Everyone knows costumes are the best part of Halloween (well, maybe tied with free candy), and that includes costumes for our pups.
If you’re planning to dress up your dog this year—with or without the side-eye—you’re not alone. Pet parents spent nearly a half-billion dollars on pet costumes in 2019, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF). That’s a lot of pumpkins (pupkins?) and tutus.
When picking out a Halloween costume for your dog, you need to do two things—aside from choosing a theme, of course:
1.) Measure your dog. Like human clothes, dog clothes, including costumes, can vary according to brand. Be sure to measure your dog and use the product’s size chart or adjust your DIY measurements as needed. Take these three measurements:
- Length: Measure the length of your dog along their spine from the base of the neck to the base of the tail.
- Chest girth: Measure along around the largest part of your dog’s rib cage, all the way around when they’re standing.
- Neck girth: This should generally be the same measurement as their collar.
2.) Consider temperament. Because our dogs are our best friends, we want them to be comfortable on their walk to get some tasty treats. Sometimes just a headband works for a dog who may be uncomfortable in a full-body costume. Take your cues from them by observing their body language.
We have rounded up a few of our top picks based on the size of the dog. Of course, creativity is all about adaptation, so if you want to put your Great Dane in a Yoda suit, you do you.
For small dogs, a recent trend has been “walking costumes” that add legs, like this adorable pirate French Bulldog. These babies are worth every penny for the extra laughs they create! Don’t believe us? Spend some time searching these up on YouTube.
Other popular small dog costumes include many variations on the aforementioned pumpkin, any small or furry creature from galaxies near or far far away, plus princesses, dinosaurs, hot dogs, and pretty much any other small furry animal.
Pumpkins are the top-selling dog costume, according to the NRF, but dog lovers know Basset Hounds look cute in pretty much any costume.
For Bassets and other medium-sized dogs, there’s been a recent trend of “riding” costumes, where it appears a small creature, such as a cowboy or jockey, is riding on your costume-clad pet. So cute! In fact, a cowboy rider costume is in the top 10 costumes sold on Amazon.
Medium dogs also look especially cute in superhero costumes, or dressed as bumblebees and ballerinas.
For large dogs, sometimes less is more, like this cutie in a bowtie. The big guys are notoriously averse to clothing, and that includes a complicated costume. In addition to ties, headbands that sport devil horns and bunny or other animal ears are especially popular for large dogs.
If your dog is game, some of the most popular costumes for large dogs include superheroes, dinosaurs, and tuxedos. There’s even a delivery driver, complete with package, that is No 2. on Amazon’s best-seller list.
And if your large dog is a Golden Retriever, you may be doing the world a disservice by not dressing him as a lion at least once. In fact, a lion’s mane is currently the best-selling dog costume on Amazon.
No matter your dog’s size, a homemade costume can be just as fun and creative—and probably a lot cheaper. One of our favorites is to wrap your pup in medical gauze to create an instant mummy. Or you can cut eye and mouth holes in an old sheet and transform her into a ghost, just like many people did as kids.
But if you don’t want to ruin a perfectly good sheet or invest in yards of gauze, fear not—the internet is full of cute DIY ideas for dogs of all sizes.
Remember, while it’s great to have fun on Halloween, the comfort and safety of your pup should be your first consideration when it comes to costumes. You know your dog, so use your best judgement on their comfort level. And have a Happy Halloween!