Dog beside a Halloween pumpkin with candles

DIY Halloween costumes for dogs

19 Oct 22 4 minute read

If we asked you to write a list of scary things then ghost stories, haunted houses and utility bills would probably rank pretty highly. But for the environment, Halloween can become the stuff of nightmares (cue ominous sound effects). 

There’s a lot of frightful waste of food at this time of year. If you do have any leftover pumpkin don’t put them in the bin, recycle them in your food waste caddy or compost them.

Costumes can be just as ghoulish - and we’re not just talking about looks - as many of them are worn only once. 

This year get creative and make your own Halloween costume or give second-hand a go. Revolve stores are packed in the run-up to fright night with a range of pre-loved costumes. 

There’s no need for your four-legged family member to miss out either. There are a tonne of DIY ideas online that can be made using items that would otherwise end up in the recycling bin.

We’ve tried and tested a few of our favourite Halloween costumes for dogs to get you into the spirit…

An estimated 7 million Halloween costumes are thrown away each year, many of them worn only once. 

Teach an old dog new tricks

We’ve all seen the photos of little kids dressed up as senior citizens. Cute right? Here’s the puppy version.

Collect four or five cardboard toilet roll tubes and secure them to an old headscarf or tea towel and hey presto. Instant costume.

For extra points paint the toilet tubes in using non-toxic paint in pastel colours for added effect.

image of a dog dressed up with a scarf and paper hair curlers

Spooky spider

Spiders tend to get a bad rep but let’s face it, along with cobwebs they are pretty synonymous with Halloween.

For this costume, you’ll need to raid your drawers for any pairs of tights that are looking past their best. 

Stuff the legs with newspaper or old t-shirts/scarves (these can be washed and worn again after) to create the shape.

Next use some string or elastic bands to group the legs together and either attach to a walking harness or use the stretchy offcuts from the waistbands to secure it around your dog’s body. 

Rocket dog

For an out of this world costume, hold onto your pop bottles. Pick the size of bottle depending on the size of your pet - 2 litres bottles and chihuahuas don’t mix. 

Wrap the bottles in tin foil. If the foil has been used, give it a wipe to make sure that it’s clean first otherwise you might find your dog chasing its tail in search of those leftover sausages.

Next, find something to secure the bottles together. Some string or a large elastic band should do the trick but if you are using sticky tape remember to remove it before the foil goes into the recycling.

Leftover tissue paper works great for rocket flames when stuffed into the open ends of the bottle. And can be reused for future presents so it won’t go to waste.

Image of a dog with a rocket costume on its back

There’s a new sheriff in town

For a pawfect canine cowboy or girl, cut out a circle of cardboard to the size of hat that you need. Next, draw a circle about an inch or so from the edge.

In that circle you’re going to want to draw an ‘m’ shape with the top of the ‘m’ quite shallow. This will form the shape of the hat once it’s popped up from the rim. 

Carefully cut out the sections that aren’t needed (see image below) and bend up the middle section. You can also bend the left and right side of the hat to create the full cowboy hat look. 

Finish the costume off with a cardboard sheriff’s badge tied to the collar or drawn on the hat. 

image of a dog dressed up with a sheriff's hat on

The not so small print

Not all pets will enjoy getting dressed up. Getting them stressed out isn’t worth any amount of likes on Instagram, so if your animal is not having fun then forego the costume or stick to something small that could be attached to something they normally wear like a collar. 

Make sure that any costume is free of sharp edges and that they are supervised at all times - the rocket pack is not going to go ‘boom’ with a bite but chewing on it is still not advised. 

Once Halloween is over recycle or reuse any parts of the costume that you can. 

Trick or treat!

Share your recycled costumes on social media tagging @HowToWasteLess and using #WasteLessHalloween.