If you need ideas for the best dog Halloween costumes, you’ve landed in the right place. For over a decade, we’ve hosted a dog Halloween photo contest and often judge other contests.
Most dog Halloween costume contests and events will be online this year due to the virus, so why not have some fun from the comfort of home?!
First and foremost, the best dog Halloween costumes are comfortable on the dog and don’t prohibit movement if they are walking in it.
The only trouble with most dog costumes on our list is you’ll have trouble choosing just one. Whether you are entering a dog Halloween photo contest or trick or treating with your kids from a safe social distance and plan to include your dog, we’ve got you covered with dog costume ideas.
We all could use a little bit of fun and levity and that goes for the dogs, too. Halloween is the one time of year where we can dress up and pretend to be someone or something else, so why not get your dog in on the fun?!
We will share some of our favorite dog Halloween costume entrants from over the last decade and tell you how to win online dog photo contests for Halloween. Here are 90 ideas for dog Halloween costume fun. Which ones are your favorites?
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Classic Best Dog Halloween Costumes
You can’t go wrong with a classic look when entering a dog Halloween photo contest. Here are a few of our classic favorites entered by dog moms and dog dads in our Halloween photo contests over the years:
When entering a dog Halloween photo contest, always look at what is in the background of your shot. Is it cluttered or clean? Never photoshop something into the background of a photo you plan to enter in a contest unless the rules specifically state you can.
Funny Canine Halloween Costumes
Everyone loves a good laugh, and sometimes the funniest costumes come from things you probably have in your home or apartment right now.
One year, I pieced together plastic spoons and knives, red food coloring with water, and empty cereal boxes. I assembled the ensemble so my Cocker Spaniel was a “cereal killer” for Halloween, see?
As long as your dog is a good sport about it, here are some ideas for funny dog Halloween costumes to tickle the funny bone:
What we love about funny dog Halloween costumes is they can be clever, perfect on a shoestring budget, get the creative juices flowing, and they generally stand out from other entries.
If you can catch the judge’s attention because the costume makes them laugh or smile, that’s a win. By the way, Lola the Showgirl was a winner in our annual Halloween dog photo contest one year. Notice the lighting in these photos.
Don’t send dark or blurry images for contests, as they are often overlooked.
Pop Culture Costumes For Dogs
Ripped straight from the headlines, breaking news, and pop culture celebrities and icons are always fun ideas for dog costumes. Be careful so the costume doesn’t get too political or in poor taste, as that’s guaranteed to get tossed in the “no thanks” pile.
If you need ideas, see who’s trending in the news, what celebrities are well known and easily recognizable, or check out the covers on People or Us Weekly at the supermarket when you are standing in line. Here are some pop culture ideas for your doggos:
Notice how these dogs are a perfect match for the costumes they are wearing. Darth Vader dog is black, which makes for a wonderful Star Wars villain.
A Bulldog dressed as an Ewok is sure to melt even the most discriminating contest judge’s heart. Look into television show characters, The Cat in the Hat is a classic, especially with the beloved books stacked up in the hot. Notice how the backgrounds complement most of these images.
Group Of Dogs Halloween Costumes
Many pet parents own more than one dog, and that’s when the creative juices can really get flowing. From the cast of the Wizard of Oz to members of a rock band, the possibilities are endless.
Maybe you have a great idea for a group dog Halloween costume but need more dogs. Pair up with friends from a safe social distance and meet at an area park or backyard to snap photos. Some ideas include a team of football players with cheerleaders or take the pun concept to a group level. Dress all the dogs in a shade of green and show up as (drumroll), “Gang Green!”
If you are entering a dog Halloween photo contest, read the rules carefully. Unless specified in the contest rules, don’t include humans in the photo.
Photos are often excluded and overlooked because the entrant broke the rules. We recommend having a vision of what you want your final photo to look like. Once you know the end result, it’s easier to set the dogs up.
Let dogs walk around in their costumes to get used to them if possible. I like to walk my dog first or tire him out a bit before a photo session. Reward and don’t annoy your dog. Short 5 to 10 minute photo sessions is my maximum amount of time.
Halloween Dress Up Ideas For 2 Dogs
One is fun but two dogs are twice as nice. Themed duos if done right are always attention grabbers. Sometimes simple is all you need, like a super hero duo or the adorable dogs above dressed as Ghostbusters (complete with ghosts and slime).
We love multiple holidays, so the Christmas theme for Halloween photo is a cute idea. Look at the faces on these dogs: they fit their costumes and theme. We absolutely melt for the Labrador and his smaller canine pal dressed as Beauty and the Beast. Bonus points for those Halloween costumes because the dogs are smiling!
Pretty Dog Costume Ideas
If you got the world’s prettiest dog (and who doesn’t), why not let her flaunt her beauty with a Halloween costume that matches her personality?
Some girls dream of a big wedding in a stunning white dress. Let your dog walk down the Halloween aisle and into the contest judges’ hearts. I’ve practiced photos with my female Cocker Spaniel using a stuffed animal in her place.
I’ve also modified a child’s costume to fit my dog and spent no more than $20 total. Here are some pretty dog Halloween costume ideas:
The judges should be able to tell what your dog is supposed to be in their Halloween costume. Don’t make it hard nor feel the need to send a long explanation with your contest entry. When my dog was a pirate for Halloween, I cut and modified a child’s size pirate costume and added a parrot purchased online for $5.99.
Creative Dog Costumes
Some people color outside the lines and get super creative with their dog’s Halloween costumes. Judges love clever and punny Halloween costumes and your dog’s photo will stand out from the rest.
Come up with something others are likely NOT going to do. Can you take a modern twist on a classic? Remember the year everyone dressed their dog as a Beanie Baby? The entries were adorable but overwhelming. Be different and be memorable. Here are a few examples of creative dog Halloween costumes:
You need not spend a lot of money on dog Halloween costume materials for a contest. The UPS delivery pup is adorable and different because the owner shot the photo outside at the entrance to their front door.
Notice how the dog is stacked high atop the UPS boxes. This dog Halloween photo stands out! The police car is adorable for a parade and was simply placed on a wagon.
Puns rule the roost around, so we love the “chicken poodle” can of soup. Look up “puns” online and get some fab ideas for canine costumes.
Here’s my dog Dexter dressed as a “bubble wrapper” one year:
Dog Halloween Costumes Potpourri
Some Halloween costumes for dogs fall into the potpourri or this and that category. They could be scary, heroic, or somewhere in between.
No matter what costume you decide on, the judges should be able to tell what your dog is supposed to be in their Halloween costume. Don’t make it hard nor feel the need to send a long explanation with your contest entry. Here are a few adorable and off-the-beaten path dog costumes for Halloween:
Where To Buy Dog Halloween Costumes Online
Here’s a link to the Amazon Prime Page of canine Halloween costumes. Always check the reviews first and be sure you measure your dog appropriately.
Chest measurements are most important because you want the costume to fit and be comfortable for your pooch.
More Dog Halloween Costume Ideas And Tips
We hope the above 90 dog Halloween costume ideas help give you some ideas. Feel free to use the same concepts. Here are a few more tips to read to help your photos stand out from all the rest in an online dog Halloween photo contest.
Be sure to enter our annual dog Halloween photo contest kicking off October 4, 2023.