If you know anything about me or my predilections, you know that if there’s one thing that is guaranteed to drive me wild with joy, it’s dogs wearing little clothes. October is a month of great anticipation for me, then, since all of social media — Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram, especially — are going to be bursting at the seams with dog owners posting photos and videos of dogs in costumes. I needn’t tell you that when I drew the assignment to find and discuss the cutest dog Halloween costumes, I emitted a high-pitched squeal of delight.
From homemade getups to store-bought ensembles, what we’ll see includes:
Dog owners love to outfit their pets as all manner of vegetation. From common fruits and vegetables to common houseplants, we just can’t seem to get enough of re-imagining our pets as specimens of plant life. One costume idea I’ve been noticing more the last few years is dressing a dog as a Chia Pet.
It is common knowledge these days — although the precise scientific or medical reasons remain cloaked in mystery — that, consumed in sufficient quantities, grapes and raisins are toxic to dogs. Fortunately, this happy Pit Bull Terrier is at risk of nothing but a chorus of admiring coos.
Next we have Marnie, a beautiful senior dog whose owners dressed her up as an ear of corn. Let the puns roll: The caption acknowledges that it’s a “corny” costume, but I think they missed a trick by not calling her a “corn dog.” After all, a corn dog is a delicious treat.
Another common costume category is dressing your dog as a different animal altogether. They don’t typically require a lot of accessories, and many are readily available at your local pet store during festive times of the year. Here’s a Chihuahua imagining herself as a frog for a day; she’s even got the perching posture down.
Farm life is another excellent source of inspiration. We’ve all seen our dogs inexplicably rub their heads, necks, and bodies on the ground. They truly seem to enjoy coating themselves in bird poop. Why not indulge this propensity by allowing them to dress as pigs, who are well known for rolling around in slop?
Or we could take a trip to the insect world with our next dog, handsomely attired as a bumblebee! The important thing to keep in mind when it comes to selecting a dog Halloween costume is that the dog’s limbs have freedom of movement and that her ears, mouth, and nose are not obstructed.
The winner, though, by a mile, in cutest animal costume for a dog, goes to this baby French Bulldog. She’s prepping for a new life as a bunny. Once you’ve screeched with delight — something along the lines of “OMG SO TINY,” called all your friends, and stopped hyperventilating from excitement, note that this puppy’s ears are completely covered. It’s okay for a moment while you snap the photo, but she may get anxious or disoriented before too long.
Isn't this little girl just the cutest? Her name is Lychee and she's preparing for her first halloween. @somdrea #lychee #frenchie #frenchbulldog #frenchbulldogpup #frenchbulldogpuppy #frenchbulldogpuppies #frenchiepup #frenchiepups #frenchiepuppies #pup #puppy #puppies #bunny #halloweendog #doghalloween #doghalloweencostume #cute #thecutest #cutie
Then there are the old standbys; costumes ideas that, at least for humans, we’ve all seen from time immemorial. Imagine dressing your dog as a fighter pilot for Halloween! The excitement, the adventure, the romance of the open skies! The airplane accessory might be a bit out of your price range.
Back in the day, a cowboy was not only a popular Halloween costume for children, but also, along with a firefighter, a common career aspiration among children. This Dachshund has not forgotten, longing for simpler times on the range.
Let’s get ready to get wet! If you’re looking for me, you’d better check under the sea! I’ll be down there with this Australian Shepherd, kitted out in a homemade scuba costume. Looks like a couple of two-liter soda bottles have been repurposed for the breathing apparatus. Some of the coolest dog costumes are created from common household items. Brilliant work!
A costume doesn’t have to cover a dog’s entire body or be complicated to be effective. Take a peep at this Weimaraner’s simple Viking-helmet-and-fun-wig combo!
Ancient cultures can of course drive dog owners to elaborate designs and costumes. Check out this little Pharaoh, whose crown denotes dreams of ruling the kingdom of Lower Egypt. Maybe the dog wants to be a Pharaoh Hound? Don’t tell him that breed actually originated in Malta.
With the recent papal visit to the United States still fresh in our memories, this fun little dog decided to dress for the occasion! I wonder if he got an audience with the pope?
One of my favorite stories about the supreme pontiff’s American sojourn was how groups of nuns gathered for tailgate parties. Our dog pope wouldn’t be complete without a celebratory entourage, then, would he?
Looked to The Lord this Halloween as I dressed as Sister Mary Betty White. Bless you all, my children. ? #BettyWhite #Halloween2014 #SisterMaryBettyWhite #Wienerdogsofinstagram #dachshundsofinstagram #Doghalloween #wienerdoghalloween #howloween #sisterb #holyholy #dogsofinstagram #dachshund #longdog #welovedachsunds #featureme #modelpup
Of course, what survey of cute dog Halloween costumes would be complete without nods toward pop culture? Many dog owners enjoy dressing their dogs and puppies in costumes that draw on their favorite television and film franchises, to say nothing of comic book heroes. The Wizard of Oz — both the film and L. Frank Baum’s novel series — are perennial choices that never go out of style.
There has been Star Wars cosplay since the franchise launched in the late 1970s. If a costume idea is good enough for humans, it will certainly find its way into the dog world. I’m not sure if Anakin Skywalker ever met Yoda after becoming Darth Vader — maybe in the expanded universe — but issues of canonical propriety go out the window at Halloween.
Perhaps the most popular dog costume derived from Star Wars, though, is the Ewok. Those denizens of the Endor forest have been unjustly maligned as far as I’m concerned. My favorite part of Return of the Jedi is John Williams’s “Yub Nub” song, or “Ewok Celebration,” and I will defend it to my last breath.
Everyone’s excited about Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters upcoming reboot film. From the classic 1984 original, this lovely dog is sporting a Stay Puft Marshmallow Man outfit!
Naturally, dogs and cats will be living together, and there will be mass hysteria, so we’ll have to recruit an all-dog ghost-busting team to defeat the adorable menace.
Comics and comic book movie franchises are all the rage these days, and everyone has an opinion on the trajectory of the DC and Marvel Cinematic Universes. If dogs could talk, I’m sure that these two stately Doberman Pinschers would have quite a bit to say about their Batman and Robin costumes.
I love this tiny dog’s Captain America outfit. Take care not to leave the ears covered for too long!
I wouldn’t be true to my own preferred fandom if my list of cutest dog Halloween costumes didn’t include at least one canine dressed up as a character from Doctor Who. This dog is wearing the iconic outfit of Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor, complete with a tiny fez and bow tie! Geronimo!
Finally, we’ll send you off with a hipster Shih Tzu who liked Halloween before it was cool. “Cute” is a completely subjective term, so these are the cutest dog outfits according to my own aesthetic valuation. Today, we’ve seen 23 dog Halloween costume ideas from across the Internet. Which of these dogs is your favorite?
Have you gone on a follow frenzy for the dogs who are featured on Instagram? Is there a particular dog costume style or approach you prefer for your own dogs? Do you love crafting DIY (do it yourself) outfits for your puppy pals, and shout “Bring me knitting!” at the least provocation? Are you more of a dog boutique shopper, always on the lookout for the sharpest and sleekest costumes?
Post photos of your dogs — current and past — wearing their Halloween finest in the comments below!
About the author: Melvin Peña trained as a scholar and teacher of 18th-century British literature before turning his research and writing skills to puppies and kittens. He enjoys making art, hiking, and concert-going, as well as dazzling crowds with operatic karaoke performances. He has a one-year-old female Bluetick Coonhound mix named Idris, and his online life is conveniently encapsulated here.