While some puppies enjoy playing dress up, even first-timers need some Halloween costume training but these easy costume ideas require no puppy training at all. Maybe you have a shy puppy that needs encouragement, or a hard-case pooch reluctant to accept Halloween puppy costumes. There are ways to get creative and involve your puppy in the holiday theme without him even realizing he’s playing dress up.
Why Puppies Hate Halloween Costumes
It’s important to realize why some puppies hate costumes and playing dress up. While owners can properly adore Junior-Dog, he may not take kindly to a stranger’s stare. In dog language, making eye contact or staring can be a challenge. Your puppy may not appreciate the admiring looks his puppy costume garners.
Costumes can be scary if they restrict movement or vision, or make scary noises. Ill-fitting costumes might rub fur the wrong way. A cape or other flapping costume piece might appear to “chase” your puppy. Watch for distress signs such as whining or growling, tucking the tail or hiding. Gauge your puppy’s attitude and don’t force the issue, because you want the experience to be fun for you both or it’s not worthwhile. Don't forget to take Halloween safety precautions whether at home or trick or treating.
You can still deck-the-dog with Halloween décor that won’t put his tail in a twist. Just use your ghoulish imagination, while keeping the pup’s safety in mind.
7 Easy Puppy Halloween Costumes
- Dress up his toenails with a festive dog nail polish.
- Soft Paws vinyl nail covers for dogs also come in a variety of colors, such as orange and black, neon and sparkles. Alternate for that pumpkin-look of the season. These covers also protect hardwood floors and doors from scratching paws.
- Add a tiny bow to your dog’s topknot. That works especially well with fuzzy pups like Poodles. You can find a holiday theme assortment at dog groomers and pet products stores.
- Temporary wash-out hair color might be appropriate for some puppies. Just avoid applying this in spots where the dog might lick or chew and be sure it’s labeled pet-safe (or kid-safe). Check with your groomer for doggy-specific hair colors. You can color the entire puppy body or offer stripes, checkers or punk-out hot pink. Let your imagination go wild!
- Even shy, retiring pets may be willing to endure a small fashion statement. Go shopping for a fancy rhinestone collar.
- If he already wears a collar, adding a bandana isn’t a huge transition. Some products actually have a bandana attached to a collar for easy wear. Choose one with ghosts or a pumpkin design.
- Attach lightweight pompoms to your pup’s collar or halter—choose orange and black for that Halloween theme. Puppies used to wearing collars may well tolerate those “jester” collars with bells on each point even if they object to full-body-costumes. Reserve the fancy capes, antlers and such for willing dogs.
Remember to supervise your puppy whatever type of Halloween costume you've chosen. Even if your Junior-Dog isn't able to reach around and chew up or swallow the pompoms attached to his collar, other pets may offer to help him out! When you have more than one pet, take care that your decked-out-doggy doesn't frightened the other fur-kids. The best idea may be to dress up your puppy for a special photo opportunity so you can preserve the cute puppy pictures--and then put away the dog outfits for next year.