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We’ve come a long way since All Hallow’s Eve. Celtic bonfires to ward off ghosts have been replaced with an homage to pumpkins and trick-or-treaters. But the holiday’s greatest evolution has nothing to do with children, at least not human ones. With Halloween less than a week away, it’s time to revisit the beloved ritual of making our pets miserable by dressing them in ridiculously cute costumes. Whether it be through reimagined holiday classics, pop-culture references, or just generally spooky getups — there’s no shortage of options.
First thing’s first: Safety on Halloween is always a concern. Between the large amounts of activity and the plethora of not-so-safe treats for pups and cats, Halloween can get pretty scary for our dogs if we’re not careful. So, to keep them safe, happy, and impeccably dressed this Halloween, here are our safety tips around costumes:
1. Leashes should never be attached to costumes. Always ensure your pup has on their properly fitted-and-tagged harness and collar underneath their costume at all times.
2. Ensure the costume is comfortable enough for your pup to tolerate. Try to leave costumes on for a brief amount of time or give your pup plenty of breaks throughout the night.
3. Be aware of any small accessories or details on your pets costume that they might be able to bite off and ingest. Always supervise your pet while they are wearing their costume and never leave them alone while they are wearing it.
4. Remember to choose a costume that fits comfortably and doesn’t restrict your dog's movement or breathing.
5. Most dogs don’t love costumes, so pay attention to their body language. If it seems like they want you to discard their fit, take one last cute picture, and let them be free.
All that said, be warned — this tradition is not for the vain of heart; your dog will soon replace you as the center of attention. It’s true, nothing says “notice me” like a dog in the perfect Halloween costume.
Btw, our editors (and their pets) picked out these products. They’re always in stock at the time we publish, but there’s a chance they’ll sell out. If you do buy through our links, we may earn a commission. (We’ve got a lot of toys to buy over here, you know?)
The best Halloween costumes for large dogs
For dogs over 70-plus pounds, finding a Halloween costume can be a challenge. But that doesn’t mean your pup has to sit out the fun! As we stated above, safety and comfortability should be key — all of which start with a well-fitting costume. The costumes below are all available in up to a 3X or are designed to be one size fits all (but, like, actually one size fits all.)
The best Halloween costumes for small dogs
Just as it is with bigger dogs, it’s important to find a well-fitting costume for your small dog. Unlike large dogs, small dogs tend to have more to choose from. You can go the cute, classic route with the popular hot dog costume or go the scary route with the spider costume. Whatever you choose for your pup, ensure that it is comfortable and well-fitting for safe, spooky fun.
Funny Halloween costumes for dogs
Halloween is the perfect time to let your and your dog’s shared sense of humor shine. What better way to do that than dressing your dog up as Mario? Or, you can go the trendy route with a hilarious pickleball costume (the pickleball-obsessed contestants on The Golden Bachelor would be proud). Or, you can go the timeless route with a Dolly Parton costume. Whatever you pick, you’ll be sure to yuk it up with these hilarious costumes.
Cute Halloween costumes for dogs
All dog Halloween costumes are cute, but these costumes go full throttle (full throttle cute, that is.) Instagram ready, these costumes are equally cute and comfortable for your pets. Get a few “awws” (and tons of likes) by dressing your pup up as a super sweet strawberry. Or go more classic adorable with this wizard look. Below, our pick for the most popular cute dog costumes of 2023.
DIY Halloween costumes for dogs
When it comes down to it, Halloween is about tradition. And is there any greater tradition than frantically googling “how to make a Halloween costume for your dog” 48 hours before Halloween festivities start? This year, leave some of the panic behind and plan in advance. Just take advantage of that sweet, sweet two-day shipping with these DIY costume options, all created with items from Amazon.
Halloween costumes for dogs and their parents
One of the greatest honors you can share with your dog, and subsequently with the world, is dressing up in a couples costume with them. Whether it’s as The Grinch and Max, or as Weird Barbie and her plastic-pooping dog, your tandem costume with your pup is sure to be a hit. Below, our picks for the best me-and-my dog costumes.
When to DIY your dog’s Halloween costume or dye their fur — and when to leave it to the pros.
The best costumes that you and your cat’s Instagram followers will get a kick out of.
Cats might be a symbol of Halloween, but that’s as far as they want it to go.
Scarier than Halloween Kills.
A.k.a. a night that won’t turn into a spooky-scary time at the emergency vet.
Because there’s nothing scarier than being off-trend.
Sean Zucker is a writer whose work has been featured in Points In Case, The Daily Drunk, Posty, and WellWell. He has an adopted Pit Bull named Banshee whose work has been featured on the kitchen floor and whose behavioral issues rival his own.
Rebecca Caplan is a writer based in Brooklyn whose work has been featured in The New Yorker, Reductress, and Vulture. She lives in Brooklyn with her perfect, toothless dog Moose.