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The only thing better than planning your own costume for Halloween is planning your dog’s Halloween costume. A dog dressed as Wonder Woman, Superman, or Batman? Heck yes. Celebrate your love of Star Wars via Yoda dog ears? Absolutely. Seeing your favorite pooch dressed like a minion? The cutest.
If you need a dog Halloween costume idea, we’ve got you covered. However, keep in mind that when shopping for a Halloween costume for your dog, the most important consideration is size. Because dog costumes are not all manufactured in the same way, your pet could be a medium in one costume and a 3X-large in another, so be sure to measure your dog and use your pet’s measurements and the product size chart as a guide to ensure their best fit. Once you have a costume, go slowly and check your dog’s comfort level before, during, and after getting dressed.
And for non-costume doggy dress-up ideas, check out Halloween bandanas and collars. Pro tip: Chewy has a very cute Halloween collection right now (like this Halloween pet bandana for eight bucks!)
The Top 4 Dog Halloween Costumes for 2020
Ranked for simplicity, comfort, cool factor, and impact, these are the best-rated Halloween costumes for dogs you can find.
This dog costume is a perennial bestseller. It’s clever, cute, and surprisingly easy to put on. And since UPS drivers have been elevated to frontline workers during the Covid-19 pandemic, this costume is also very on-trend for 2020. The shirt sports sleeves for your dog’s front legs, and then fastens around your dog’s neck with Velcro. It’s pretty low-lift and if your dog tolerates it well, you can add the visor for the full effect.
2. Easiest to Wear: Lion Mane
The lion mane costume looks good on small dogs and big dogs alike, with a special flair on Golden Retrievers, Black Labs, and Rotties. You can get one in gold, black, or brown to match your dog’s coat.
3. Most Adorable: Ewok
What is it about Star Wars costumes? They appeal year after year, and they look great on small dogs like Havanese, Terrier mixes, Brussels Griffons, and more. Note that this popular choice from trusted brand Rubie’s runs small, and is only likely to fit dogs up to 20 or 25 pounds.
With the presidential election just days after Halloween, look no further than this President Trump-inspired outfit for a very topical dog costume for 2020. Designed for smaller pets, it comes complete with a poofy wig and a red necktie that secures around your dog’s neck with Velcro.
Some costumes just look better on big dogs, like this moose headpiece that gets rave reviews. See our handy article on the best big-dog approved Halloween costumes. When shopping for a large dog costume, or designing one, keep in mind that a headpiece adornment or t-shirt outfit is often easier to pull off than a full jumpsuit. PetMD has some good tips for assessing the suitability of a costume for your pet here.
Popular big dog costumes include:
If you’ve got a petite pet, we put together a variety of costumes for small dogs here that range from no-fuss to total showstopper. Many costumes are designed with small dogs in mind, from the Ewoks and pandas to the mermaids and dinosaurs. Because let’s face it—your wee furry friend may already look like a living plush toy!
Like any dog costume, when selecting one for your small pup, make sure to double-check the measurements! If your dog is skittish about animal costumes, you can also opt for a comfy, spooky dog hoodie.
Popular small dog costumes include:
If you’re looking for breed-specific dog Halloween costumes, we’ve got you covered here. And yes, they’re all as cute as this literal “bull dog” Bulldog costume. Consider your breed’s best-known qualities and go from there. Some ideas we love:
- Labrador Retriever: Olympic swimmer (just add a doggy life jacket!)
- BorderCollie: Einstein
- Pug: potato (inspired by the pug-tato meme)
- Yorkie: princess
- Boxer: Well, a boxer (pro tip: get some miniature gloves)
- Pitbull: superhero (Batman or Spider-Man, depending on whether your dog is more of a Marvel or a DC Comics fan)
- Goldendoodle or Labradoodle: teddy bear
- Pomeranian: Ewok
- Husky: rock star (they love to sing!)
- Any puppy: cup of coffee
Picture this: Your dog goes as a raptor, and you go as Jeff Goldblum (or Chris Pratt if you like the Jurassic World reboot.) That and even more ideas are featured in our matching human/pet costume article.
Popular dog and human couples’ costumes include:
- Bee and flower
- Donut and coffee
- Chip and salsa
- Garth and Wayne
- Beauty and the Beast a la Disney
- Luke and Yoda (or Leia, or Darth Vader)
- Batman and Robin
- Minnie and Mickey
- Dorothy and Toto from the Wizard of Oz
- Cat and … dog
If you don’t think your pet will go for a full-on costume, or if you want to celebrate for, like, the entire month of October, these Halloween-themed dog collars are your best bet, and we found the internet’s biggest variety. Chewy and Amazon are both excellent sources for high-quality picks this year.
Want more than a collar but less than a full dog Halloween costume? We have Halloween bandanas in there too.
If you’re crafty, DIY costumes offer endless possibilities. As detailed at that link, you can turn your dog into a pineapple, a pool float, a lion, a cupcake—the list goes on. Popular DIY dog costumes include:
- Fruits or veggies
- Other animals
- Teddy bear
- Martini glass (just add the cone of shame)
- Winged creatures
Get yourself some felt, scissors, and a glue gun, and the sky’s the limit. Giant soy sauce meets sushi, anyone?
And for fun, here are some downright terrible dog costumes …
If you belong to a multi-species household, your cat can also get into the Halloween fun! Sure, a cat costume may sound silly, but just wait until you see our test cats sporting all the latest looks. Pro tip: lightweight, easy-to-wear costumes like bat wings are best for kitties.
This costume is so lightweight and easy to put on, our test kitty didn’t even realize it was there.
There’s more where that came from. See our verified reviews for more details and photos on cat costumes for Halloween and beyond.
Dog Halloween Costume Review Video
It can be hard to choose a Halloween costume online. How big are they really? How are you supposed to measure a wiggly puppy or an older dog? Can you trust that your medium dog is really a medium?
Check out these reviews from The Dog People to get a better idea of how these fun dog costumes fit.
Bonus: there are some seriously cute dogs in this video:
Tips for Dressing Your Dog Up
Whether you make a costume at home or buy one from a store, there are some things you can do to help your pet have a better time on the 31st. Fido will need some time to get used to that dog dress or hot dog costume!
- Get your pet’s costume early. It gives both of you a chance to get used to it before the big day.
- Let your pet sniff and show interest in the costume before putting them in it.
- Keep treats handy so they see the costume as a good thing. As much as you can, use the treats to guide your pet into the costume—for example, if you’ve got a lion’s mane that goes over their head, guide their head through the hole by enticing them with food, and let them take the treat a few times before fastening it on fully. You don’t want your dog to feel tricked.
- Once the costume is on, take frequent breaks. Try not to keep the costume on for more than a few minutes—say 10 or 15—at a time. And keep the treats coming while they’ve got their costume on. (This is also a good time to take a million cute photos and send them our way, please and thank you.)
- Next, try taking your pet on a walk while wearing it. Be ready for them to be slower or distracted while they get used to the sounds and feelings of their costume, and of course, treat, treat, treat.
- Allow your dog to skip the costume party if they’re not feeling social. A Halloween party can be unnerving for dogs because of the strange outfits on all the new arrivals.
Hopefully, by the time Halloween rolls around, they’ll be comfortable enough in the costume to last the whole night as the witch to your cauldron, the candle to your pumpkin, the pea to your pod.
Dog Halloween Costume Safety
Here a few things to consider when choosing a costume for your pet.
- If you’re going to be walking around with your dog, make sure you choose some element of the costume that is highly visible so that your pet can be seen from a distance—you want to make sure they don’t get lost, and also that cars know they’re there. A luminescent collar or a reflective material can be great for this.
- Choose breathable material, and make sure the costume isn’t too tight. This will help your pet feel more comfortable and avoid restricted blood flow. Consider how heavy the costume is, as well, since the added weight means your pet has to exert more effort to move. You don’t want to tire your pet out or possibly overheat them.
- Avoid small, dangling costume pieces that your pet might chew or choke on. The last thing you want is an emergency Hallow’s Eve vet visit.
- Keep your pet’s tags on. It’s not uncommon for pets to get separated from their owners on chaotic days like Halloween, so if your pet bolts, you want to make sure their tags and microchip will help them get home.
All preparation aside, if you realize that your pet hates their costume, they don’t have to wear it! Stress and anxiety aren’t good for pets, and the last thing you want is a grumpy dog zombie on your hands. Happy pets are better than costumed ones any day.
Fun Dog Halloween Treats
Who can resist festive dog treats? Especially when they’re spooktacular like these Banana Coconut Bats. Click for the recipe, or, if you’re more a visual learner, check out our video on how to make Pumpkin Spice Jack O’ Lantern dog cookies.
For more DIY dog Halloween treats, take a look at our collection over here.
Halloween and Dog Anxiety
Halloween can be scary for dogs, and not for the same reasons it is for us humans. Costumes, strangers at the door, unusual noises: There’s a lot going on that will seem suspicious to your dog.
If your dog is prone to anxiety even a little, consider keeping your dog indoors in a cozy, dog-safe zone for the evening, or tap a trusted pet sitter to keep them company. Halloween night could also be a good time to employ anti-anxiety tools for your dog—and there are many available, from hemp oil to pressure wraps. Talk to your vet about these options.
For more tips on how to help your dog navigate Halloween, check out this post from an experienced trainer.