How to Make Dog Costumes

Tips for Dog Costumes

For many people, their dogs are part of the family and knowing how to make dog costumes can be a fun way to show off a pet’s personality, include them in holiday celebrations, or just to enjoy being a pet owner. Making a costume isn’t as easy as tossing a hat and coat on the family pet, however.

The very first consideration should be if your dog has the proper temperament for a costume. Even strangers will want to pet a dog in a cute pet costume, and if your dog can be aggressive toward unknown people, you may want to reconsider making a costume.

Coordinate the Costume

Many pet owners enjoy coordinating a dog costume with their dog’s personality, breed, or appearance. A full-body skeleton costume is great for black and white breeds, for example. Other popular choices include sombreros and ponchos for Chihuahuas, glamorous sunglasses and painted toenails for poodles, and leprechaun attire for Irish Setters.

Measure Carefully

If you will be making a full body costume for your dog, the measurements must be accurate. Dogs’ body proportions can vary from animal to animal even within the same breed, and a well-fitting costume will be more comfortable for the dog and will look better when they wear it.

Add Props

Adding themed props can make a simple costume even more whimsical and coordinated. A dog that loves to fetch, for example, will look right at home in a retro baseball uniform with a ball and glove. Props are especially useful for taking photographs of your pet in their new costume.

Follow the Pattern

When making a dog costume, choose a pattern you can easily read and follow. Read all instructions carefully, including any recommendations for adapting the pattern for different breed sizes. When in doubt, consider using scraps of material to create a simple costume first so you can get the feel for creating a more complicated outfit.

Seasonal Fun

Holiday costumes are among the most popular choices. While a classic Santa coat and hat is an adorable option, other popular dog costumes include elves, reindeer, and abstract gift packages. Bunny ears for Easter, pumpkins for Halloween, and Cupids for Valentine’s Day are other seasonal favorites. Many pet stores and doggie boutiques will carry holiday attire if you do not know how to make dog costumes for your favorite holiday.

Consider Comfort

While a thick, fluffy costume may seem like a cute idea, be sure to consider your dog’s comfort and health when choosing materials. A thick costume can be too warm and uncomfortable, making the dog irritable and aggressive. Some dogs will also not like wearing anything on their head or paws.

Safety First

No matter what costume design you choose, be sure that a leash or harness can be worn properly. The dog’s collar should also be worn and visible at all times. Other safety factors to consider include your pet’s visibility, both for their own sight and for others to see them, and making sure the costume is not a trip hazard for your dog.

Cute Collars

An easy type of dog costume to make is a simple hat and collar combination. These can be worn securely without hampering a dog’s movement, but be sure any collar accessories are not too tight around the neck. The dog’s license and leash should still be able to attach to a costume collar as well.

Wedded Bliss

Outfitting a pair of dogs as a bride and groom is a cute costume idea, for a wedding between two dog lovers, but be sure the two dogs get along well before putting them together or you’ll find it’s far from a well matched marriage.

Hats Off to Dogs

Hats are quick and easy dog costumes to make and to wear. Some dogs will not wear hats, however, and they will paw off the hat or become increasingly distraught when they cannot get it off. If your dog will wear a hat, be sure it is secured firmly in front of the ears and under the jaw so it will not slide around or become tangled around your pet’s neck.

Cape Costumes

Most dogs can easily wear cape style costumes that are fitted around the chest and front legs but are loose around the rear. To finish off the look, add a hat or headband and a matching leash.

For more information about how to make dog costumes, check out these LoveToKnow Costumes articles:

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How to Make Dog Costumes