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How to Buy Dog Costumes for Halloween: Find a Pet Costume Idea that Matches a Dog’s Personality

Just a few years ago, dog costumes for Halloween were obsolete, hard-to-find novelties. Today, Halloween pet costumes can be found not only in pet boutiques, but they’re also stocked in mainstream pet supply stores like Petco and PetSmart and even “big box” stores like Target and Wal-Mart sell dog costumes in the weeks leading up to Halloween.

There are several tricks to finding a great dog costume for Halloween; it’s about finding the right size pet costume, and finding a style of Halloween costume that the dog will wear. Pet owners should also buy a dog costume that’s appropriate for the pet’s personality, as this is what makes the difference between the good costume and the perfect costume.

Buying a Unique Pet Costume to Match a Dog’s Personality

The perfect dog costume for Halloween isn’t just unique or cute; it must match the dog’s personality. A pet costume that matches the dog’s personality will be sure to get a chuckle from family members, friends, neighbors and others who know the dog.

So when searching for the perfect idea for a dog costume this Halloween, think about the dog’s personality and consider what a person with the same personality may do for a living or as a hobby. Here are some ideas for a dog costume based on personality:

  • A cheerleader costume for a dog with a peppy personality. (Wal-Mart even sells dog cheerleader costumes and dog sports jerseys with the color and logo of professional sports teams!);
  • A bikini, surfer costume or fish costume for a dog who enjoys the water;
  • A cat costume for a dog who enjoys the company of his feline friends;
  • A devil costume for a dog who’s mischievous;
  • A jester or clown costume for a dog who’s goofy and likes to entertain his humans;
  • A dinosaur or elephant costume for a dog who’s clumsy and lacks grace;
  • A pig costume for a dog who loves to eat;
  • A an alligator or shark costume for a dog who’s a bit nippy or for a dog with a scrappy personality;
  • A prince or princess costume for a dog who’s always pampered by his owners, and;
  • A “mommy and me” costume for the dog who’s very attached to her owner. One fun costume idea involves dressing the human in a dog costume and dressing the dog in a Dorothy costume from The Wizard of Oz.

Another idea for selecting a great Halloween dog costume involves finding an outfit that plays to the dog’s physical attributes or habits. Consider the following fun pet costume ideas based on a dog’s physical appearance and tendencies:

  • A Sherlock Holmes costume for a hound dog that’s always sniffing around;
  • A fairy costume for a dog that’s delicate and graceful, like an Italian Greyhound;
  • A hot dog costume for a “wiener dog” Daschund;
  • A bunny rabbit costume for a dog who likes to jump;
  • A fireman costume for a dog who likes to “mark his territory;”
  • A prisoner costume for a dog who’s always stealing food, toys, socks, etc.;
  • A skunk costume for a dog who’s always a bit smelly;
  • A cow costume for a dog that’s black and white, and;
  • A bumble bee costume for a dog who is constantly “buzzing around” his owners.

The sky is the limit when finding a fun or unique dog Halloween costume. The best costume ideas for a pet involve an outfit that plays to an aspect of the dog’s personality or appearance.

Finding the Right Size Dog Costume for Halloween

Once the perfect fun and unique dog costume is located, the pet owner must find the proper size garment. A pet costume that’s too tight or too loose won’t look right and the dog is apt to chew at the costume or wiggle out of the outfit.

Take the following measurements before shopping for a dog costume. These body measurements will enable owners to find a pet Halloween costume that’s the right size.

  • Measure the dog’s neck – This measurement should be taken around the lower portion of the dog’s neck, in the area where the dog collar naturally sits.
  • Measure the dog’s body length – Measure from the base of the neck — a bit below where the collar sits — to the base of the dog’s tail.
  • Measure the dog’s chest girth – Measure around the dog’s torso at the largest point, usually at the base of the rib cage.

Record the dog’s measurements and bring them along when shopping for the pet costume. It may also help to bring along a tape measure, as not all pet costumes list the dimensions of the garment. Some dog costume manufacturers use packaging that includes a handy list of dog breeds with notations on what clothing size is typically worn by each dog breed. Notably, if a dog is accustomed to wearing dog clothes, then obtaining the dog’s measurements won’t be necessary as dog Halloween costumes come in the same sizes as dog apparel.

Unfortunately, some dogs have an atypical body shape that won’t fit into standard pet costumes. The English Bulldog is one example of a dog who may not fit in a dog costume since the body girth is quite large, while the length of the torso is fairly short. So a pet costume that fits the Bulldog’s girth will be too long lengthwise and a costume that fits the dog lengthwise will be too small around the chest. So in these cases, it may be necessary to purchase a larger costume, which can then be altered to fit the dog’s unique body shape.


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