Woman dressed and looking like her dog from 1010 Dalmations. Image: Disney.

The 10 Best Matching Halloween Costume Ideas For You and Your Dog

Costume to your dog, not the other way around.

Recently I wrote about a problematic choice by an influencer looking for a costume to match her pugs. There I suggested some other famous pugs like those from Men in BlackThe Campaign, or The Kingsmen might be better options. That got me thinking about the challenge of dressing up as a character to complement a pet’s costume. Then an NPR article talked about the stress costumes can put on dogs. So, instead of dressing up your dog, what if owners dressed to their dog?

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So, here are ten-plus costumes from pop culture (sans cops and Dorothy) that dog owners can wear for an adventurous Halloween with their dogs. Also, most of these are very economical, comfortable, and can be recreated through sustainable means like digging in your closet or buying something from a thrift store.

Your Royal Highness


With all the teasers for the upcoming live adaptions of Disney’s take on The Little Mermaid, I’ve got Prince Eric on my mind. In the animated film, he’s often paired with his shaggy dog, Max. If you have an old English Sheep Dog, or really any big shaggy breed, you can dress up as Prince Eric! For most of the movie, Eric dons a large poet shirt, blue pants, cavalier boots, and a red belt. I’m not sure how the belt works functionally, but you could tie a red scarf through pant loops or wear a red cummerbund.

Mystery Inc.


Arguably one of the most recognizable figures on this entire list is the sub-sandwich-swallowing sleuth Scooby-Doo. I’m sure if you have a Great Dane, this has already crossed your mind, so consider this the sign you needed! Not everyone has a large, short-haired brown dog, so while technically Scoobs’ cousin, Scrappy-Doo, is a Great Dane puppy, you can totally get away with some breed of terrier or Chihuahua. Regardless of dog choice, a simple teal and gold collar and dog tag does the trick.

Now, for the human costumes, there is no shortage of ways to dress up like Velma, Daphne, Shaggy, and Fred. I hope to see some Coco Diablos and Velmas this year! If you’re the type of person who likes a challenge and to get super meta (at the risk of confusing people), there’s always the option of dressing like the gang’s Halloween costumes in Scoob! (2020). Here Velma dressed as Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Daphne as Wonder Woman, Shaggy as Blue Falcon, and—the most expensive option—Fred as Prince Charming.

Snoopy’s Best Friend


The only animated dog to rival the fame of Scooby-Doo is Snoopy the Beagle. Dressing as a companion to The World War I Flying Ace (a.k.a. Snoopy) can go in very different directions. Either you can dress as one of the human characters he interacts with a lot, like Charlie Brown, Sally Brown or Lucy, or attempt to dress as Woodstock. Obviously, a human character is like beginner mode, and perhaps the better option with Halloween so close. If you can’t find a Charlie Brown shirt, buy a yellow shirt, grab a sharpie (and cardboard so it doesn’t bleed through), and copy the design. Every human version of Woodstock that wasn’t low-key terrifying was an expensive costume.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery


One of my favorite moments in animated movie history is when Pongo from 101 Dalmations is looking for a partner for his owner. In this scene and later scenes, we get to see characters designed after different breeds of dogs. Dressing as your dog takes into consideration shape, texture, and color. I don’t recommend leaning too far into the Shaggy Dog look because this will terrify your dog and your community.

In addition to your dog’s natural features, you can accessorize your outfit to match a collar or ribbon. This is one of the most flexible costumes and is possible with any dog! Best to avoid synthetic fros or leaning into cultural garbs related to the dog is associated with because no one’s culture is a costume.

It’s a bird, it’s a plane… it’s a dog?!


Okay, this is a terrible gif choice for the purpose of convincing anyone to dress up as Superman to Krypto. However, this animation is too wild not to include. While these DC animal sidekicks received renewed interest thanks to DC League of Super-Pets, these pairs go back to the 1950s. They’ve appeared in comics, TV shows, and video games. It started with Superman to Krypto, but there are so many other characters to choose from. Sure, there are official breeds and animal types to work with each hero (like Krypto being a Labrador Retriever), but really any breed could work.

If you’ve already got a major DC character costume in your closet, this is a sign to enlist your most loyal sidekick ever. I hesitated to put this on the list because the idea was limited adornments for the dogs, but many of these can be simplified a lot, especially when supplemented with your costume. A bandana with the hero’s logo and the matching color will do the trick.

Ol’ Buddy, Ol’ Pal


You think I forgot about Pal? Pal is a mixed-breed dog with some English Setter in him. If you have a small dog that’s amber or golden colored with big floppy ears, no one would know the difference. Perfect for sweater weather, Arthur or Dora Winifred (DW) Read’s attire work you might already have in your closet. Arthur wears a white collar shirt tucked in with a golden yellow sweater and blue jeans. DW (if you must) wears a plain bubble gum pink dress, a long-sleeved white shirt, blue shoes, and white stockings. Sunny-Of-All-Trades on YouTube has a short tutorial on how to make the ears and other accessories held by the Read family.

For Adult Swim fans


Say you have a small dog that’s all (or mostly white) that doesn’t quite work for Pal? Snuffles from Rick & Morty is where it’s at. Snuffles is the perfect alternative if you have a West Highland Terrier, Maltese, Bichon Frise, or Shih Tzu of any color. Where Morty needs a yellow shirt and blue jeans, Rick’s costume needs a blue shirt, brown pants, and a white lab coat. The hardest part of Rick’s costume will be the hair, but since this character is so popular, it shouldn’t be too difficult to style a wig or find a mask.

Working Class


When people think of Saint Bernards or Newfoundland dogs in media, it’s Beethoven this and Beethoven that, but what about Nana! The Darling parents in Peter Pan (1953) movie entrusted this saintly dog to take care of their kids. (Until the dad gets mad thinking that Nana’s role in the family keeps the kids from growing up.) This is a really good family or group costume choice — just like the Scooby Gang! Now, you can fully dress up as one of the three Darling children or wear pajamas that align with the colors of the kids (Wendy, John, and little Michael.) To be honest, John (pre-top hat) is wearing an outfit very similar to what I wear to bed.

Ms. Lady Bird


My favorite Bloodhounds in popular media are Copper from The Fox and The Hound and (controversially) Napoleon from The Aristocats. Unfortunately, neither film has a human companion that works very well as a costume. However, Ms. Lady Bird from King of the Hill is also a solid pick. Named after Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Johnson ( the First Lady), this is a Texan costume through and through. Dressing up as Peggy (with a sleeveless white shirt tucked into high-waisted shorts) and Hank (with a white tee shirt tucked into blue jeans) make for a great couples costume.

“Hi there.”


Doug is annoying in this movie. However, he also is the quintessential happy dog. Thus perfect for retriever owners or any large medium-long hair dog. While Doug is under the ownership of Charles F. Muntz when Up begins, and his outfit has the most drip, I recommend dressing up as Carl or Russell. Muntz and Carl wear fairly formal clothes and offer another excuse to own a tweed blazer or fuzzy bomber jacket. Unless you need a walking aid, it might be best to skip the quad cane.

Russell’s fit is a lot more elaborate because he’s a certified Wilderness Explorer (WE). The basics like his yellow cap, brown shorts, hiking books, orange hiker’s backpack, orange scarf, and yellow double chest pocket button-down shirt. The trickier part will be the core accessories— like finding a fake trumpet. I say core because a scout has some flexibility with ideas like swiss army knives and binoculars. You can construct Russel’s WE flag with a dowel rod and felt or paper. The Grape Soda button is available for purchase online or handmade yourself. Esty sellers offer the buttons and the patch versions, but if you have a way to make buttons, some sellers sell bundle image files for a few dollars.

These are some of our favorite ideas to costume ourselves to match our dogs, and not the other way around. Did we miss any perfect four-legged friend Halloween ideas? Let us know in the comments!

(featured image: Disney)

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Alyssa Shotwell
(she/her) Award-winning artist and writer with professional experience and education in graphic design, art history, and museum studies. She began her career in journalism in October 2017 when she joined her student newspaper as the Online Editor. This resident of the yeeHaw land spends most of her time drawing, reading and playing the same handful of video games—even as the playtime on Steam reaches the quadruple digits. Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 & Oxygen Not Included.