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

small dog in pumpkin dog halloween costumes - funny dog costumes

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 dog Halloween costumes, safety tips for pets, and some Halloween ideas for adorable pet costumes. Check out some of these easy DIY costumes that are sure to win any Halloween costume contest.

 

DIY Last Minute Halloween Costumes for Your Dog

This year, why not extend the tradition of family Halloween costumes to include your beloved pets?! Dogs sporting DIY costumes are sure to be a crowd favorite at any Halloween party. There are lots of spooky DIY dog costumes out there for dogs of all sizes from Chihuahuas to Great Danes. We've offered a couple Halloween costume options below, so just pick your favorite or Google some other ideas!

Beanie Baby

puppy in cute dog costumes biting at beanie baby tag

Has everyone told you that your pet looks like a stuffed animal? Well now is the time to make that come true with the printable beanie baby dog collar below. It was on this day that 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:

  • Printable beanie baby dog tag
  • Access to a color printer
  • Scissors
  • 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).

dog in scooby doo collar costume - dog halloween costumes

Scooby-Doo Collar

A throwback to the golden age of cartoons, this Scooby Doo dog collar costume will have your pup ready to solve any scooby doo mystery! Bonus points if other members of the Mystery Gang are included for a real scooby doo party group costume. You can even dress up as Shaggy (who says couples costumes can't be with pets?!). Get the whole family onboard with Daphne, Fred and Velma costumes too! Pets will appreciate some scooby snacks to go along with their Scooby Doo costumes! Check out these homemade dog treats for similar ideas. Try out these recipes as dog birthday party favors, or spice them up with orange and black dog-friendly frosting to thank your dogs for sporting their homemade costumes

Scooby Doo Collar DIY: What you need?

  • Scooby doo DIY costume printable tag
  • A color printer
  • String
  • Scissors

Instructions

scooby doo collar tag template  - dog costumes for halloween

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

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.

sleeping dog in a football costume - pet halloween costumes

Dog in Football Costume

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

DIY Football Costume: What you need:

  • 5 pieces of white tape (1 long and 4 short)

Instructions

Step 1: Place the long piece of tape lengthwise down the back of your dog. Step 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, one of our favorite cute dog costumes to try out!

 

Spa Night Halloween Costume DIY: What you need

  • Scarf or light cloth (an old t-shirt may even do the trick)
  • 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 to fashion a headband. 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.

 

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. This goes for christmas too!
  • 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. A family costume party is a great place to show off group Halloween costumes but can be quite stressful for pets. So make sure to keep your pets in mind when planning any fun Halloween party ideas.
  • 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. Afterall, there’s nothing better than  a puppy in a costume! When picking store bought or homemade dog costumes for Halloween, consider these factors and steps to ensure that you AND your dog are happy.

mutt dog 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.
  • 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.
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. Follow this link for even more "Howl-o-ween" tricks and tips!

 

Allison Michel

Written by

Allison Michel

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