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5 Fur-tastic Ideas for Dressing Up Your Dog, and How to Do It Safely

As the holiday season approaches, you probably already have in mind all sorts of festive getups for your pup. What better way to get into the spirit—of Halloween, Christmas, Hanukkah, etc.—than to throw a costume on your four-legged pal and take some adorable holiday photos?

Dressing up your dog for the holidays—or any time of year—can be a fun way to bond with your pup. But if you’ve ever tried to dress your dog, you may know that they tend to shy away from clothing and accessories.

How do you safely and enjoyable dress your dog, so it can join in on the holiday fun safely and comfortably?

Beware of…

The first thing that you’ll want to be aware of when choosing an outfit for your dog is whether or not it’s safe for your furry friend to wear. Here are some tips to ensure the safety of your dog’s wardrobe!

…improper fit

Fit is very important when it comes to wardrobe safety. Clothing that is too large or too small is likely to be uncomfortable for your dog and poses safety issues:

  • Clothes that are too tight might constrict their movement or breathing.
  • Clothes that are too large could cause them to trip or become tangled in the fabric.

Before you purchase anything or force your pooch to be in a costume for long, put the clothing on your pup to test the fit. The clothes should be snug against its body, but it should still have full range of motion.

You’ll also want to check the collar of the costume. Ideally, it should be loose enough that you can fit a few fingers between the fabric and your dog’s neck.


One very common hazard of dog clothing is add-ons, like buttons, pins, sequins, etc. These have the potential to come loose and become a choking hazard for your pet. Or your dog could figure out how to chew the accessory while it’s still on!

Make sure add-ons to your dog’s costume are securely attached and/or are too large for your pup to swallow.

…uncomfortable fabrics

While fabric choice doesn’t have a direct effect on your dog’s safety, stuffing it into an uncomfortable material may cause it to act out and potentially injure itself. Choose breathable fabrics like cotton to make sure your pup feels safe and comfy in its new outfit.

dress up dog

…signs that your dog is unhappy

If your pet is in danger or feels unsafe in its clothing, it will act accordingly. Watch for signs that your dog is struggling with the garment, like excessive coughing due to a too-tight collar or not interacting with dogs or people the way it normally would. If your dog is showing signs of distress, immediately remove it from the clothing. 

Fur-tastic Ideas for Dressing Your Dog!

Now that you know how to keep your dog safe and comfortable, you can start putting together a doggy wardrobe that will make your pup the envy of the dog park and your family gathering. Here are some must-have additions to your pup’s closet to help it ring in any holiday in style:

1. An Ugly Holiday Sweater

Ugly holiday sweaters are all the rage with humans, so why not get one for your four-legged friend? Snap a photo of the whole family decked out in silly sweaters—Fido included—and use it as your holiday card!

2. Themed Costumes

The holidays are a perfect time to make your dog extra-festive! Whether you want to dress your pup up like bacon for Halloween, Santa Claus, Frosty the Snowman, or just a cute little reindeer, the holidays are a great time to experiment (safely) with your pup’s look.

3. A New Coat

Both stylish AND functional, a warm and cozy coat is a staple for a puppy’s wardrobe, especially in cold climates. Look for something plush and warm to shield your pup from harsh winter weather, keeping it nice and toasty through holiday storms.

Coats are especially important if your dog is going to be outside for an extended period of time, or if it has a short or thin coat.

4. Boots

Boots are also a must for harsh holiday weather. Ice, snow, and salt used to clear roads can damage your pet’s paws; boots add an extra layer of protection. Just make sure they fit correctly; ill-fitting boots can be extremely uncomfortable for your pup.

5. Jewelry

If you just can’t get your dog to stay in a sweater or costume, don’t worry! It can still embrace the holiday spirit with some pet-friendly sparkle. Pet jewelry is all the rage, and there’s no better time to add a little bling to your pup’s life than the holidays. A bedazzled necklace or a collar with holiday charms is a great way to add some personality to your pup if it doesn’t prefer clothing.

Where Can I Find Clothing for My Dog?

There are a ton of resources for finding adorable, appropriate, holiday-themed clothing for your dog. As Halloween, Hanukkah, Christmas, and more approach, many local pet stores–and even vets’ offices–stock up on holiday-related clothing, so check in and see if anything catches your eye. The benefit to buying your pup’s clothing in a store, rather than online, is that you can bring your dog with you and make sure the clothing fits properly before committing to a purchase.

But you’re likely to find the best selection online. Large shopping websites like Amazon and Overstock have entire departments dedicated to outfit and accessory options for your pet. There’s even pet-clothing-specific online retailers like BaxterBoo that exclusively sell items for your dog’s wardrobe. With holiday shipping options, you can have a costume delivered with time to celebrate!

Everyone loves getting dressed up around the holidays. Bring your dog in on the fun! With these tips for safely and enjoyably dressing your dog, you’ll have the happiest, most stylish pup on the block.

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The Team @ Cinco Ranch Veterinary Hospital

Cinco Ranch Veterinary Hospital serves Katy, TX and the surrounding areas with a dedication and passion for our animal friends that is unmatched. Our veterinarians are highly trained, experienced, and compassionate when it comes to giving your pet the care they deserve. If your companion is in need of emergency care, a dental cleaning, grooming, or just a check-up, we would love to see them! Call 281-693-7387 to make an appointment quickly and easily.

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