As Halloween approaches, you might be spending a lot of time thinking about your costume. After all, there are so many possibilities! Will you be a character from your favorite movie? Or, perhaps you want to go with a classic costume like a monster, clown, or ghost. No matter what you decide to be, don’t forget to let your dog get in on the Halloween fun with a costume of his own!
Nowadays, dog Halloween costumes have become extremely popular, and the available options are as varied and endless as the human ones. Once you’ve nailed down what your pup will be for the most frighteningly fun night of the year, you have to decide where to get the costume. This decision can be as daunting as figuring out the actual costume because there are so many choices!
Where Are the Best Places to Purchase Dog Costumes?
You would think having so many choices of places to buy dog costumes would make the process easier. Yet somehow, when there are too many options, things can get overwhelming. Lucky for you, you’re reading this article!
Here’s a look at the five best places to purchase a Hallowen costume for your dog:
It’s no surprise that this online shopping mecca tops the list. You can find pretty much anything on Amazon these days, and when it comes to dog costumes, you can find plenty!
One of the upsides to shopping on Amazon is you get a huge variety at your fingertips without ever having to leave home. You have instant access to classic costumes, ranging from cute to funny to scary (like this “Deadly Doll” dog costume), and you can find them in an assortment of sizes and variations.
You'll also find unique characters (like this Pumpkin Carrying costume or Holy Hound), film favorites (Pennywise), and many more at some reasonable prices. Plus, Amazon offers speedy shipping; you can get free 2-day shipping if you're an Amazon Prime member.
Although most sellers, whether big costume companies like Rubie’s and California Costumes or independent vendors, offer size charts, when you order your pup's costume online there is no try-before-you-buy option. Therefore, make sure to measure your pooch carefully (see our tips below) and compare the numbers to the size chart.
Most sellers even include notes, sometimes from the actual seller and other times compiled from customer reviews, about the fit of items. For example, a seller might note that sizes run small or large or accurately to size.
It can be well worth scanning a few reviews first to get a better idea of how the costumes fit before you place your order. Of course, the good news is that Amazon offers super-easy returns, so if you do run into an issue you can likely get a replacement within a few days.
PetSmart or Petco
On the flip side of an online shopping experience, you can go to a brick-and-mortar store to find your canine companion’s costume. Mega pet stores like PetSmart or Petco are all about pet products, so you'll find a pretty large variety of costumes when you go to one of these places.
These stores do tend to come with higher price tags, but you know you'll have access to many choices. Plus, as a bonus, you get to bring your pup shopping with you. Not only is this just fun to do, but it means your dog gets to try out the costumes before you pull out your wallet. You can ensure that you get the perfect fit and the perfect look for your pooch before making your purchase.
Just remember, if you plan to bring your pup into public, especially to try on dog costumes, make sure he’s well behaved and trained. A tip to help keep your dog focused amid all of the pet mania is to bring along an engaging, interactive toy like the Rolly Cannoli or some tasty treats to have on hand. These items can help keep your dog focused on you, and also help you call him back to attention if he gets distracted.
One potential drawback of shopping a major pet chain is the merchandise is widely available to the public. This fact means that many other dog owners might be getting their pups’ costumes in the same place, which means your dog might have the same getup as the dog next door. Still, there are so many options, it's highly doubtful that your dog is going to be dressed the same as every pup on the block.
Etsy is an amazing online market for handmade items, vintage pieces, and homespun merchandise. If you want your pup to stand out this Halloween, you're likely to find some unique pieces here, or you can even commission a custom design from specific sellers. Depending on what exactly it is you're looking for, prices can range from reasonable to expensive, especially if you're going for something that is super customized.
As with Amazon, when you order from Etsy you'll have to put your faith in the seller’s sizing advice, size charts, and your measurement abilities. Sellers on Etsy can have different return policies, so make sure you read the fine print before placing your order. Even if the seller allows returns, note that getting a refund or replacement will likely not be as quick as with a large company like Amazon.
This online pet store has a huge variety of pet products, and when Halloween rolls around it responds with a vast array of dog costumes. Plus, Chewy has reasonable prices on many of their items, so you're likely to snag a fantastic deal and a cute costume to boot. Once again, your dog won't be able to try on his costume before you make your purchase, so a return could be in your future.
Be prepared for the possibility of not getting what you want in time. Of course, you could always order two different sizes if you're unsure, and return the one that doesn't fit. Even if you have to wait a little bit for your refund, at least your dog won't be without a costume come Halloween night.
Local Pet Stores and Boutiques
It's always great to support local businesses, and what better way than to get your dog a creative costume from the local pet boutique? When you shop local, you might find a combination of standard dog costumes, as well as some homemade options, and even some more unique items.
Shopping local also usually comes with more personalized service, albeit often at a higher price tag. The good news is that once again you get to bring your dog along for the ride and let him put on a fashion show before making your purchase. You're also more likely to get a discount shopping local, especially if you pay with cash.
Tips for Dog Costume Shopping
When you purchase dog costumes, the process is pretty cut-and-dry. You choose your costume, give someone money, and get the costume, right? Well, those are the basics, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few tips that can make your venture super successful.
Measure Twice, Buy Once
Ideally, you’ll get the correct measurements and snag a costume with a perfect fit on your first try! Typically, for most costumes you need to know your pup’s length, height, and girth. To measure your pup’s girth, you measure around the largest part of his chest. Measure from between your dog’s shoulder blades to the base of his tail to get the length. Basically, measure between your dog’s head and tail, don’t include them in the length measurement. Finally, to find out your dog’s height, measure from the floor to his shoulder blades (again, don’t include Fido’s head).
Depending on the particular costume, you might also need your dog’s neck measurement. If so, simply measure around the largest part of his neck. Some costumes might be adjustable and provide a bit more leeway when it comes to measuring, while others are very specific.
Other costumes might only come in sizes for specific dog types, like only for large breeds. If you have a new puppy that is extremely tiny, it might be difficult to find the costume you want in the right size, but you could always make it (or have it made for you).
A Quick Note About Dog Costumes: Accessories and Safety
When you buy your dog’s Halloween costume, you may or may not decide to get some accessories to go with it. For example, you might get an extra hat, booties, a special collar, or a snazzy reflective leash to make your dog visible (and keep him safe).
If you opt for accessories, ensure that they fit your dog well, don’t contain small pieces that can become a choking hazard, and that your pup can move around freely in his entire ensemble. Halloween is supposed to be fun, but never forget, safety first!
No matter where you decide to purchase your dog’s Halloween costume, always think about your pup. You might think he’ll look absolutely adorable as an Ewok, but if he’s miserable, it’s not worth it. If your dog is used to dressing up, then by all means, go all out on his Halloween costume. You know your dog best!
For more great tips for your pets, for Halloween and beyond, check out the rest of our blog! You’ll also find lots of helpful advice and resources to help you be a wonderful pet parent! Happy Halloween!