to best make your pet comfortable in their costume, pick one you think would fit them best!

Here are some super easy last minute Halloween costume ideas for your pet!

Beanie Baby

Has everyone always told you that your pet looks like a stuffed animal? Well now is the time to make that come true!

Poodle mix biting at the handmade Beanie Baby tag attached to his collar

We learned that Louie loves to chew on paper and doesn’t like to sit still for a photo.

What you need for the Beanie baby collar tag

Access to a color printer

1) Papers

2) Scissors

3) String

Instructions:

Step 1: Print out the tag template below. Resize it as appropriate to fit the size of your pet.

Beanie baby tag template

Step 2: Cut along all solid black lines.

Step 3: Fold in half along the middle line so that the two hearts line up.

Step 4: Fold in half along the middle line so that the two hearts line up

  Step 5: Using either a hole punch or some sort of pointy object (I used a pencil),poke a hole through the indicated circle.

 Step 6: Write your dog’s name on the inside of the tag along with a little poem in true Beanie baby fashion!

 Step 7: Attach to your dog’s collar using the string (about 4” long).

Scooby-Doo Collar

A throwback to the golden age of cartoons. This easy Scooby-Doo costume for your dog will have him ready to solve mysteries! Bonus points if other members of the Mystery Gang are included.

Dog with Scooby-Doo Collar tag

Scooby Doo Collar DIY: What you need?

  • Access to color printer
  • String
  • Scissors

Instructions

Step 1:Print out the tag template below. Resize it as appropriate to fit the size of your pet.

Scooby doo Collar tag template=

Step 2: Cut along the outer black line.

Step 3: Using a sharp object, poke a hole into the top of the tag for the string to go through.

Step 4: Cut a piece of string approximately 4” – 5” long and loop the string through the holes and tie to your dogs collar.

Dog in Football Costume

Dog Football Costume is arguably the easiest costume for any brown dog, which makes it a great last minute costume!

Brown dog curled up on a dog bed with tape on its back to replicate a football.

DIY Football Costume: What you need:

5 pieces of white tape, 1 long and 4 short

Instructions

  1. Place the long piece of tape lengthwise down the back of your dog.
  2. Equally space out the 4 short pieces along the long piece to make it look like football threading.

Spa Night

This costume can double as a cute grandma getting her hair done or a relaxing girls night in!

Australian Shepard mix wearing a scarf tied around his neck, with rollers attached to the scarf. The dog is also wearing sunglasses over his eyes.

Image Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/portland_mike/6998843539/sizes/z/in/photostream/

Spa Night Halloween Costume DIY: What you need

  • Scarf or other light material
  • 4 – 8 rollers, depending on the size of your pet’s head
  • Bobby pins or paper clips
  • Sunglasses

Instructions

Step 1: Attach the rollers to the scarf with bobby pins or paper clips. Place the rollers towards the center of the scarf so you will have enough room to tie the scarf around your pet’s neck.

Step 2: If attaching the rollers to the scarf beforehand does not work, place the scarf on your pet’s head without attaching the rollers. Loosely tie to scarf around their neck, leaving enough room to place the rollers in.

Step 3: Tie the scarf underneath your pet’s chin. Make sure your pet can breathe easily and the scarf is not too tight.

Step 4: Place sunglasses over your pet’s eyes. The sunglasses should only be kept on the eyes for a short period of time.

Cerberus (three-headed BEAST)

This costume might not be the best for mixes and mutts because it requires finding stuffed animals that look like your pet! Although, given the millions of stuffed toys circulating the globe, there’s still a possibility you can find your fluffy companion’s doppelganger.

Mini Husky with husky stuffed animal heads attached to either side of his head.

Mini Husky with husky stuffed animal heads attached to either side of his head.

Image Source: https://www.deviantart.com/arania/art/Kitserberus-the-ferocious-331293809

Cerberus Halloween Costume DIY: What you need

  • Fabric with the color of your choosing
  • Two stuffed animals that resemble your pet
  • Sewing kit or sewing machine
  • VELCRO Sticky Back for Fabric
  • Scissors

Instructions

  1. Cut the heads off of both stuffed animals. You just want to attach the heads to the costume, not the whole body.
  2. Sew the head closed so stuffing does not come out. You may need to use some of the fabric to seal the head fully.
  3. Create a harness using the fabric. Depending on how you want to secure the costume to your pet, you could simply cut a piece of fabric that will fit around the circumference of your pet’s upper torso.
  4. Sew the heads to the fabric harness. Space the heads so they are approximately the same length from your pet’s head on either side.
  5. Apply VELCRO Sticky Back for Fabric to each end of the fabric.

This halloween, get creative and dress your dog up in a great outfit for everyone to see. Hopefully your doggy doesn’t scare too easily! Check out your local events for fun events like dog costume contests to show off your pup.

Send us your best pictures of your pets dressed up! We’d love to see! You can share them on our Facebook page or tag them to #pdhowloween on Instagram or Twitter.

Halloween Safety Tips & Tricks (or Treats)

  • Dog Treats, NOT Human Treats: The bowl of candy waiting at your front door for trick-or-treaters is not for your furry friend. Chocolate in all forms – especially dark or baking chocolate – can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Candy containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can cause problems. If you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately.
  • Holiday Lights: Be careful to ensure wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations are out of reach for your pets. If chewed, your pet might suffer cuts or burns or even electrical shock.
  • Carved Pumpkins: A carved pumpkin is always fun for you and your children to enjoy but for a dog or cat they can be anything but that. Leave your pumpkin in a place where they can’t get hurt by the candle burning on the inside. A great alternative to actual candles is smaller LED candles that you can find in your local hardware or craft store.
  • Stress: If your dog or cat is not very social and can become stressed from visitors, they should be kept in a separate area from the front door during peak trick-or-treating hours. Too many strangers can be scary and stressful for your pet.
  • Identification: Don’t forget to place the ID tags on your cats and dogs in case they escape your house or run off while trick-or-treating. They only way someone can help you bring your pet home is if they have their ID tag with all updated information. You might want to consider a microchip too.

These are just a few guidelines to consider on Halloween. Don’t forget to latch your pet door so your dog or cat can’t run off during the commotion!

Tips for a Comfortable & Happy Halloween

Dressing up your dog can be even more fun than dressing up yourself. When picking a costume, consider these factors and steps to ensure that you AND your dog are happy.

Mutt wearing a Superman costume.

  • Comfort is key. Do not squeeze them into anything tight. A large costume that is too big for them, may cover their face and eyes, or cause them to be tangled should be avoided.
  • Use non-flammable material without any strong smells.
  • Make sure that they can hear, see, smell, and breathe like normal. Avoid any of these areas, including the whiskers.

Before Halloween night, give your dog plenty of time to get used to the costume.

  • Purchase the costume in advance. This way you have the opportunity to give them time to get familiar with it. Let your pet sniff the costume and investigate for himself. Gradually increase their comfort level by increasing the time they are exposed to the costume
  • Once your pet seems comfortable to the exposure, gently drape the costume over their back. Do not fasten straps or secure the costume. This step merely helps your pet get used to the feeling on their body.
  • Praise your pet while wearing the costume. Reward them with tasty treats so they will have a positive association with the costume.
  • Lastly, dress them up fully a few times and let them get comfortable wearing the costume around in a familiar environment.If your pet is still weary of the costume at this point, they are most liking not going to be comfortable wearing it on Halloween. How your pet acts and their body language indicate if they are going to accept dress up time. Some signs of distress include immediately laying down after you dress them, running away every time you go near them with the costume, shaking, and heavier panting.
  • If your pet is still weary of the costume at this point, they are most liking not going to be comfortable wearing it on Halloween. How your pet acts and their body language indicate if they are going to accept dress up time. Some signs of distress include immediately laying down after you dress them, running away every time you go near them with the costume, shaking, and heavier panting.

Your pet’s health and wellbeing is the most important factor to consider. If you see signs of distress, it’s best to ditch the costume idea.

The big day!

  • You and your pet are dressing up to have fun, so make sure they are not under any stress (again paying attention to behavior and body language).
  • Keep an eye on them the entire time.
    Minimize the time they are dressed.

If your pet does not seem comfortable with the costume you have chosen for them, forego the costume completely and instead include accessories and toys! Your pet may be far more comfortable with a bandana around their neck or something small attached to their collar.

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8 thoughts on “Halloween: Costume Ideas for your Dog with Safety Tips for Pets

  1. Kenda

    Omg, amazing!! I’m gonna try these out. Pictures are super cute and funny. I really wanted to dress my dog up for his first Halloween (Not really his first but since he’s 1 and we got him in December 2017 this will be his second Halloween and first trick or treating) . By the way, I really like the heads attached to either side of his head., it is really cute too!

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