Do you dress your dog up for Halloween? I do! It's so much fun to dress them in Halloween costumes for dogs or simple homemade dog Halloween costumes you create yourself. Not every dog likes to get dressed up for Halloween, and each dog has a different tolerance for wearing costumes, or wearing any clothes for that matter. Follow these simple dog Halloween costume tips and your Howloween won't be terrifying for your dog!

It's important to know your dog's comfort level for wearing clothing or costumes and consider that when coming up with safe Dog Halloween Costume ideas.


My dogs are very different in terms of their comfort level for wearing pet clothing or pet costumes. My Siberian Husky Icy, really doesn't like to wear clothes or costumes at all. She rarely stays still long enough for me to take some photos, and there better be some high value treats involved!

Phoebe, my Little Mermaid in my elaborate Mermaid Under The Sea vignette

Phoebe on the other hand, will wear anything I ask her to. In fact, she loves when I put clothes or costumes on her! I think she is mostly responding to all the adoring attention and yummy treats she gets when she looks adorable in a super cute outfit or costume.

Some dogs get really stressed out when you try to put any kind of clothing or costumes on them. If your dog gets super stressed when the pet garments come out, you may want to opt for simple accessories that clearly show the idea of a costume or theme, but are easy to utilize.

Accessories like colorful holiday themed collars and leashes, holiday themed bandanas and scarfs or bow ties are also a great choice. Some bandanas are actually worn on the dog's collar. Collars fit right through an opening on the bandana, similar to how a curtain rod slides through a curtain. 

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Simple Halloween bandanas that most dogs will wear

Icy and Phoebe look festive in their Halloween bandanas. For great Halloween photos of the dogs I got a spooky background and placed a single skull head prop next to them - instant simple Halloween photo session!

I also have these cute matching Halloween neck scarves for my dogs. The scarf has an elastic band that makes it more comfortable to wear. It's a simple accessory that clearly says Halloween.

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Simple elastic scarf accessories that are easy for dogs to wear 

If your dog doesn't like to wear clothing or costumes but is willing to wear simpler costumes, try a head piece, a cape, or a "rider" costume. These are adorable but minimally intrusive to dogs.  Icy's Headless Horseman costume and Phoebe's Devil costume are perfect examples.

Icy's Headless Horseman rider Halloween costume is one of my favorites! When she runs with her Headless Horseman costume on it's a Riot! The costume fits easily and comfortably on her back, kind of like a dog backpack.

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Icy wearing her Headless Horseman rider costume 

Phoebe, my sweet little Devil is so cute wearing her devil horns, a red sparkly bow tie, and a devil tail. The red sparkle pitchfork and distressed tiny pumpkin lend a fun touch.  Simple wearable accessories plus a few props make an adorable Halloween costume.

Phoebe, my adorable little Devil!

Safety tips for Dog Halloween Costumes

If your dog is up for a full on pet Halloween costume, go for it!  If you decide to have your dog wear a full costume, here are some safety tips for Dog Halloween Costumes to keep in mind as you plan for Halloween fun with your dog.

🐾 Inspect dog costumes to ensure there are no pieces or parts of the costume that can be easily ripped or chewed off, possibly posing a choking hazard.

🐾 Dog costumes or costume accessories should not limit the dog's eyesight or their ability to move freely while wearing costumes. 

🐾 Costumes that cover a dog's head or eyes can inhibit a dog's ability to see what's around them. It could even limit their breathing, especially if the dog is a brachycephalic dog breed like Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, and Pugs.

My DIY cardboard Disney Frozen castle with Phoebe as Elsa and Icy as Olaf

I had spent so much time making this DIY Disney's Frozen castle, I was pretty proud of it! It took me hours to make the castle, and I had purchased adorable Elsa and Olaf costumes for Phoebe and Icy to wear. But as cute as Icy's Olaf costume was, she didn't like wearing it at all. The Olaf costume wasn't comfortable for her and it's giant head impaired her ability to move and see freely.  So I snapped some photos, showing off their costumes and my DIY castle and then threw poor Olaf in the trash. 

Phoebe loved wearing her Elsa costume, so I kept that one. I should have dressed Icy as Anna instead of Elsa's faithful friend Olaf! Poor Olaf.

🐾 Be sure to let your dog try on Dog Costumes in advance of any Halloween parties, visits to pet store dog Halloween events, or greeting Halloween trick or treaters at your door. Don't wait 'til the last minute to make sure the costume fits your dog properly, and that he can move comfortably and safely in it.

🐾 Measure your dog to make sure her costume is the right size and can be adjusted for optimal fit.

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Dogs can be frightened by scary Halloween decor and costumes

Halloween is a fun holiday that's scary and spooky. We know that, and we expect scary decorations in the neighborhood and in stores. We also get a kick out of seeing neighborhood kids in elaborate, scary costumes. But our dogs don't understand the concept of All Hallows Eve and can be frightened by these Fright Night sights. The Humane Society points out that even our Halloween costumes might be scary to our own pets! Be aware of that and slowly introduce your dog or puppy to spirited Halloween decor and costumes, including your own.

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Visit Spirited Colonial Williamsburg this Halloween

Are you dressing your pets up for Halloween this year?  Tell us about it in the comments!



Michelle & The Paw Pack said...

I posted something very similar recently! Neither of my dogs mind wearing Halloween costumes. I suspect it's because I got them used to wearing things like harnesses, jackets, and sweaters when they were pups. We don't do much to celebrate Halloween, but dressing up the dogs and letting them go "trick-or-treating", aka giving them treats lol, is probably my favorite thing about Halloween. How adorable is that castle! You did a great job on it.

DawgBlogger said...

Cute! We don't dress up our dogs, though. My and my dogs have a deal--they don't make me roll in deer poop and I don't make them wear outfits. Good deal, I think.

Impurrfectlife said...

I love all the ways you had Icy and Phoebe dress up for Halloween. Bless them for wanting to participate. I used to attempt to dress up my cats...Nope! They were not having it. They would lay there and play dead. LOL They were more than happy to TRY to eat the cellophane wrappers off the Halloween candy though!

Terri said...

Great Halloween and dog clothes wearing tips in general. My dog will wear whatever I ask him to as well, but he gives me this look that is so pitiful that I know how he feels. He responds well to neckties. So, if he needs a costume (or I think he needs to wear a costume), he's a dog executive. LOL
Both Phoebe and Icy are absolutely adorable dressed up in their dog costumes. I love the headless horseman one too for Icy. It must be hysterical in a full on run.
BTW, your photos are fabulous!

Britt K said...

These are great tips. This year, Lucifer's costume is actually a child's costume that I altered and updated to work best for him. For example, the devil horns were a hard plastic headband but that wasn't going to be comfortable for him. So, I removed the horns from the headband and attached them to a felt headpiece that we could safely put on him and he LOVES it lol Last time I put them on him I had to convince him to let me take them off lol

Nikki said...

I think my favorite Halloween costume for dogs is the TY tag to make them into a beanie baby. Its so simple and cleaver and you can make the tag smaller so it doesn't cause issues to movement at all (any more than a usually tag + collar combo). Great tips for a festive Halloween!

Dash Kitten Crew said...

Some of Icy and Phoebe's costumes are just so cute. I am glad you show a balance of small and cute to full body armour (!) so that every pet can get involved in the sun too. Some of the dog costumes are better than the human ones!

Beth said...

I love seeing dogs wearing Halloween costumes when it is obvious that they are comfortable in them, like Phoebe and Icy. They have had a lot of great costumes over the years!

FiveSibesMom said...

Love this! Phoebe was such a darling! I had to laugh when you said Icy wasn't into costumes, my five weren't either! Harley would give me "the look" that said, "You better not be putting that on me." !!! I was able to get away with "hats" one year, and collars were fine, but no clothing! I do love Icy as Olaf! And those devil ears are also one of the things I did manage to get on Harley (because they suited her, LOL). Great post - sharing and Happy Howloween to you and Icy (and Phoebe at the Rainbow Bridge). Hugs!

Anonymous said...

That headless horseman costume had me IN FITS!!! It is totally priceless as is those whole selection, something for the non-costume dogs and more elaborate fun stuff for those who like to play. Brilliant.

Marjorie and Toulouse

Jana Rade said...

Great costume ideas. Though, frankly, I really don't know why dogs put up with this stuff :-) We never put anything on our dogs they don't need.

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