17 DIY Pet Costumes for Halloween


Halloween pets

If you consider your pets a part of your family, then why not include them in the harvest season festivities? As highly social animals, dogs tend to thrive in situations where they can be themselves, while cats might prefer to observe from a safe distance, walking the perimeter and keeping watch. Regardless of your pet’s personality, you’re all part of the same den, so get in the habit of spending quality time with them on each holiday, too!

Some pets even like to dress up with their owners. Of course, make sure that you pay attention to your pet’s body language and avoid dressing them up in any costume that distresses them. With just a handful of common household items, you can design and personalize cute, simple costumes in a snap. Most of the ideas we’ve gathered here can be completed in under 30 minutes, and all can be completed within an hour.

Keep reading to see how you can construct a costume for your team-playing pup or kitty. Featured here are 17 easy, fun, and breathable costumes for the furrier members of your family. Remember, pet costume building is a great family-friendly activity to fill the time between school and trick-or-treating. Always keep the safety, hydration, and health of your pet as a priority, and remember to refrain from restricting their hearing or vision.

Have a happy, howling Halloween!

1.Butterfly (any size dog)

Using that doggy jacket or soft harness that’s collecting dust somewhere in your home, repurpose colored cardboard or bright fabrics to use as wings. Stack two sheets of cardboard or fabric together, draw wing shapes in proportion to your pet, and use fabric glue to affix the wings to the harness.

2.Chef Pet (dogs or cats)

Get crafty! Your kitty or pup-pup will be the most adorable bon vivant in the neighborhood. Use card stock and tissue paper to create a cute little version of that classic toque blanche cap. Add a slip of red fabric, tucked into your pet’s collar to simulate an ascot or neckerchief. Looking sharp. Bone appetite! (Sorry, we had to say it.)

3.Business Attire (any size dog or cat)

This is one of the simplest and most charming costumes on our list. Dig up an old tie laying around the house and adorn your furry family friend with it. Alternatively, use crafting foam or an old button-up shirt to cut out a tie-shaped piece of fabric and clip it to your pup’s collar. With just a dash of professionalism, your pup will be ready to saunter into the board room and make that big presentation! An old bow tie would also work with smaller dogs and cats.

4.Spooky Bat (cats)

One of a few costumes we’ve included for those with the courage to dress their feline friends, the Spooky Bat costume only needs a couple Velcro strips, a handful of black pipe cleaners, and some crafting felt. Trace and cut out bat wing shapes in the craft felt, using the pipe cleaners to create a frame which can be gently placed around your kitty’s torso. Two creatures of the night, united at last!

5.Ladybug Pup (tiny to medium dogs)

Help your dog make a change and start living life as a giant ladybug! Using basic craft materials and fabric glue, cut out black dots and place them on a red harness or pet shirt. For an extra level of realism, use fur-matched pipe cleaners to make a headband for your doggy and black pipe cleaners to craft antenna. A no-sew costume, this works best for pugs, bulldogs, or lap dogs.

6.Stinky Skunk (any size dog or cat)

Using an old black t-shirt as canvas, paint a big white stripe down the back with fabric paint. This works especially well if your pet has a big bushy tail. After the paint has dried, cut off the shirt sleeves and put it on your pet. The cozier the shirt, the better, as a little loving compression goes a long way to helping your pet feel safe and secure while out on candy-hunting expeditions with their human friends.

7.Cozy Mummy (any size dog or cat)

Using an old white sheet or extra medical gauze, carefully wrap your kitty or your pup, taking care to avoid covering up their snout, face, paws, behind, and tail. Remember, this costume needs to be functional! If you have a little extra time to prep, you can soak the gauze or old shirt in black tea to give it an aged look.

8.Pretty Cute Pooch (medium to large dogs)

With just some leftover pink leg warmers, a costume jewelry tiara, and a pink tulle tutu, you can help your medium or large dog transform into the cute pooch of their canine dreams! Use blue material instead to craft a Cinderella costume, or use yellow material to design a Belle pet outfit that will turn everyone’s heads.

9.Masked Vigilante (tiny to small dogs)

Keep your little dog’s double-life a secret by making them a costume to aid in their vigilantism! You can use a red harness or doggy vest or an old red or black blanket, properly measured and cut, as a cape. Measure the circumference of their head and use black shoestring and crafting foam to make them a simple eye mask. Alternatively, use pet-safe paint to very, very carefully apply a thin layer of dark paint to simulate a free-floating eye mask. Bad guys will be none the wiser! You can also very easily transform a harness or doggy vest of any color into a makeshift cape. And remember to get creative with your caped crusader’s new logo!

10.Beanie Baby (any size dog, but it looks cutest on small, fluffy dogs)

This fun and easy costume requires only a few colors of felt or thin crafting foam. Simply search an image of the original Ty Beanie Baby collar tag and replicate the design using layers of material held together with super or fabric glue. This really does work for any size dog, but looks cutest on small, fluffy dogs because they’ve already got the miniature stuffed animal look going on.

11.Striped Critter (dogs or cats)

Using the non-toxic Pet Paint from Romp Rescue, you can help create an exotic striped or spotted animal. Turn your pups or your kitties into zebras, tigers, ladybugs, cheetahs, leopards, or dalmatians. Get creative! Mythological creatures are a great source of inspiration, as are children’s films featuring chatty animals. It will only add to the delight of the holiday when people recognize the role your furry friend is playing on Halloween eve!

12.Coffee To Go (small dogs)

This super easy costume is for small or lap dogs. Using normal cardboard from any box to simulate a paper sleeve, imagine that your dog’s body is the coffee cup. Measure, wrap, and secure cardboard around your dog’s torso and use an actual to-go coffee lid as a hat for your furry friend. Print out a color image of your favorite coffee shop’s logo and affix it to the cardboard sleeve. Alternatively, replicate the logo by hand on a piece of white cardstock using crafting felt or markers.

13.Canine Granny (any size dog, works best with bulldog breeds)

For this simple Canine Granny costume, all you need is a floral pattern scarf and some costume glasses. Loosely tie the scarf around your pup’s head and gingerly place the glasses on their snout. This definitely looks the best on bulldogs and other breeds with stocky bodies and shorter legs. The Instagram sensation Maya the Bulldog mastered this look for the harvest season. Trend-setter!

14.Pirate Pup (any size dog)

This salty suit requires only a red sash or scarf, a headband to keep the scarf in place, an eyepatch, and some costume or imitation jewelry, if you happen to have some of that lying around. If you don’t have a real eyepatch, measure the area around your dog’s eye and use a black shoestring and old black t-shirt to fashion the shape you need. Dollar stores and craft stores are great places to find costume jewelry, if you’re in need of some flashy accessories for your plundering pup.

15.Teenage Mutant Turtle Pup (medium to large dogs)

You can start this costume off by painting a large turkey pan green for that teenage mutant pup shell. After you determine which turtle your doggy is destined to be, use orange ribbon for Michaelangelo, red ribbon for Raphael, blue ribbon for Leonardo, and purple ribbon for Donatello. Use an old yellow or gold shirt, cut into a strip to represent the turtle’s utility belt, wrapping it around your dog’s torso to hold the turkey pan turtle shell in place. Cowabunga!

16.Super Pet (dogs or cats)

Similar to the easy Beanie Baby costume explained above, use fabric or crafting felt to replicate the Superman ‘S’ symbol, affixing it either to a blue scarf or solid blue bandana. This fun throwback character works for both dogs and cats, though we think that dogs will take more kindly to it. If you’re feeling brave, you can easily transform a blue harness or doggy vest into a makeshift cape and add the symbol to that instead!

17.Fairy (any size dog)

Similar in design to the butterfly, our first costume on the list, the fairy presentation can work for any size dog. Using craft store foam or sheer, shimmering fabric from an old dress or windbreaker, measure and cut out the shape of fairy wings in proportion to your pet. With a harness or stiff pet shirt as the base, glue the wings to that foundation and voila! You have yourself a big sweet fairy dog. Alternatively, you can use pipe cleaners color-matched to your pet’s coat to build a framework onto which you can glue the wings. Have fun!

Kenneth Parker (Writer)

A graduate of the University of Oregon, Kenneth Parker is sometimes a musician and rarely a poet. His work spans copy editing, feature writing, and dissertation development.