Fall is a very exciting time of year for many people. Depending on where you are located, the weather tends to get a little cooler, the trees lose some of their leaves, and stores begin stocking Halloween candy and costumes. This includes costumes for pets, too! It can be fun to include pets in the excitement of Halloween preparations, and costumes can be the perfect way for pets to be included.
You may have seen several variations of this costume. One of the most popular variations is the one where a dog looks like he is helping carry a UPS parcel on his back while another (stuffed) dog is carrying it with his front legs. This costume is simply placed over the dog and the parcel covers his body.
This is a very simple yet impressive costume. A large ring of fur in the shape of a lion’s mane is placed around the dog’s head. These manes sometimes have a small elastic band or hood behind them so that the mane stays in place. If your dog doesn’t like larger costumes due to anxiety but doesn’t mind wearing something around his head or neck, then this may be the perfect costume.
One of the most popular characters in the DC Comics Universe, Wonder Woman is also a popular character for dog costumes. Often, the original costume from the comics is the most common. It is made up of a red corset with a gold belt and a navy-blue skirt that is decorated with white stars. Make sure you don’t forget the Golden Lasso of Truth!
Spider-Man is one of the characters from the Marvel Comics Universe and has had many cinematic iterations over the past two decades. Traditionally, his outfit is a bodysuit with red and blue coloring. In the center of his torso, there is a black spider web pattern, and this same pattern can sometimes be seen on his hands, feet, and the mask that he wears. Most dog versions of this costume are in the form of a shirt that can be slipped over your dog’s torso.
These are two characters in DC Comics Universe who have been depicted in recent movies and TV series. The costume pattern is almost like the opposite of Wonder Woman’s. Dogs with Superman’s costume have a blue shirt with a red cape and the Superman logo in the center of the shirt and/or cape. Dogs with Supergirl’s costume typically swap out the red cape for a red skirt or a red tutu, and the Superman logo is in the center of the shirt.
The “dynamic duo” of the DC Comics Universe have also had their share of movies and TV series in recent years. The average dog Batman costume consists of gray to black colors, a cape, and sometimes a mask. The yellow Batman logo is in the center of the shirt. For Robin, the typical dog costume consists of a red shirt with green sleeves and a yellow cape. A black face mask is optional.
Like the banana split, most hot dog costumes for dogs run along the dog’s back, and the buns sit on both sides of the dog’s body to complete the look.
Most latte dog Halloween costumes have the Starbucks logo on the back of them, and some of them come with a little whipped cream hat with a straw sticking out!
Traditional stormtrooper costumes are all white with black at the joint spaces, and the same applies to the dog version. Some versions also include the white mask/helmet, although these may be better saved for photo ops instead of walking with them!
Ewoks are the small, teddy-bear-like creatures from the Star Wars universe. Some Ewok costumes come in the form of a shirt with a hood. Others are made in the shape of an Ewok where the dog’s face is visible at the top while his front paws go through the legs, so it looks like an Ewok is walking towards you!
Most of the available Darth Vader costumes for dogs are comprised of a black shirt with silver accents, a black cape, and a black hat shaped like a helmet.
It is important to make sure that the measurements are correct for your dog’s costume. Some pet stores may allow your dog to try it on first, and if you are ordering online, then make sure you have a tape measure handy. You should also have a test-run with the costume prior to wearing it on Halloween. Some dogs do just fine with capes and hats while others might shake them off and run away!
Even with frequent costume practice, some dogs can be very anxious on Halloween. The sights, sounds, and smells can also make dogs uncomfortable. Positive reinforcement training can help when dogs are upset with constant doorbell knocks and rings, and it can also help dogs adjust to wearing their costumes. You can start a few weeks in advance by putting all or part of the costume on your dog and then rewarding them with a tasty treat for good behavior. CBD oil, pheromone products, and naturally calming treats can help during training and on Halloween night.
It is important to make sure that candy is kept out of reach of dogs. Candy is usually very high in sugar content which can cause stomach upset and can predispose some dogs to diabetes. Chocolate is known to be toxic for dogs, and most Halloween candies contain chocolate. The plastic wrappers, foil wrappers, sticks used for lollipops, and other materials can accumulate in the stomach and cause a digestive tract obstruction. Obstructions of the digestive tract can make pets very sick and often warrant emergency surgery. If you suspect that your dog has eaten some of your Halloween candy, then contact your veterinarian right away for more information. It helps if you have some idea of what candy was ingested and how much or how many pieces were eaten. For candy storage, high cabinets and lockable plastic bins are very useful.
With a little preparation and research, you can find an excellent costume for your dog to wear on Halloween. It’s always fun to include dogs in family activities. Make sure to take plenty of photos and tag us on Facebook, even if your dog only ends up staying in costume for a few seconds!
Dr. Erica Irish
Erica has worked in the veterinary field since 2006, starting out as a veterinary technician before graduating from the UF College of Veterinary Medicine in 2013. As a general practitioner in an animal hospital, she has many interests and is especially interested in dermatology, cardiology, internal and integrative medicine.