Swaps, Crafts and Sales: What to Do with Old Pet Costumes

Sparky looked adorable as a shark last year and a squirrel the year before, but now what do you do with all these leftover pet costumes? Last year, the National Retail Federation estimated that Americans would spend about $370 million on pet costumes alone. Have no fear, though; your pet’s Halloween doesn’t have to bankrupt you. Here are a few options for your pet Halloween costumes that could save you some money.

French Bulldogs

Pet Costumes – Swap out

You have probably heard of costume swaps for children and adults. Why not do the same for pet costumes? If you know of a costume swap already occurring in your community, ask the hosting organization if pet costumes will be included. If not, gather friends for a costume trade. Make it an informal event in someone’s garage, or turn it into a small party with light snacks. Encourage owners to bring pets to try on costumes. If you live in an active and friendly neighborhood or apartment complex, put up fliers for the swap to get more people involved. A trade gives new life to old costumes, and you won’t have to spend any more on a new pet outfit.

Another option to get rid of Fluffy’s cowboy costume that he wore for about five minutes (just enough time to get a picture), is to sell it. Why not make a few dollars off it? You have several choices to resell items, including online auction sites, the newspaper classified section or online garage sale groups. You can even toss it in your yearly yard sale, which is also a good way to get rid of not only old costumes but also other holiday decor that you no longer use. If you don’t want the hassle of selling it or having a yard sale, you can always donate it for someone else’s use. Local thrift stores and resale shops take all sorts of donations, including your pet’s old costumes so someone else’s pooch can look adorable this year.

Pet Costumes – Revamped

Crafty and creative pet owners can alter costumes into something new with a hot glue gun. Attach wings and a small wand to a princess costume for an instant fairy. One of the simplest alterations is adding a scary mask to just about any costume (making sure the mask sits on top of the animal’s head, not over his/her eyes to obstruct vision). Many pet costumes come with accessories that can be removed easily or with a few stitches afterwards. Consider what other accessories you could add instead to make the costume into a completely different character, or combine two different costumes into one. There are several options for those who can wield a needle with ease. Sew on a cape to make a super-hero hotdog or lobster, or add a saddle and stuffed rider to make a funny animal costume. Be aware of any changes to costumes, however. Halloween pet safety is priority number one, so don’t add anything that you dog or cat might get tangled in or caught around their necks.


You can also consider dressing your pet up for other occasions in the year. Put your dog in his hotdog or hamburger costume for the start of baseball season, and that lion costume will go perfectly with your child’s circus-themed birthday party. Or, consider dressing stuffed animals in old pet costumes. Give an old stuffed bear new life by dressing it pet’s clown costume. Make sure to clean costumes first, especially if the toy will be handled by children. Animal-shaped lawn ornaments can also get a festive makeover with an old pet costume around Halloween.

We can’t resist buying costumes for our loveable pets, but don’t be stuck with a closet full of animal attire after Halloween. Consider swapping, selling, sewing or alternate uses to get the best value from costumes. Remember that your pet’s safety needs to be the top priority, though, when dressing them up.

Of course you can always keep the same costume for years. After all, you furry friend looked adorable in it last year, so she/he will look just as cute this year. Most people won’t even notice your pet is reusing the same outfit.

  • What do you do with old pet Halloween costumes?
  • Do you have a unique costume for your cat or dog?
~Rebekah Meyer

Read More Halloween Blogs & Guides

°  How To Throw A Theme Or Costume Party
°  Trick-or-Treating, scary stories and the Jersey Devil: Why you’ll love Halloween camping
°  Halloween Safety Tips: Stay Safe No Matter What Your Holiday Plans Are
°  Trunk-or-Treat, Halloween Carnivals and other Trick-or-Treating Alternatives



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