Can’t wait to celebrate Halloween with your dog? You’re not the only one! We surveyed 2000 dog owners across the country and uncovered some fun and fascinating stats about how UK dog owners are planning to spend All Hallows’ Eve with their furry best mates.
A quarter (26%) of dog owners told us they love seeing pets dressed up in costumes, and nearly a fifth (18%) are planning on dressing up their dogs this Halloween. Predictably, millennials are more likely to go all out when it comes to choosing costumes for their dogs—a third (28%) said that they’ll spend more time and money on their pets’ outfits than their own, and one in ten said that they’re planning on coordinating outfits with their dogs! 13% of owners surveyed will even be throwing a pet-friendly Halloween party.
So what are they planning on wearing? 16% of owners surveyed say they’d rather opt for a cute costume than a scary one, but before we find out what this year’s most popular costumes are, read up on how to ensure your dog has as much fun dressing up as you do!
Tips for Dressing Your Dog Up
If your dog doesn’t mind dressing up, make sure to take it slowly and check their comfort level before, during, and after getting dressed. Hopefully, by the time Halloween rolls around, they’ll be comfortable enough in the costume to last the whole night as the Harry Potter to your Voldemort or the Bradley Cooper to your Lady Gaga.
Rover.com’s newest UK Rover panel expert, dog behaviourist Louise Glazebrook, has the following advice for choosing a Halloween outfit for your dog:
“Whilst Halloween costumes on dogs may seem like a good idea at the time, be careful of the fabric. Often, they can be made from polyester, which can be uncomfortable for dogs and cause them to get too hot. Also be wary about costumes that have items hanging off them, as these can be sometimes be distressing and restrict pups from their natural behaviour.”
Whether you make a costume at home or buy one from a shop, there are a few things you can do to ensure your dog has a ball on the 31st:
- Get your pet’s costume early. It gives both of you a chance to get used to it before the big day.
- Let them sniff and show interest in the costume before putting them in it.
- Keep plenty of treats handy so they see the costume as a good thing. As much as you can, use the treats to guide your pet into the costume—for example, if you’ve got a lion’s mane that goes over their head, guide their head through the hole by enticing them with food, and let them take the treat a few times before fastening it on fully. You don’t want your dog to feel tricked.
- Once the costume is on, take frequent breaks. Try not to keep the costume on for more than a few minutes—say 10 or 15—at a time. And keep the treats coming while they’ve got their costume on. (This is also a good time to take a million cute photos and send them our way, please and thank you.)
- After your dog’s used to the costume try taking them on a walk while wearing it. Be ready for them to be slower or distracted while they get used to the sounds and feelings of their costume, and of course, treat, treat, treat.
Of course not all dogs are into wearing costumes, and that’s absolutely fine! If your furry little buddy doesn’t feel like going full-on Frankenstein’s monster, check out some Halloween bandanas and collars.
With that said, the only thing better than planning your own costume for Halloween is planning your pet’s. And although, like 10% of our owners surveyed, you can stick to tried-and-tested traditional costumes (these are favoured by spaniel, Labrador and Border collie owners), there’s just something about coming up with a unique costume idea that’s so good it actually puts all other costumes to shame. Read on to find out what dog Halloween costumes are trending this year.
This Year’s Most Popular Dog Halloween Costumes
In case you hadn’t noticed, the world of politics—both domestic and international—is a scary place these days. That could explain why, according to our survey, the most popular outfits for dogs this year include Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, and the Queen. Aside from politically-led costumes, musicians are also providing dog costume inspiration this year, with Lady Gaga and Ozzy Osbourne being popular choices.
Lady Gaga’s Met Gala outfit is guaranteed to be a sure-fire hit come the 31st.
And let’s not discount the perennial classic that is, Snoop Dogg.
More On-Trend Dog Halloween Costumes
If you’re looking for a few more unique dog Halloween costume ideas that are on-point for 2019, we’ve got you covered.
Rocketman was one of the year’s most buzzed-about movies. We love how Willie the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever from the Rover office pulls off this sparkly Elton John ensemble.
Robin and Steve from Stranger Things
Season three of Netflix’s hottest ’80s-themed show featured Robin and Steve working at the mall’s Scoops Ahoy ice-cream counter.
Billy Ray Cyrus with Lil Nas X
Any chance you’ve had this song stuck in your head this year? Coconut the Samoyed and Lemon the golden retriever are here to represent the stylish Western fashion of the music video.
Our Expert’s Top Tips for a Dog-Friendly Halloween
Halloween can be scary for dogs, and not for the same reasons it is for us humans. Costumes, strangers at the door, unusual noises: there’s a lot going on that will seem suspicious to your dog.
Dog behaviour expert Louise Glazebrook has a few more top tips to keep pets safe and happy this Halloween, whether you’re out and about or having a night in. Here’s what she advises:
- Avoid taking your dog trick-or-treating. Amongst the masks, loud noises and darkness, it can be quite a distressing environment for dogs, so it’s best to leave them in the comfort of their own home.
- If you do leave your dogs at home, then do not display any Halloween decorations that will encourage trick-or-treaters. Constant knocking and doorbell ringing is a real disruption to a dog’s normal routine, and this may cause stress.
- Halloween sweets are more trick than treat for a dog—make sure you keep them out of reach. Chocolate is particularly toxic for dogs, and even a small piece can be a cause for concern. If you suspect they’ve got their paws on your pile of sweets, contact your vet immediately.
- Overall, keep an eye on your dog’s behaviour—they will tell you if they’re not happy with their environment over Halloween. Look out for cues in their body language or tell-tale signs that they’re stressed, such as whining, pacing or licking more than usual.
If your dog is even slightly prone to anxiety, consider keeping them indoors in a cosy, dog-safe zone for the evening, or get a trusted pet sitter to keep them company. Halloween night could also be a good time to employ anti-anxiety tools for your dog—and there are plenty to choose from. Some dogs respond well to dog calming pheromone products and calming supplements, or wearing a ThunderShirt.
With any luck (and a little preparation) you and your dog will have an unforgettable night together. Happy Halloween!