Top 10 Best Dog Costumes for Dressing Up
Halloween is just around the corner and people are preparing their spookiest and craziest costumes for both themselves and their pets. However, you don’t need to just dress your dog up on Halloween for fun – you can dress them up anytime for any occasion. Dogs look hilariously cute in some of these best dog costumes any day of the year.
Humans have been dressing up their furry best friends for centuries. This isn’t a new invention. Everyone appreciates a dog in a nice costume (even the dog might, in some way, know he looks sharp). But actually, the reasons that we dress up our pets are quite interesting and studies have been conducted to find out what the real meaning behind pet costumes and doggie dress-up is. The reason has to do with a term known as anthropomorphism, which is giving human traits to things that are not human (sort of the personification of animals, if you will).
This anthropomorphism has psychological roots. Researchers at Harvard University conducted a study to find out just why people anthropomorphize. They found that it is selfish in nature to use some of these best dog costumes, dress up your dog and to anthropomorphize our pets. Making things human gives us a sense of control; otherwise, we’re dealing with entities that we are unfamiliar with and those entities can spook us if we let them.
What are these best dog costumes and why do pet owners want them?
While you may think that you have control over your pet, subconsciously, anthropomorphizing them is another way for you to feel like you can connect with them on a human level. Recognizing human traits—even silly ones, such as wearing a human outfit or human accessories—make owners feel as though they have a Homo sapiens connection with their canine friend.
This desire for a human connection might stem from loneliness, but more than likely, it comes from our own insistence that our dogs are people. When you have a connection with an animal, that connection often can take the shape of or be understood in the same nature as the feelings felt for a human being (love, sorrow if they die, anxiety if they are sick, and sympathy if they are sad). We as humans know how to recognize human emotions because we have no reference point showing us otherwise.
Psychological babble aside, anthropomorphism doesn’t help us feel a human connection with our pets so much as it reaffirms the connection we already believe exists between them and us. And this connection is not unfounded. More research, this time done by scientists in Japan, found that when we make eye contact with our dogs, we are flooded with oxytocin, which is the hormone that transmits love.
This oxytocin release goes both ways. This eye contact isn’t found in nondomestic animals like wolves, and there is no oxytocin release there because animals that aren’t domesticated only make eye contact when they’re feeling aggression. But in our dogs’ case, the “puppy eyes” thing really does work. So, there’s a reason that we feel such a human bond between us and our dogs—we really do love them; it’s been scientifically proven.
Here to help you make your dog a little more human-looking are the top ten best dog costumes. We’ve looked through the customer reviews on Amazon and other online retailers' platforms, researched the products, and found the best dog costumes guaranteed to make your dog look fabulous, crazy, scary, and spooky all at once. We’ll give you a brief overview of these best dog costumes and provide Amazon's customer reviews to help you make your decision.
Top 10 Best Dog Costumes for Dressing Up
OVERVIEW: This costume comes in a range of sizes, including extra-small, small, medium, large, extra-large, and extra-extra-large. The costume is a formal tuxedo look, so you can dress up your pet to be as dapper as you choose. The largest sizes of Oscar Formal Tuxedo by Alfie are 17” neck girth, 27” body girth, and 19” body length.
The outfit comes with a tuxedo, a bow tie, and a tie, and it slips across the length of your pet’s body and ends at their midsection with two holes for their forelegs. The company recommends that you take your dog’s measurements by using a flexible tape measure first, as that’ll be sure to give you the most accurate measurements for your dog.
WHY IS IT AT #1? We chose to put Oscar Formal Tuxedo by Alfie first because it was the most versatile, size-wise, and it also can work for any occasion. If you have something formal, your dog should match the occasion and this is an adorable way to make sure he or she does. Customers were really impressed with the quality of the tuxedo and how impressively-made the materials were.
They were human-grade, almost. The quality of the suits was among the highest you could find in the costumes on Amazon, according to one customer. The details especially are adorable (a little red bow tie just sets the whole Prince Charming thing off). One customer did note that the ties were a little large for smaller breeds’ necks, but the bowtie is cuter anyway than the black tie. All in all, this is a high quality costume for anyone looking to doll up their pet for a special day.
Most Helpful review (read the full review): “I bought this tuxedo so my baby can wear it in my wedding, I can tell I'm very satisfied with my purchase. The quality of the tuxedo is amazing! The only thing is that the ties were a little bit big to fit properly around my boy's neck however, he looks stunning!…”
OVERVIEW: Animal Planet, the channel on TV that shows you all these awesome facts about animals and makes you afraid of sharks, makes this costume that seems to be a pretty accurate portrayal of a stegosaurus, which, for those of us who aren’t dinosaur-literate, is the one that has a turtle head, a long tail, and spikes ridging all alone the back of its neck, body, and tail.
Animal Planet PET20105 Stegosaurus Dog Costume comes in green and multicolored, which looks to be a mix between green and brown. It comes in sizes extra-small, small, medium, and large. It can be cleaned with a damp cloth. To give you a sense of the size measurements, an owner with a dog that was a Maltese/Poodle mix got a Medium and that fit her dog well. Another customer with a Chow/Collie mix got a Large and that fit snugly. The sizes run small, however, so adjust accordingly.
WHY IS IT AT #2? We chose this for second because the sizes run a little small, whereas for the first one, they ran true to size and didn’t have any problems with fitting larger dogs. The animal planet costumes all run small. For owners who could fit their dogs into them, this was a slam dunk, with one owner even talking about how she won a costume contest with her pup. It’s a very well-made costume as well and the coloring is beautiful.
Your dog’s self-esteem will take a huge boost when he or she puts Animal Planet PET20105 Stegosaurus Dog Costume (or at least, that’s what one customer reported as having happened). If your dog doesn’t like headgear, they are not going to want to wear this, so know that you should get this costume only if your dog is alright with it.
Most Helpful review (read the full review): “When he saw himself in the mirror as a Stegosaurus. The other dogs stopped making fun of him because now they think he's armored – and invulnerable to attack. The only downside now is getting the costume off, the little bugger wants to wear it all the time now….”
OVERVIEW: This two-piece costume will light up your doggy like he or she is a skeleton. It is black and goes over your dog’s body. There is a glow-in-the-dark skeleton design on the back of Casual Canine Glow Bones Dog Costume. It is available in a medium size that covers a sixteen inch length. The cotton is comfortable and easy to clean (the costume is machine washable). There is a little skull cap too with a skeleton face on it, also glow-in-the-dark.
The medium size, according to the company, will fit Cocker Spaniels, Corgis, Bichon Frises, Beagles, and Scottish Terriers (as well as any other dog around that size region). The costume is perfect for Halloween, as it is glow in the dark and is very noticeable. If you’re taking your kids trick-or-treating, this costume is a cute must have to leash up your dog and take him or her with you.
WHY IS IT AT #3? Owners with medium sized breeds found that Casual Canine Glow Bones Dog Costume was “the perfect fit” and they didn’t have any issues with it. We put this third because although it is high quality and super cute, the size limits were constricting. The hind legs hold the costume in place and prevent it from moving around a lot or coming off.
The costumes comfortableness was a major draw for customers whose dogs otherwise weren’t too thrilled about other best dog costumes. The cotton is soft and warm, so on chilly nights, it can even double as a sweater. If your dog hates headgear, he or she probably won’t like the cap, but that’s not a big loss as you can still tell it’s a skeleton without that part, cute as it is.
Most Helpful review (read the full review): “Purchased this costume (on sale) for my Boston Terrier, in a size medium. We normally have issues w/outfits not fitting well, since he has such a broad chest. This costume is the perfect fit, except for the hat. The hat does not stay in place, but I don't think he likes it much anyway. Still very cute, and love the fact that it glows in the dark! He has gotten the attention of neighbor's, especially at night…”
OVERVIEW: This is a pope’s costume, so if you’re offended by religious paraphernalia being turned into doggy outfits, this might not be the best dog costume for you. For those of us who aren’t, this costume is hilariously adorable.
Holy Hound Dog (By California Costumes) comes with a printed miter headpiece, a red stole that can be detached, and a torso costume that is printed in red and white with gold doggy paws and a cross made of bones. The headpiece is tall, like the Pontifex’s, and the costume itself comes in extra-small, small, medium, and large. The small measurement is 12” length, 16-20” chest, and a 12-14” neck.
WHY IS IT AT #4? We put this as fourth one of the best dog costumes because the material, some customers complained, is thin. This costume would definitely be good for a holiday and not much else. Though, why you would want your dog regularly dressed as the Pope is beyond me.
There weren’t many complaints about Holy Hound Dog (By California Costumes) other than a few very angry commenters who felt that the religious costume was disrespectful (personally, I think Pope Francis would find it funny). Several purchasers reported that their dogs had won costume contests from this cute getup. It’s a fun costume for all who want to laugh and have a fun holiday with their dogs.
Most Helpful review (read the full review): “After much research, found the sizes on the California Costumes website that the company neglected to put here, so here they are:Pet Costume Size Chart Sizes Chest Waist Hips Height X-Small 8″ 12-16″ 10-12″ Bichon Frise…”
OVERVIEW: This costume consists of one body piece that is printed like the favorite childhood chocolate candy, the Tootsie Roll. Rasta Imposta Tootsie Roll Dog Costume even has the white ties at the end like the candy does. The costume is recommended for dogs between fourteen and twenty-three pounds. It’s a perfect fit for smaller dogs and is made of polyester.
The material is thin. The costume itself, interestingly enough, was actually officially licensed by Tootsie Roll, which is a little-known fact. I wasn’t aware that the company had a stake in pet couture.
WHY IS IT AT #5? This is fifth of the best dog costumes because the size range is pretty narrow and the material is thin. If you’re looking for a durable, long-lasting costume, this might not be the one for you. Rasta Imposta Tootsie Roll Dog Costume is made in China and imported, so it doesn’t have the quality that comes from non-factory-made products.
Other than that, it’s a cute costume for a Halloween or two. A few people said that they even won pet costume contests with these, which is no surprise. If you have a wiener dog, this costume will look adorable (and pretty realistic, too!).
Most Helpful review (read the full review): “Cute costume – the small fit our 10lb wiener dog just about right. Be aware, it is cheaply made (in China) and the costume has two tabs, one around the chest behind the front legs, and one further down near the rear – one of the tabs was sewn on backwards and couldn't be used….”
OVERVIEW: This pet costume for dogs is recommended for canines between 32 and 185 pounds, so a wide size range. Rasta Imposta Shark Fin Dog costume is simple: one piece—the fin. It is designed by the same company that made the last costume, Rasta Imposta, and attaches around your dog’s torso by a Velcro strap and accessory. You strap it under your dog’s belly. The fin itself is made of cloth, so it can only be used on land.
WHY IS IT AT #6? This is sixth because it only has one piece and, when compared to the other costumes, it isn’t as elaborate and doesn’t have as much material for the price, which is surprisingly high for just the cloth fin. Rasta Imposta Shark Fin Dog costume runs at $16.29 on Amazon, not including shipping. That seems pricy for something that’s only a fin.
But for customers who chose to shell out for the fin, they were satisfied by the quality and found the sizing to be accurate. One woman had a 95-pound lab that she said fit well into an XL, which should give you an indication of size constraints and general guidelines. Dogs were also happy with the simple strap and didn’t seem too bothered by it.
Most Helpful review (read the full review): “Timely shipped product quality was commensurate with price. XL fit appropriately on my 95 Lbs lab….”
OVERVIEW: This lion mane attaches around your dog’s head, making him or her look like a little lion. The mane is a combination of light and dark brown fur, blending in pretty well with dogs that are of that same complexion. The mane attaches with a Velcro strap underneath your pet’s chin and, the best part is that with every purchase, a portion of the money spent goes to animal shelters in New Orleans and Los Angeles. The material of Pet Premier Lion Mane is soft and comfortable.
WHY IS IT AT #7? We chose to put this seventh because it consisted of only one piece: the mane. So, it wouldn’t go higher than other costumes that had more involved and took more time to create and put on. This mane also runs small and doesn’t fit larger-size animals (it squeezes their head).
For the animals that it does fit, owners were pleasantly surprised at how comfortable they found it. Pet Premier Lion Mane was almost like an extension of the fur they already had and even dogs who didn’t like headgear found it tolerable. It’s a fun way to turn your dog’s bark into a ROAR!
Most Helpful review (read the full review): “I received this product at a reduced price in exchange for an honest opinion about the product. This product is so much fun! My husband and I love dressing up our kitties. The mane is well-made and the inside is very soft! Our one cat hung out in the mane for over 15 minutes(see pic) This would be a perfect costume piece for Halloween – wizard of oz theme anyone…”
OVERVIEW: This skunk costume ranges in size from XS to XXL and, for reference, the medium size fits dogs that are up to sixteen inches in length. This costume consists of a black torso piece connected to a headpiece with pink ears and a long white fluffy stripe attached to both of those.
There’s even a fluffy black-and-white tail. Casual Canine Li’l Stinker Dog Costume is made of 100% polyester and the closures on the fabric are Velcro. In order to clean, hand wash in cold water. The company recommends that if your dog is on the chubbier side, choose a size up even if their length measurements match the sizing chart.
WHY IS IT AT #8? This is eighth because the costume runs small and a few customers who had wild dogs found that the polyester on the sides tore easily. But, other than those issues, people appeared to enjoy the costume and found that their dogs were kept nice and cozy in this skunk costume. A few customers said that the larger sizes of Casual Canine Li’l Stinker Dog Costume run too big, which meant that in general the sizing was a n issue for purchasers so make sure to check the size chart when measuring your dog.
Most Helpful review (read the full review): “I bought a large costume for a Beagle size dog and it was much too small in length. Could not even use it for Halloween. I suggest getting at least one size larger than the size chart indicates. This costume is more suitable for dogs that are close to the actual size of a skunk….”
OVERVIEW: Ranging in sizes from XS to Large, this costume is a foam-padded costume with the arms and the long tail of a raptor. There’s even a raptor headpiece that is also foam padded. It only comes in one color; brown with blue and silver sparks and the legs of the raptor go on your dog’s forelegs to make sure that it stays on.
The sizes of Animal Planet Raptor Costume vary, but the medium fits a dog up to sixteen inches in length. Make sure to read the sizing chart for the costume though, so as not to get an incorrect size.
WHY IS IT AT #9? This is ninth of the best dog costumes because people complained of the disconnect between the head and the torso part—the head was too big for the rest of the costume and that was problematic for some people. But those who didn’t experience that issue found that this costume was great and made their dog the star of the party in some cases.
The foam-padded material is high quality and isn’t easy to tear or ruin. One pet owner-reviewer who purchased Animal Planet Raptor Costume called it the “Rolls Royce of pet costumes.” Side note: this costume also runs a little long on the forelegs, so you may need to cuff them in order to get them to fit your dog.
Most Helpful review (read the full review): “This is a great costume both in quality and it looks comfortable for our dog. (Lab mix we got size L). I'm going to type out the sizing chart as I had a hard time viewing the image but it was the most helpful info when buying- (Thank you Kaelyn!!!)…”
OVERVIEW: This costume contains a striped dress, pink poodle skirt, and matching pink bow for a headpiece. The medium fits dogs that are up to 15” neck to tail and 17” in the chest. It is suggested for breeds such as Pugs, Maltese, French Bulldogs, Jack Russell Terriers, and other smaller animals.
Rubies’ 50’s Girl Dress will have your dog looking like the belle of the ball. The costume is made from polyester and is a thinner material. The bow attaches with a Velcro strap.
WHY IS IT AT #10? This is tenth because while customers seemed to like it, the sizes ran small and the material wasn’t as durable as it could have been. Many commenters were pleased with the costume’s design and uniqueness. Their dogs were able to wear the headpiece without being tormented and the costume itself, once sized correctly, fit right.
The polyester of Rubies’ 50’s Girl Dress was warm enough, but it wouldn’t keep your dog warm all Halloween night (or whenever you’re dressing him or her up), so be sure to take him or her in if it’s cold.
Most Helpful review (read the full review): “Since reviews say the sizes run a bit small for the most part, I got my girl a size bigger than she would normally get and it fit perfectly. It seems very well made and should last us quite a few years, I would think….”
How to Choose the Best Dog Costume
When picking out the best dog costume, you’ll need to make sure that your dog’s size and weight are accurately fit to the measurements of the costume that’s being advertised. Make sure to measure your dog and weight them before purchasing, as you wouldn’t want to go through the hassle of returning what you bought because of a size problem.
Also, make sure that your choice accurately reflects your dog’s comfort zone. Don’t buy him or her something that will constrict them or that will prevent them from being able to move easily. Headgear is always nice, but if your dog has an aversion to wearing it, don’t make them, otherwise you might end up with a destroyed costume and a very angry puppy.
Basically, the best of the best dog costumes is what will be comfortable for your dog and cute for you. The ones we showed you on the above list were thoroughly vetted by customers and found to be both practical and adorable.
We want to make sure that our readers are aware that we are NOT sponsored by any of the manufacturers and dog companies mentioned in this article. Please note that we do our best to provide accurate information, but we highly encourage dog owners to always double-check other sources for additional tips on best dog costumes so that you can make a more accurate decision of what’s best for you, and your canine.
The above overview of best costumes for dogs should give pet owners a good idea of best rated dog supplies, but please also make sure that you read the more about top dog costume reviews from multiple customers before you purchase any dog products. Sometimes, those reviews from pet parents can provide more information than any dog supplies website ever could. Finally, I hope this list was helpful, and if you tried any of these dog products, please let us know of your experience in the comments below.