Most pet owners treat their pets almost like their children - and this is no different during Halloween. While you won't necessarily take your dog or cat Trick or Treating, you can still have fun with your pet on Halloween by dressing them up in various costumes. The National Retail Federation estimated that more than 30 million people spent close to $490 million on pet costumes in 2019; third place right behind candy and kids' costumes.
Although this year Halloween may look different then in the past, with some kids opting out of Trick or Treating due to Covid-19 and some home owners opting out of giving out candy, whether you stay in or go out, pet owners can still enjoy the holiday by dressing up their pets. Not sure where to start? We've got you covered with some neat store bought and DIY costume ideas for both you and your pets to enjoy a safe Halloween together.
Some of the cutest Halloween costumes for dogs and cats are costumes that follow a theme, or costumes that fit with those of other family members. For example, say that you want to go as a bottle of ketchup. Maybe your partner wears a mustard bottle costume. Your dog or cat can then wear either a hot dog or hamburger costume to complete the theme.
A lot of people like to dress up in a costume that matches a superhero or a character in a popular movie such as Spiderman, Secret Life of Pets, or Wizard of Oz; or a movie that premiered that year such as Toy Story or Lady and the Tramp. Other theme ideas can model a popular TV show such as Tiger King where you can dress your pet up as the tiger. Or maybe you are a Mandalorian and Star Wars fan and you dress your pet as Baby Yoda. There are also dog and cat costumes that look like your pet is carrying riding mounts from Star Wars with puppet riders on their backs.
Other costumes for both dogs and cats include ones that only dress the front half of the animal but provide a funny and fun optical illusion when the pet moves. Funny costumes are best for animals as it makes the children and adults laugh when they see the pets dressed up. "Cats-up" and "Franken-weenie" are examples of a cat costume and dog costume respectively that go together but are still very funny. Another idea is where you dress only the front half of the animal but provide a funny and fun optical illusion when the pet moves.
Many pets were even made famous by having a key role in a movie or even being the pet to a famous celebrity. You can emulate these famous pets by dressing them up using to resemble the pet in the movie.
One example is to dress your dog up all in pink like Bruiser from Legally Blond, or Paris Hilton's micro-Chihuahua. You can dress them all in red to look like Clifford the Dog, or put a red nose and reindeer antlers on to emulate Max from How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
Put a sheet over your dog for an easy Casper the Friendly Ghost costume or do a pet mixup by getting your dog to dress up as a companion to a Witch.
Looking for a creative and cute way to get more treats? Why not get your pet involved. Try a costume where part of it doubles as a carrying bag for treats if you go Trick or Treating or to a house party where they give pet treats. One way to do this is by outfitting your pup with pony express saddle bags or mail sacks and accompanying accessories along those themes. All the treats the kids collect and any treats the pooch gets can go into the sacks or bags until they are too heavy.
Other pet Halloween ideas include turning your dog into a "horse" to pull a "carriage" (a.k.a. wagon for the little ones) from house to house for treats. If you have a large breed of dog willing to do this, it can turn into quite a fun and neat way to trick or treat.
You can find many pre-made costumes online and in costume shops, but most of the inventory for pet costumes tends to be online.
However, if you are the creative type or just don't want to go shopping, you can always make your pet a costume yourself. There are lots of great resources for DIY costume ideas on Pinterest, HGTV, as well as ideas with step by step tutorials at these popular DIY sites:
If your pet won't tolerate dressing up you can use Halloween body paints or toxic-free color sprays to color your pet. (We wouldn't recommend this for most cats, even though they would be safe in small accidental amounts if licked.)
Pet-safe Halloween "makeup" is available too, which allows you to doll up your pet with different colors without hurting them. However, most people prefer to stick to collars, headbands and bodysuit-type costumes for pets rather than the pet paint or pet makeup.
Remember that the most important thing is for your pet to be happy and safe on Halloween. With all the extra activity and noise it is easy for pets to get stressed out and anxious. If your pet gets upset or stressed easily consider keeping them at home or calming them down with some natural pet calming solutions. For more tips on keeping pets safe, check next week's blog on Tips for Keeping Your Pet Safe on Halloween Night.
However you choose to celebrate Halloween this year - make it fun for both you and your pet, and stay safe. And if you do dress your pet in a costume remember to take a picture and enter them in our BestLife4Pets Halloween Pet Contest to Win! (details below)