If you’re looking for dog photo contest ideas for Halloween costumes for your pooch, we’ve got 113 winners to share. From funny to spooky, scary to original, big dogs and small dogs and every dog in between, there’s something here for you.
The dog costumes you are about to see can be used for photo contests and in-person competitions, too. Most importantly, dressing up for a contest should be fun for your pooch. As someone who has both entered and judged many dog Halloween contests, dogs should always be happy, not uncomfortable, and rewarded for their willingness to put up with us.
Let’s get started on the spooky, fun, festive Halloween costume ideas to help your pooch win top dog honors in a photo contest or in-person Halloween costume competition. Throughout this post, be sure to look for PRO TIP markers to get insider info to help your dog go to the head of the contest pack.
If you want the complete slideshow with all 113 costume ideas, slide on down.
This post contains some affiliate links for which I earn a small income if you click through and purchase something on the links. Please see my disclosure policy for details.
Scary Dog Halloween Photo Ideas
Whenever a dog photo contest that involves Halloween comes around, they must have a bunch of scary entries, right? Here are some scary ideas to set your pooch apart from the rest, a few photos, and the remainder in our video slideshow below.
- Dracula: Think of traditional Dracula who perhaps scared you as a child in those old-time movies. If you purchase the Dracula costume, be sure to pose your dog a darkened room with the light behind you.
- Frankenstein: Who says being different isn’t scary? Win a dog contest like a pro with a Hollywood classic. If you order a Frankenstein costume online, be sure your dog is okay with wearing something on his head.
- Werewolf: We’ve seen a lot of scary werewolves disguised as dogs in our years of running a Halloween photo contest.
- Freddy Krueger: Oh boy, this is the stuff canine nightmares are made of, and the kind of thing judges love if the photo is done right. It’s all about the claw with the Freddy Krueger costume.
- Spider: And we don’t mean Spiderman. We’re talking full-on tarantula with big hairy legs and the most adorable dog head! Creepy spider dog costumes are available online.
- Cruella de Vill: The ultimate “queen of mean” from the 101 Dalmatians movie is sure to set your dog apart in a photo competition. Check out the one who made our final cut in a previous Halloween contest for dogs.
PRO TIP: Take note of the background. Your dog might look awesome in the photo, but if the background is cluttered or busy, your entry may not make the cut.
Funny Dogs Ready For Halloween Time
People love to laugh, and that includes the judges in a photo competition for Halloween. As long as your dog is happy about it, here are a few costume ideas to help you snag first place in a contest. The slideshow below has the complete collection to inspire and tickle your funny bone.
- Skunk: Something stinks, but can it be your dog who got sprayed by a skunk? Maybe it’s your dog dressed up as a skunk and posing for the camera?
- Grapes: We all know grapes are dangerous to dogs, unless of course it’s your dog who is surrounded by green balloons. Of course, the end result is a walking bunch of grapes reading for popping!
- Rock, Paper, Scissors: This is one of the most clever, easy, and original costumes we’ve seen over the years. The dogs’ faces are priceless, and we hope they earned a big treat for being so cooperative.
- Watchdog: Sometimes less is more, and super creative, too. These dogs are sure to turn judges heads dressed up in their watchdog costume.
- Mom and Baby: Poor mama, she has rollers in her hair and baby won’t settle down for a nap. That’s what the two dogs in this photo seem to be thinking, which of course meant they took home a prize in the photo contest.
- Chick Magnet: This one speaks for itself, and we have to include it in the “easy but effective” category of our video slideshow. If your dog is a chick magnet, he needs this costume.
- Boston Cream Pie: This one took some effort but the results are oh-so-doggy-delicious. The right lighting and the perfect nuances make this Boston Terrier as a Boston Cream Pie a sure winner!
PRO TIP: If everyone is doing the same costume, be clever and think outside the box. Come up with something others are likely NOT going to do. Look up “dog Halloween costumes” on your favorite shopping site. 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.
Pretty Dogs Rule The Photo Competition
Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the prettiest dog of all? It’s your pooch, of course. Have some fun with these beautiful ideas for your gorgeous pups:
- Angel: Everyone has the most angelic dog on the planet, so use Halloween as the time to pop some angel wings on your precious pooch.
- Bride: Most 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 dressed as a bride.
- Genie In a Bottle: Years ago, one of our Halloween contest winners was a beautiful Schnauzer lovely in pink as a genie, complete with her magic bottle. Note the stunning backdrop, too.
- Dorothy From The Wizard of Oz: There’s no place like home. Let your Toto become Dorothy in all her splendor in a doggy Dorothy costume for Halloween.
- Minnie Mouse: Who doesn’t love Disney? Your sweet doggo with mouse ears is a recipe for success as you can see in the photo below.
- Princesses Galore: Whether you have one princess or a trio like the pups in last year’s Halloween contest, let their inner beauty shine for all to see.
PRO TIP: Practice the shot with a stuffed animal. Once you have the perfect shot, insert your dog into the shot and remove the stuffie.
Super Heroes Gone To The Dogs
Who says superheroes can only be humans? Ask any caped crusader who barks at the night sky, and he or she will tell you dogs matter, too! If you can pair up a clever costume with a fun backdrop, the sky’s the limit when it comes to a and the ones in our video slideshow.
- Wonder Woman
- Batman and Robin
- Captain America
- Iron Man
- Catwoman: This can be really fun, especially since you would dress a dog as a cat for the purr-fect photo opportunity.
- Incredible Hulk
PRO TIP: You need not spend a lot of money on dog Halloween costume materials for a contest. Sometimes less is more. Be creative but fair to your dog. If he or she in any way looks uncomfortable, the judges may frown on your dog photo contest entry.
Group Of Dogs For Halloween Fun
Perhaps you have more than one dog or want to pair up with some family and friends for a canine photoshoot to enter contests. Team up with fur-ends and pull your dogs together in pursuit of the prize. For me, it’s usually not about the loot but having fun with everyone and celebrating smiles doggie style. Some ideas include Wizard of Oz, pack of football players and cheerleader, and again, take the pun concept to a group level. Dress all the dogs in a shade of green and show up as (drumroll), “Gang Green!” Here are some others.
- Religious dogs: From popes to priests, Hanukkah and more.
- Little Red Riding Hood Theme
- Pop culture from television
- A pack of hippies complete with wigs and glasses
- Farm animals
- Your very own canine football team and cheerleaders
PRO TIP: Don’t photoshop or alter the image in any way. Judges like originality and not photos that have been obviously altered.
Pop Culture And Celebrities For Photo Fun
Who is hip and in and would make a clever costume? People that are on-trend and also classic movie stars and singers make for a fun photo op and contest entry for dogs. Here are some clever ideas from previous contests we’ve held.
- Hound Dog: Take a page from the King of Rock n’ Roll, and dress your dog up as Elvis Presley.
- Politics: With an election coming soon, consider dressing Fido like a candidate or a rock star from the Supreme Court, like Ruth Bader Ginsberg.
- Presidential Pup: Abraham Lincoln was honest and he’d be a perfect costume for pups.
- Handmaid’s Tale: It’s scary and so hot right now, so how about your dog as a cast member from the popular tv show?
- Royals are the Rage: From Prince Harry and Megan’s wedding to all the royal fun in between, maybe your dog has royal fever!
- The Office: On the cusp of its 15th anniversary, the popular NBC Show “The Office” has gone to the dogs, like the cutie dressed as Dwight Schrute below.
PRO TIP: 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.
Simple Costumes Make For Easy Photo Fun
As we’ve shared time and again, sometimes less is more. Some of our favorite Halloween photos over the years are very understated and mega adorable. Consider these cute ideas.
PRO TIP: Unless specified in the contest rules, don’t include humans in the photo.
More Dog Photo Ideas For Halloween
Don’t stop now, the above was a warmup. Here are a few more dog costume ideas before you watch the complete slideshow below:
Modify a Kid’s Costume: When my dog was a pirate for Halloween, I cut and modified a child’s size pirate costume and added a parrot purchased at Party City for $5.99.
Modify Dog Clothing: I used a dog’s polo shirt I found at a pet supply store for $6.99 and used it as a base for Dexter’s “cereal killer” costume.
Do the Opposite: Ever see a dog dressed as a squirrel? A dog dressed as a cat? People love opposites, and by “people” I also mean judges.
BONUS PRO TIP: Play with your dog and tire him out before the photo session. Use his or her favorite treats when trying to snap the perfect photo. Ask a friend or family member to help you.
Want to win a Halloween photo contest for dogs? <=== More ideas here
Note: This post contains affiliate links from Amazon, meaning if you click on a link above and then make a purchase, Fidose of Reality will receive a small commission with no extra cost to you. You help us keep the site up and running and in exchange, you get to shop for items you love. Wags!