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Should Dogs Wear Halloween Costumes?

Written by: Heather Marcoux

Last Updated on February 4, 2024 by Dogster Team

Golden Retriever dog dressed in a witch costume for Halloween

Should Dogs Wear Halloween Costumes?

Our neighborhood goes all out for Halloween. Driveways become outdoor living spaces, with adults sitting in comfy chairs enjoying cocktails while handing out candy. Unlike other pet parents in our neighborhood, I have never dressed up Spot and Dolly for the festivities. Here are my five reasons why.

1. I have a limited pet-supply budget

Have you seen how much pet Halloween costumes cost these days? Okay, so a quick Internet search tells me they aren’t that expensive, but I would still rather spend the money on their usual monthly allotment of tasty treats.

2. I worry about their sanity

As mentioned, Halloween turns into quite the party in our neighborhood. Spot and Dolly stay on their leashes and at my feet in the driveway, where I keep a careful watch over them and the many kids who approach for a handful of candy and a quick pet.

My pups love the attention, but I take them inside for breaks if I see them starting to feel overwhelmed. (Stompy children wielding weapons — lightsabers, plastic swords, and the like — usually serve as the trigger.) I worry that being in costumes would bring about that feeling much more quickly and take away from the fun they usually have.

man looking sad hugging his pitbull dog
Image Credit: SvetikovaV, Shutterstock

3. I stress about trick-or-treater safety

Say an excited child does spook Spot and Dolly, causing them to move suddenly and accidentally knock down a trick-or-treater. I never want a parent to look at my pups and see a problem.

4. I want them to be free to make fun of the dogs who do wear costumes

Each year, Spot’s brother Grover and his fellow family member Pippin must don whatever nerdtastic costumes their humans have picked out for them. Spot and Dolly get great joy out of pointing and laughing and bragging about how I don’t make them get dressed up for Halloween. Or so I imagine in my head.

5. I have to make up for what I do to them each Christmas

I found these holiday-themed pet accessories on a dollar aisle a few years back and just couldn’t resist buying them.

Do you dress up your dogs for Halloween? If so, as what? If not, why? Please share stories and photos in the comments!


Featured Image Credit: Kashaeva Irina, Shutterstock

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