Halloween has gone to the dogs! If you landed on this post, you are looking for Halloween costume ideas for dogs (or just want to see what others are doing). You’re in for a treat…and maybe a few tricks, too. According to the National Retail Federation, in 2015, Americans spent about $350 million on costumes. For every $3 we spent on a kid’s costume, $1 will be spent on an outfit for the cat or dog.
First and foremost, please with wheat-free dog biscuits on top, do not force your dog to wear a costume if he is unhappy, never make a dog uncomfortable, and be extra cautious about elastic, tightness, and any sort of restrictions a costume might impose.
To save you the guesswork, here are 5 things to be sure you do so that the dog is not unhappy or in harm’s way. Oh, and by the way, if entering a contest, judges frown on the entrants where the dog is not a happy camper:
(1) If your dog is wearing a costume, make sure he likes it, that it’s comfortable, and that he is familiar with walking in it. Never make a dog dress up if the dog is not happy about it. One sure way to lose is a contest is to put a dog in a costume where he is unhappy, uncomfortable, and just generally not pleased with the situation. My dog wears clothes and is used to it, so this was an easy transition for me. My previous Cocker Spaniel was a year-round clothes wearer for the nearly 15 years she shared this life with me.
(2) Ensure you have the right size of clothing or costume for your dog and that there are no elastic bands, tight areas, nor snaps or buttons that can rub, irritate, or scratch your dog. Dogs should have room and the apparel should not be too tight that it prohibits or restricts any movement.
(3) Some dogs are just not into clothes, and this is perfectly okay. You can bling a dog out with fun collars and leashes or a bandana.
(4) Some dogs, like people, can have an allergic reaction to certain fabrics or materials in fabric. If a dog gets a sudden and continued case of the itches, remove the clothing to avoid problems.
(5) Use the same techniques to get a dog used to clothing or a comfortable costume that you would for something like the an anti-anxiety/Thundershirt. Let your dog wear the clothing in the house for a few minutes. Even if you start with 60 seconds and reward for good behavior, this is a start. If the dog shows a complete disdain for the product, never force them and remove immediately.
Personally, I act like my dog just won Westminster Kennel Club Show and throw a verbal party, “Yay Dexter, good boy, Dexter.” My dog is play motivated, so when he has a piece of clothing on we play ball for 5 to 10 minutes. Suddenly, wearing clothes means playing ball. If the clothing is something heavy, such as a sweater, playing and sweating might not be a good idea.
BONUS HINT: Some costumes are best for photo contests, where a seated position and backdrop are used. Photoshopped photos are excluded from a lot of contests, including ours. Use your best judgment when creating a costume, as some are best modeled in a sit stay.
Here are the 100 Halloween costume ideas for dogs broken down by cat…er dog-egory for your convenience:
Dracula, Devil, On a Platter, Cannibals, Three-headed dog, Ghost, Zombie
Frozen princesses, UPS man and package, Thing 1 and Thing 2, Flowers in a Pot, Scuba Divers, Curly Fries, Mr and Mrs Dracula
Wizard of Oz, Papal Conclave, Princess/Cop/Fireman, Football Players and Cheerleader, Star Wars, The Voice original judges, Vikings
Pirate, Wonder Woman, Chef, Marilyn Monroe, Ty Beanie Baby, Beetlejuice, Frog
Princess, I Dream of Genie, Dorothy from Wizard of Oz, Angel, Minnie Mouse, Cute Witch, Ariel from the Little Mermaid
Clown in car, Barkarita, Mad Hatter, Alligator Dog, 50 Shades of Gray, Elvis Dog, Cabbage Patch Kid
Lobster in a pot, Lobster on land, Taco, Banana Split, Hamburger Stand, Boston Cream Pie, Campbell’s Chicken Poodle Soup
Bunny, Dinosaur, Cow 1 and Cow 2, Dog as a Cat, Spider, Winnie the Pooh Bear
Scarecrow, Fall Harvest, Scarecrow version 2, Perfect Halloween Scene, Scarecrow and Pumpkin, Mardi Gras Halloween, Pumpkin Patch
Superdog, Ghostbusters, Captain America 1, Batman and Robin, Batman, Captain America 2, Wonder Woman
Dracula, Zombie and Zombie Fighter, Werewolf, Devil, Dracula, Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein, Dracula version 2
Little Red Riding Hood and Grandma, Wolf/Little Red Riding Hood and Grandma, Game of Operation, Students and Teacher, Magician and Assistant, Assault and Battery, Boom Box
Cheerleader, President (Abe Lincoln), Boxer, Doctor, Football Player, Jesters, Tennis Players
Snow White, Lone Ranger and Tonto, Cookie Monster, Dr. Who, Snoopy and Woodstock, Yoda, Headless Horseman, Little Shop of Horrors, Harry Potter
Bonus: And of course, here is our little man, Dexter, as a “Cereal Killer”
If you made it this far, yay! Here’s a wagging bonus: How to Win a Dog Halloween Costume Contest
Now that you have ins-paw-ration, enter the Fidose of Reality 2016 Dog Halloween Photo Contest! Have fun and all treats, no tricks, and lots of tail wag safe fun to you and your pack! What’s your favorite from those above or did we miss your favorite?