It's the last week of October, and that means that Halloween is only a few days away. If you're a dog owner there are a lot of things you should keep in mind, whether you're taking your dog out and about or staying in to hand out candy. Last week I discussed Halloween hazards for dogs, and there are more dangers out there than you'd think!
Costumes can be one of the biggest canine Halloween hazards, so you need to be very careful with the choice that you make. Costumes that are too tight can restrict your dog's movement or cause chaffing and scratch his skin. Costumes that are too loose may be dangerous if your dog trips on them or they get caught in a door. Loose costumes also provide the risk of becoming tangled around your dog's neck or one of his legs. This could cause serious injury.
If you're planning to buy a costume for your dog, make sure to do your research. It would also be wise to bring your dog with you while shopping so you could try the costume on and ensure a proper fit before purchasing it. Canine costumes can get pricey though. While at a trip to our local department store last week I saw canine costumes selling for more than $50.
DIY Dog Halloween Costumes
If you want to save some money and ensure your Fido's safety, you can make do-it-yourself dog Halloween costumes that cost next to nothing and will offer a custom fit for your pooch. They are usually pretty simple, which is a good thing in this case. The less accessories a canine costume has, the better. Buttons, bows and other small objects can be easily chewed off and become a choking hazard.
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Possibly the easiest way to dress your dog up for Halloween is to dress him like a person. You can use pajamas, sweat pants, a dress, or any other form of comfortable clothing to dress your pet up as a random person, celebrity or someone from your local community. You could dress him in a jersey to make him a sports star or wrap him in a child's bathrobe. Usually with just a few quick alternations (nothing more than a tail hole or a few stitches) you can make unique DIY dog Halloween costumes out of adult or children's clothing.
Another easy and cheap do-it-yourself dog costume is to turn your Fido into a mummy. You can purchase cotton gauze at a dollar store or buy it for just a few dollars per roll at any pharmacy. Just wrap it around your dog, secure the end and you're all set. Gauze is soft, breathable and very comfortable. Just be sure to leave plenty of room around his neck and face, and leave an area uncovered so he can still go to the bathroom when he needs to.
If you're a little crafty you can make some really creative and simple costumes with typically household items and a few materials from your local craft store. One fun and easy project is a skeleton costume. DIY dog Halloween costumes like this are great for the pet owner with an artistic flare. A simple black hooded sweatshirt could be turned into a skeleton with a little fabric paint or some white felt and fabric glue.
A green hooded sweatshirt can easily become a dinosaur with felt or cardboard spikes down his back. A yellow hoodie could be transformed into a duck costume, and with some felt and fabric paint you could turn any color sweatshirt into a quick and easy DIY monster costume. A little creativity goes a long way when trying to create your own doggy Halloween costume.
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Superhero dog costumes are also very simple to make on a budget. An old shirt and a Superman, Batman or Wonder Woman stencil and you've got a great costume. If you've got an old superhero shirt lying around in your closet, it would be even easier. You could even create your own super hero or turn an old shirt into a cape. Using a red shirt to turn your Fido into Underdog would be one of the funniest and easiest DIY dog Halloween costumes.
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If you have a female dog, you can easily turn her into a fairy, a butterfly or a princess with a few simple accessories. Tutus are easy to find, and they are easy to slide around your pet's waist. Add some butterfly wings made for children and you can quickly change her from a princess to a beautiful winged creature.
Dressing your dog as another animal is always a great costume choice too. Felt can be used to create a lion's mane or you could use it turn your pup into a horse. A red t-shirt and a black fabric market will make an adorable lady bug costume, and a black t-shirt with some fabric paint could turn your little stinker into a DIY skunk.
When you're creating a do-it-yourself Halloween dog costume, try to think outside the box. A little imagination goes a long way when you're making a costume for your dog. It's easy to come up with simple ideas, and when it doubt, the internet is full of them. Try to choose a costume that matches your pet's personality, and make sure that it is something that he'll be comfortable wearing.
Remember to be safe on Halloween, as it is one of the most dangerous nights of the year for pets. Whether you'll be wandering the neighborhood or staying in to hand out treats, keep an eye on your dog at all times and make sure that he is never outside alone. Secure him in an area of your home where he won't be bothered by trick-or-treaters and make sure he's away from the door so there is no chance of escape.
If you've made your own dog Halloween costume we'd love to see pictures in the comments below. Post them on our Facebook page or share them on our Twitter feed too! Even if you didn't make the costume yourself, we'd still love to see pictures of your canine companion(s) all dressed up for the Holiday!