Halloween: is it fun or unfair to dress up your dog?

Dogs dressed up for Halloween
Dogs dressed up for Halloween. ©Fotoshautnah, Pixabay

Is Halloween the perfect opportunity to dress your dog in the cutest miniature outfit, or is it a waste of money and potential cause of stress to the animal?

Halloween dog outfits: harmless fun

The trend of Halloween costumes for dogs is so popular that it would seem many owners see it as simply a bit of fun. Just following the hashtag #dogcostume on social media is a gateway into a world of increasingly-creative Halloween dog outfits. From paparazzi to pizza deliverers, bunnies, devils and movie characters, the possibilities are endless!

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The Guardian states that British spending on Halloween has risen from £12 million in 2001 to £330 million today. The article even estimates US spending – just on Halloween dog outfits alone – at $350 million. Some of the biggest celebrities are also big fans of doggie dress-up. Of note from previous years: Chrissie Teigen’s bacon boy, Karlie Kloss’ shark dog, Kendall Jenner’s croco-pup, Reese Witherspoon’s “Frenchie-fries” and the Amanda Seyfreid scary dog duo!


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Dressing up your dog: discomfort and stress

But while cute Halloween dog costumes might be fun for humans, and great for social media likes, is it fair on the dogs? Experts warn that your dog’s temperament is important: naturally nervous dogs might panic when forced into an outfit. Hoods can block vision and put the dog on edge. Some costumes can also be too tight and uncomfortable.  And, unless you live in a minus zero climate, most dogs hate wearing boots.

Some dog owners have even gone a step further, and dyed the colour of their dog’s fur for Halloween. We’re not sure if that’s a step too far…

Read also: 10 Funniest Dog Breeds in the World

Emily K is a freelance copywriter, journalist and translator based in France. In her spare time, when she's not running after her cheeky beagle, she can be found pedalling around the city on her bicycle.