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Halloween Costumes for Dogs: Tips on How to Measure for Size and Safety

Audrey shares helpful tips on buying dog costumes for Halloween and how to keep pets safe.

Trick or Treat

Trick or Treat

Tips for Buying Dog Halloween Costumes

Your dog's comfort should be the top priority when selecting the right Halloween costume. Never be rough with your canine friend when dressing him for Halloween. Use a gentle touch, and if your dog rebels and it all gets out of hand, skip the costume entirely.

Never, ever put anything across his nostrils or mouth. Dogs die this way!

Determining the right size costume for your dog can be a problem. You can't always go by weight, and small, medium, large and extra-large are often misleading. So here are a few tips to consider to ensure Fido has the perfect fit.

  • Start by measuring your dog's chest, neck, and length, from his neck to the base of his tail. (Don't include the bottom.)
  • Use a soft tape measure like the ones used for sewing.
  • Measure loosely to give your dog enough room in his costume.
  • Next, measure your dog's chest. Begin at the front legs and measure around the body.
  • Please keep a record of the measurements so you won't have to repeat them. However, if you have a puppy, you'll have to re-measure it as he grows.

The video below will give tips for measuring your dog for a costume.

Halloween Costume Sizes for Your Dog

Here are the most popular sizes available for dog costumes:

  • Small: Size ranges from 13" to 16" around the chest area. The neck measures 10 to 13" and is 10" in length.
  • Medium: The chest area size measures 16" to 19". The neck is 13" to 16" around and 12" long.
  • Large: The chest will measure 19" to 21" around and about 16" in length on a large dog.

Depending on the manufacturer, these measurements may vary. For extra-large dogs, measure the same way as stated above.

Safety Tips for Dog Costumes

Halloween is a lot of fun, but you want to be sure your dog is safe. Keep a close eye on the treats that may fall to the ground. Keep all treats away from him—especially chocolate. Remember to:

  • Keep your dog on a leash if you take him trick or treating.
  • Add a light-up collar so your dog can be seen in the dark.
  • Put your dog's comfort first by ensuring the costume doesn't drag on the ground. And always make sure the collar and the outfit are not too tight.
  • Prevent choking by inserting two fingers between your dog's collar and neck /throat. The collar shouldn't be any tighter than that.
  • Make sure the costume allows him to go to the bathroom.
  • No part of the costume should be too tight, especially around the head or neck area.
  • And lastly, if your dog doesn't like wearing the costume, please take it off immediately, regardless of how cute he looks.

Seven Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe During Halloween

Halloween is one of the most celebrated holidays of the year, but do you know that it's not uncommon for our "fur angels" to end up at the vets during trick-or-treat activities?

  • As you fill your candy bowl with treats, remember to keep the yummies away from Fido. Candy, such as Chocolate, or any sugar-free treat, can make your pet sick and cause serious problems.
  • Pumpkins can also cause stomach problems. Be extra careful of carved pumpkins with lit candles. Both cats and dogs have been known to suffer burns from their curious nature.
  • Grapes and raisins are highly toxic to pets, which are often given as treats.
  • Candy wrappers made of foil and cellophane can cause a life-threatening bowel obstruction ending in surgery.
  • Check costumes for pieces that may be a choking hazard. Go for a bandana instead of an outfit if your dog shows the stress of any kind.
  • It might be a good idea to keep your dog in another room of the house as children come to the door for treats—especially if your dog is not friendly or scared.
  • Be careful to keep glow sticks and jewelry away from dogs and cats. They like chewing on these, which causes pain and irritation.

Contact your vet or Pet Poison Helpline immediately at 855-764-7661 if your pet is at risk.

Have a happy and safe Doggie Halloween.

Buy Your Dog's Halloween Costume Online and Save

Halloween is the most popular holiday, second only to Christmas. Children enjoy fun activities, from carving pumpkins to wearing cute costumes. The whole family shares in preparing for trick-or-treaters, but the most exciting and fun part of this special day is wearing a store-bought or homemade outfit. And don't forget to include your wonderful best friend, your dog.

If you opt for a store-bought canine costume, I recommend saving time, energy, and money by shopping for cute Halloween costumes for dogs online. features a wide variety at low prices. allows you to "buy now" or "bid" on adorable, cheap dog costumes. Some purchases include free shipping, but even if a small shipping fee is added, it's much more affordable than putting gas in your car.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2012 Audrey Hunt


Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on October 17, 2016:

Thanks Rebecca. I love looking at the doggies all dressed up in their cute costumes. Have fun my friend!

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on October 16, 2016:

Cute! I really want to dress my doggies up this year for Halloween. Thanks for the inspiration!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on December 08, 2014:


Hi Mary. Most dogs just won't tolerate costumes. Lisa's dog is one that not only tolerates clothes, she loves them! So funny. You should see her in her Harley outfit :)

Mary Craig from New York on October 26, 2014:

My dog would have the costume off in minutes. I love the idea though and your bulldog pic is the best! Voted up, useful, and interesting.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on August 06, 2013:

rajan - Thanks for being here, all your support and for the generous votes. ~ Hugs, Audrey

Hi Susan - That is so cute - your dog loving to dress up! And for Halloween, dressing her up will be a real attraction for the kids. Thanks ~ Audrey

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on August 06, 2013:

My female dog loves to dress up in whatever you put on her. This year for Halloween I think maybe I'll dress her up. The kids that come to the door would love it.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on August 06, 2013:

A dressed up dog looks so dapper. Useful info, Audrey something all dog lovers should e aware of.

voted up, useful, shared and pinned.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on July 31, 2013:

Hi Peggy - I, too am part of the 'dark ages' era :)

Gee I wish I were closer to you. Would love to have a nice chat over coffee, tea or coco!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on July 28, 2013:

We never thought of doing this when we were kids back in the dark ages (Ha!) but your advice is good. If the dogs are social and enjoy this...why not? Up and useful and pinning.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on May 08, 2013:

moonlake ~

I would love to see you adorable dogs with the headbands! Oh, how cute! I'll go search for those hubs right now! Thanks.

moonlake from America on May 05, 2013:

Very cute. All I could get on our dogs is headbands they will stand still for that. I think I have a picture of them on one hubs. I can't remember which. Voted up.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on April 07, 2013:

Hello Bobbi - How sweet of you! I have always been a big fan and look forward to supporting you more often now that I have more time. Have a wonderful day my friend. Thank you!

Barbara Purvis Hunter from Florida on April 07, 2013:


I have missed reading your wonderful insightful hubs. This one will be great for anyone to use all year long. Loved it.

Bobbi Purvis

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on October 20, 2012:

lord - So glad you liked my hub and thanks for your delightful comments. Hope your little one enjoys the children in their costumes.

midget38 - Thanks for sharing my hub with others. I'm so glad you liked the "do-it-yourself-costumes." I think they turn out to be the best. Happy Halloween!

sunshine625 - Well, my dogs a pooper too (in more ways than one:) I'd love to see that bunny dressed up and doing a "hip-hop." Have a fun one Linda!

Audrey - The best comment of all is when we find humour and a giggle in a hub. Just kind of makes the heart dance. Thanks, my dear friend!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on October 20, 2012:

Dear Mary615 ~ Oh, I'll just bed that Baby looks so adorable in her little costume. You're lucky that she tolerates the dress-up at all. Mine doesn't! Thanks Mary and enjoy your day with Baby:)

Millionaire Tips - My dog won't have anything to do with a costume. He's a cocker spaniel. But my beloved Clancey, a shih ztu, who is now in doggie heaven didn't mind a bit. I still see him in his pirate costume.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on October 20, 2012:

Denise - When you find a tool belt for "tom" be sure to take a photo and write a hub about him. You might find a childrens play tool belt at Toys are us or even target - especially with Christmas coming. Thanks, my friend!

b. Malin - Gee I'm so "dog-gone" happy that Snoopy actually liked this hub. He gave his stamp of approval on the costumes and I appreciate that. Next year, I'll add the "flying ace" just for him. Now go have yourself a digg'in good day Snoopy and keep a keen eye on b. and loverman!

Shasta Matova from USA on October 20, 2012:

I haven't tried to put a costume on my dog, but it does sound like a fun thing to try. Thanks for the suggestions and ideas!

Mary Hyatt from Florida on October 18, 2012:

I always dress my Minature Schnauzer, Baby, for Halloween. She tolerates it, but she doesn't like it.

Enjoyed your Hub, voted it UP.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on October 17, 2012:

Jools99 - Hi there. What a trooper you are. Supporting me by reading and commenting when you don't even have a dog. Hope your sisters like the hub and thanks a million!

JenCary - Love your comments. I just about split my pants reading your comment about your chocolate lab and the costume leaving enough room for "urges." And oh my, do I love chocolate - especially when the chocolate is a lab. Thanks.

Thelma Alberts - What kind of a dog is Angus. I love that name! And that bulldog sure looks like he's just going along for the ride. So funny! Thank a lot, Thelma.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on October 17, 2012:

Toknowinfo - Oh, I'm still laughing out loud picturing your dogs in their costumes. "Pretty boy Floyd and Al Capone in stripes"! And then "Bonnie and Clyde as police officers." You must post pictures if you do this again this year. I love the idea of having treats ready to hand out to dogs. Al is just the kind of dog I would love to have - not only willing to be dressed up, but getting all excited too!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on October 17, 2012:

randor - Our four-legged friends have just about as much to choose from in the latest attire, as we humans do:) Appreciate your taking time to read this and comment. And thanks for the reminder about chocolate:)

Break of Dawn - I agree with you about sporting one or two of the dog costumes myself:) Have you seen the "Dorothy" dog costume? (The wizard of oz) - it's just too cute for words. Thanks.

Cogerson - OMG - Rapuzel and adorable. You must take pictures! Now, about the 2 big dogs - one could be an Indian by wearing a headband with a feather and a sheet cut to size with fringe cuts. Just a suggestion. :) Thanks, my friend. You are always so much fun!

Audrey Howitt from California on October 17, 2012:

This just made me chuckle!

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on October 17, 2012:

My dog is a party pooper, she doesn't allow me to dress her up. I might try to dress up our bunny this year. She's more hip, or should I say hip-hop! :)

Michelle Liew from Singapore on October 17, 2012:

This is cute. It gets the family pet involved in the celebration too! Thanks for the idea savers!! Great suggestions, which I share.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on October 17, 2012:

billy - LOL - can just see Bev wanting to decorate the dog, cat, cow and even the pig in cute halloween attire! Thanks for visiting and all your support.

Ruchira - So good of you to lend your support here. I appreciate your comments and it's always a pleasure to see your pretty face :)

Brett - Thanks so much for sharing your comments here and I'm so thrilled with all the nice votes from you!

Joseph De Cross from New York on October 17, 2012:

Wonderful tips for man's best friend. Your ideas are phenomenal. Would have to look for a Spidey costume for our little one, otherwise we will have to make one from scratch. Great, cheap and affordable!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on October 15, 2012:

tillsontitan - I almost lost it when I came across this bulldog, looking the part. Thanks, my friend for supporting me - I always appreciate it!

drbj - You have described this bulldog to a "T".

Isn't he something? I couldn't resist placing his spectacular face on this hub. The look says it all:) Thanks, my friend.

mcbirdbks - I'm so glad this "fit" into your day. Sometimes, just the right hub does it. I know that many a time one of yours has made my day a little better. Thanks so much.

b. Malin on October 15, 2012:

Hi Vocalcoach,

Snoopy say to tell you he LOVED this Hub, but he still wants to be the "Flying Ace"...Great, Helpful, Fun Hub to read. These Dogs are Wonderful... Snoopy and I both Loved the Bull Dog in his Costume. I now leave his a Smile. Thanks for Sharing!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on October 14, 2012:

jsovermyer - I dog won't co-operate either. The best I can do with him is a scarf around the neck :)

b.malin - Awww - You're still a softy for dogs:)

Milo - what a cute name. You're just great to be here reading this hub of mine. Think I'll mosey on over to your place and see what'

goin on :) C'ya real soon!

randomcreative - Hi there. Thanks for being here and liking my hub. Wish my area had a doggy parade :) Thanks and take care.

Denise Handlon from North Carolina on October 14, 2012:

Great hub, Audrey. I rated up/U / and funny and shared. Those dogs are so cute!

I have to find out where the 'tool belt' in the top photo can be purchased. We have a very inquisitive cat that needs one of those, haha. Tom is always putting his paws into things to fix them!

Thelma Alberts from Germany on October 08, 2012:

Very funny. The bulldog doesn´t look amuse at all. I´m thinking now if I would dress Angus up for Halloween. That would be fun. Thanks for sharing. Voted up and shared.

JenCary from Texas on October 05, 2012:

Very informative article! I love dressing up our chocolate lab for Halloween, but it looks like I've neglected to follow one of your tips - make sure your dog can go to the bathroom! So glad she hasn't had an accident yet...

Jools Hogg from North-East UK on October 02, 2012:

This was fun Audrey - I will pass itonto my 2 sisters, both of whom have dogs. A good laugh :o)

toknowinfo on October 01, 2012:

Wonderful and adorable hub. I used to dress my dogs up for Halloween. We would walk through the neighborhood as my kids went trick or treating and some people would give my pets treats also. My favorite Halloween costume was dressing my dogs Al (Capone) and Pretty Boy Floyd in prison stripes with my other 2 dogs Bonnie and Clyde as police officers. All I have to do is bring out the costume for Al and he gets himself ready to get in it, so I think it i Al' favorite too.

UltimateMovieRankings from Virginia on October 01, 2012:

Great tips on costumes for your dog. We have already knocked out our two little they will be Rapuzel and Snow White...but we had not thought about what to do with our two very big dogs. I enjoyed the video and had to laugh as I thought about doing that with our two dogs. Voted up and useful....and a very timely hub as well. About to go to the attic and pull down the Halloween stuff.

Break of Dawn on October 01, 2012:

Some of those costumes are just adorable, I may want one for myself, lol! Thank you for a fun and very cute hub.

randor on September 30, 2012:

Wow, i had no idea they made such cute costumes for dogs. Some of these just cracked me up. Too cute! Keep them away from the chocolate.

Brett C from Asia on September 26, 2012:

A fun hub with lots of useful information. I think that it is a great idea to get your dog involved in Halloween, but only if they are keen too of course ...

Up, useful, funny, shared and pinned.

Ruchira from United States on September 25, 2012:

Such a cute hub, Audrey.

I don't have a dog/pet but, if I would I would definitely be doing the needful.

many votes and shares!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 23, 2012:

Audrey, there is no way I'm showing this hub to Bev; she will have us doing this the rest of the day. LOL Very creative ideas here; I have no doubt many will read this and use it in the future. We dog owners love to spruce up our dogs, don't we?

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on September 20, 2012:

fpher48 - Isn't he something? I could bring him home in a minute. I can just see your boys shedding their costumes before you even get half-way through. What is wrong with you mom? (And still wagging their tales in spite of it all.)

How I love our canine pets dressed or undressed:)

Hi Nell - Thanks for checking out my hub. I got such a kick out of the bulldog's expression. Not hard to guess what he's thinking:)

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on September 20, 2012:

Thanks Vocalcoach. This is just what I needed today. It just seams fitting!

This is great.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on September 19, 2012:

drpastorcarlotta - Oh, my it's fantastic seeing you here. I've missed you! And you have given me very good feedback on this, my latest hub.

I will skip over to your place and pay you a visit right away. I am happy and doing just fine. I thought I could never be happy again after losing my son Todd to cancer. I credit my experiences on hubpages and prayer for helping me through this difficult time. See you soon and thank you so much!

drbj and sherry from south Florida on September 19, 2012:

I can't get over the expression on that bulldog's face, Audrey. It's as if he knows what kind of costume he is wearing and even if he is not happy he is resigned to playing the part of a tough guy.

Thanks for the fun and great dog costuming tips.

Mary Craig from New York on September 19, 2012:

The bulldog in the construction get up almost makes me want to dress up my dog! This was a fascinating hub with good ideas...I know there'll be a lot of dogs out there dressed for Halloween as a result.

Voted up, awesome, and interesting.

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on September 18, 2012:

Great topic for an article! Thanks to you, there will be a lot more well dressed dogs for Halloween this year. :)

b. Malin on September 18, 2012:

I haven't owned a Dog in years, but that still didn't stop me from reading your very Informative Hub on Costumes for Dogs. I may pass it on to my Son who owns a Black Lab, named Milo.

I even listen to a Pet show on Sunday's on the Radio...I guess I still love Animals.

jsovermyer from Hitchcock, TX on September 18, 2012:

Very, very cute pictures and so much information. I've tried to dress my dogs up for Halloween but they don't like it one bit. I like all of your

Nell Rose from England on September 18, 2012:

Lol! what a great idea! that bulldog does not look impressed! lol! voted up! nell

Suzie from Carson City on September 18, 2012:

OMG, Vocal coach...that bull dog in the military costume!! How cute is he? I can't believe the sleeveless T-shirt w/ gear! These things are so creative and funny. As long as we have cooperative pets!! lol

I did try a couple of times to dress up my boys with a home made costume of sorts. While they sat and behaved and were their usual sweet, obedient selves.....I couldn't turn my back and they were wiggling out of it all! LOL!!! There was no need for me to take it off!! I got the message. Cute, very cute!

Pastor Dr Carlotta Boles from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC on September 18, 2012:

Very, very informational and CUTE!!! I don't celebrate Halloween but I love to dress my baby up! Voted-up! I pray that things are going well for you and when you have some time, come visit me. Be BLESSED!!!