Dressing Up Your Pet for Halloween

Dog Halloween costumeby Janet Grischy

Pet Halloween costumes can be difficult to choose. Some pets will wear almost anything, but others barely tolerate a collar. You have to match your Halloween fantasy to your pet’s temperament when dressing up your pet for Halloween. Collar costumes work on almost any pet, and coats work on many. Most pets won’t wear a witch’s hat for long, though.

Should you try to make a costume or buy one and perhaps modify it? It depends how busy you are and how much you like sewing. Here are a few ideas for quick Halloween pet costumes to show off your pet at his best.

Pet costume ideas

Dogs are used to collars, so you can cut pointy spikes out of gray felt and glue them on to a collar and let your sweet pup pretend he’s a ferocious guard dog. Some pet harnesses actually look scary enough without modification.

Rhinestone collars, with child-sized sunglasses, make any pet look like a star. Collars also come in animal prints that will bring out the wildcat in your tabby.

Cat Halloween costumes

If you’re feeling crafty, let your cat be a lion for a day. Cut two large doughnuts from sheets of felt. One could be beige, and one an earthy brown. Cut the hole of each doughnut to match the size of the collar your cat usually wears, plus an inch or two for overlap.

Cut the outer edge into scallops that look like a cartoon lion’s mane. Fasten the two manes together with a glue stick, leaving the outside edges soft and pet friendly. Then make an opening by cutting a line from the outside edge to the middle of the mane, and sew a square of Velcro fastener to each side of the opening, near the inside edge. Put the mane on your cat, making sure there’s enough space for two fingers between the mane and the cat’s neck.

Your cat probably won’t like it at first, just like he didn’t like his first collar. If he tries to back out of it or tears at it, take it off and let him sniff it for a while. He may come to like his mane, if you have a little patience.

The same method can make your cat (or dog) into a sunflower with yellow felt or a petunia with a felt mane scalloped into pink petals. You can also cut manes from lacy or satiny fabrics for bridal or prom looks.

Dog Halloween costumes

Dogs look adorable in coats and yours may already like wearing them on outings. Some owners knit coats for their pets. When you’re busy, though, it makes more sense to buy a coat costume and customize it.

Customize a dog’s pirate costume to look like Captain Jack Sparrow with a few synthetic braids and a red head wrap. Or stencil a skull and crossbones onto a red bandana to make your civilized dog (or cat) an outlaw.

Choosing a pet Halloween costume that matches what the humans are wearing can be fun, too. That way, the whole family will have a happy Halloween together.

What costumes have you dressed your pet in for Halloween in the past? Share your favorites by leaving a Comment below.


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  1. My cats won't let me put a costume on them!