bulldog wearing a sunflower dog costume

The 8 Best Dog Costumes Australia: Tested & Evaluated 2024

Written By Vedrana Nikolic | Canine Coach, B.A Ethnology & Anthropology, M.A Semiotics.
Edited & Fact Checked By Renae Soppe | B.A Journalism & Science. 
Last Updated: 5th January 2024

Halloween, Christmas or a National Dress Up Your Pet Day are just a few occasions we can enjoy dressing our pooches as different characters. From Santa to a Disney princess, there’s a dog costume for every theme.

To help you find the perfect choice for your dog, we teamed up with veterinarians, canine behaviourists and dog parents to form our panel of independent experts. We then researched all the most popular dog costumes Australia offers alongside our own beloved pooches. Several weeks and many, many doggy costumes later, we were finally able to agree on the contents of this guide.

So if you’re looking for the best dog costumes Australia has to offer, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got some great recommendations to share with you, but first, let’s cover things you need to know beforehand.


Quick Picks - The Top 3

Our Number 1 Pick - 
California Costumes Spider Pup Costume

  • A separate headpiece that can be taken off
  • Hook and loop fasteners for fast dress-up
  • Very lightweight

Runner Up - 
Zack & Zoey Show Jockey Saddle Dog Costume

  • Simple but hilarious design
  • Very adjustable nylon straps
  • Features a D-ring for leash attachment

Third Choice - 
Kasachoy Dog Postman Costume

  • Very easy to put on
  • Can be worn with or without a hat
  • Quite affordable


Australia's Best Dog Costumes Reviewed

Now that we’ve covered things you should know prior to getting a costume for your pet, it’s time to see the best costumes for dogs Australia has on the market. These are the dog costumes every member of our team of independent experts loved (and the ones our dogs not only looked adorable in, but didn't seem to mind wearing!)

California Costumes Spider Pup Costume

What sets this product apart from the rest?

  • A separate headpiece that can be taken off
  • Hook and loop fasteners for fast dress-up
  • Very lightweight

What’s furry, barks and has 12 legs? Your dog in a spider costume! Every good dog deserves the chance to appear scary once a year, during Halloween. While this holiday isn’t that big in Australia, we all wait for the opportunity to show off how cool our furbabies are. And any dog wearing this scary spider costume will surely be the talk of the town.

The costume consists of two pieces. The headpiece features googly eyes, while the costume body has 8 foam legs sewn to it. Every leg joint has orange faux fur details. The entire costume is made of 100% polyester, so it shouldn’t be worn during hot months.

I appreciated how putting on the costume is easy. The headpiece goes on like a hood and has a hook and loop fastener that I place below my dog's chin. The costume body features the same type of fastener, which I simply attached around his chest. If you know your dog dislikes wearing headpieces, then be sure to check out our number two choice ahead.

Sizes range from XS to L, so dogs ranging from Miniature Pinchers to Golden Retrievers can enjoy disguising themselves as scary spiders. And while it seems bulky, everyone on our panel of independent experts agreed the costume is very lightweight, so your pooch will surely enjoy wearing it.

Pros

Cons

  • A separate headpiece that can be taken off
  • A bit pricey
  • Hook and loop fasteners for fast dress-up
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  • Very lightweight
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Zack & Zoey Show Jockey Saddle Dog Costume
  • Simple but hilarious design
  • Very adjustable nylon straps
  • Features a D-ring for leash attachment

Dogs don’t need to wear figure-hugging costumes to stand out from the crowd. Not only that so much fabric makes them hot, but it might also cause an allergic reaction. This costume from Zack & Zoey proves that sometimes the most eye-catching costumes are simple, like this one featuring a jockey.

The costume consists of a plush figure of a jockey on a saddle, and nylon straps that act as a harness. I placed one strap around my dog’s neck, while I enclosed the other around his chest. Both straps feature a plastic quick-release buckle, so putting the costume on takes only a few seconds.

Plus, you can adjust the straps to fit your pooch’s body shape. What our panel of experts liked the most about this costume is that there are no additional floppy parts that can annoy the dog wearing it.

Right below the jockey’s saddle, there’s a D ring that allows you to attach a leash. That way, you don’t have to put an extra harness or a collar on your pooch. Similar to our number one choice, this costume comes in different sizes, so both Chihuahua and Golden Retriever owners can find one that suits their pooches.

Pros

Cons

  • Simple but hilarious design
  • Buckles can break
  • Very adjustable nylon straps
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  • Features a D-ring for leash attachment
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#3: Best For Puppies: Kasachoy Dog Postman Costume

Kasachoy Dog Postman Costume
  • Very easy to put on
  • Can be worn with or without a hat
  • Quite affordable

These are the kind of puppy costumes that make you stop scrolling. They allow dogs to dress up as their favourite intruder. We see postmen getting chased by dogs on films all the time, and our dogs probably would, if we left the door open.

But, imagine the face of a postman seeing your pooch in this costume. Priceless, right?

Besides being such a cool idea, this costume is well made, too. I loved how the whole costume fastens around your pooch’s neck. Two sleeves that go around your dog’s forelegs imitate trousers. The postman’s hands are fake, and they hold a package. And, your pooch also has a hat, like with our number one pick. How adorable is that?

The costume comes in brown colour, resembling the one UPS postmen wear. However, there’s no actual sign, for obvious intellectual property rights. Regardless, your postman will get the joke once he sees your pooch wearing it.

The costume comes in three sizes. According to our team of independent experts, the L size was suitable for large dogs like German Shepherds and Labs, which usually isn’t the case with most dog accessories. On the other hand, the S size is more suitable for Cocker Spaniels than tiny pooches like the Maltese breed.

Pros

Cons

  • Very easy to put on
  • The S size is more for medium-sized dogs
  • Can be worn with or without a hat
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  • Quite affordable
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Rubie's Star Wars Chewbacca Hoodie Pet Costume
  • Sizes range from S to 3XL
  • Can double as a jumper during winter
  • Functional pouch for small things

If there’s a fictional character every pooch can nail disguising as, it’s Chewbacca. After all, they make similar noises when something’s not to their liking. Jokes aside, this costume from Rubie’s looks great on any dog, but it’s especially effective on brown pooches. Owners of Irish Setters, here’s a costume to consider.

Chewbacca has fur, so obviously, the costume does too. It’s made of polyester, so our team of independent experts recommend avoiding dressing up your dog in this costume during summer. On the other hand, this is a great costume for colder months as it keeps your pooch warm.

The costume is designed like a regular dog jumper. It has openings for forelegs, and it covers the dog’s back up to the tail. The hoodie is attached to the main part of the costume, and it can’t be removed. It also has an attached Chewbacca’s pouch, which is fully functional. A great place to put treats or poop bags in.

I quickly discovered that putting it on is a bit more work than most costumes on this list. I had to put my dog’s forelegs through the openings first, and then close it with Velcro taping along the belly. Large dog costumes are hard to come by, but Rubie’s got you covered. From S to 3XL, every dog can have a Chewbacca costume.

Pros

Cons

  • Sizes range from S to 3XL
  • Not suitable for wearing during summer
  • Can double as a jumper during winter
  • Expensive
  • Functional pouch for small things
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#5: Best Dachshund Costume: Rasta Imposta Hot Dog Pet Costume

Rasta Imposta Hot Dog Pet Costume
  • The collar loop keeps the costume in place
  • Suitable even for dogs under 1 kg
  • Because of the shape, sizes are flexible

Dachshunds are to be thanked for the popularisation of the term “hot dog.” So it’s surprising that a snag costume became such a classic option when it comes to this breed. But that’s not to say it’s a boring one. They always look adorable wearing buns, and they’ll look great in this particular costume.

This snag costume is made of polyester, similar to our number four choice minus the obvious addition of faux fur. It’s very soft, so your pooch will feel comfortable wearing it throughout the day. The buns are fluffy and great at keeping your dog warm when wearing this outside. Because of that, the costume is more suitable for colder months, while it might be too thick to be worn in summer.

The design is pretty simple. It features a tiny loop at the top that I attached to my dog's collar to keep the costume in place. There’s a thick strap that went around my dog’s waist. Both loop and the strap feature a Velcro tape that makes putting it on an easy task.

There are six sizes to choose from. Considering the shape of the costume, you don’t need to double-check when choosing the size, as your pooch can probably easily fit in either one size up or down.

Pros

Cons

  • The collar loop keeps the costume in place
  • Not great for very large dogs
  • Suitable even for dogs under 1 kg
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  • Because of the shape, sizes are flexible
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Rubie's Disney: Princess Pet Costume Ariel
  • There’s a suitable size for every dog
  • Made of high-quality fabric
  • The bottom part features a tail loop that keeps it in place

Rubie’s is a family-owned brand that specializes in costumes, and they’re officially licensed to make Disney costumes. They do it in all sizes, from S to XXL. Here’s a way you can make your pooch look like the princess she is. And not just any, but the beautiful redhead Ariel.

The costume itself looks well made, similar to the Rubie's costume in our number four spot. It features a red wig that seems to be of high-quality. It sits really well on dogs with round heads, like Staffordshire Terriers without cropped ears.

Our team of independent experts noted that you might struggle a bit to place it properly if your dog has pointy ears, but it can be done. The wig has a drawstring with a cord stopper that goes under your pooch’s chin. For a small dog like mine, Halloween costumes like these are great, since they’re easily adjustable.

The shell top went around my dog’s forelegs and tied above his neck (yes boys can be Disney mermaids, too!). It’s metallic and even has a seastar attached to the middle. The tail is made of the same polyester fabric and went around my dog’s waist. There’s a loop underneath, where my pooch’s tail went. That way, the bottom part didn't move around as my canine friend started tail wagging.

And what everyone on our team of experts liked best, the costume does not disturb your pooch in no way during potty time.

Pros

Cons

  • There’s a suitable size for every dog
  • A wig might be problematic to put on
  • Made of high-quality fabric
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  • The bottom part features a tail loop that keeps it in place
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#7: Affordable Pick: POPETPOP Dog Pirate Costume

POPETPOP Dog Pirate Costume
  • Very affordable
  • The hat sits well on the dog’s head
  • Squeaky rubber chicken included in the purchase

Whether your pooch likes the sea or not, it’s irrelevant when it comes to this costume. It’s well designed and will make your dog look like a cute but scary pirate. Like our number one costume choice, this is a fabulous option for Halloween.

This is yet another costume that’s not complicated to put on. Costume trousers went around my pooch’s forelegs, while the upper part connected around his neck with a hook and loop fastener. There’s not a lot of fabric around your dog’s body, so our panel members all agreed that this costume can be worn year-round.

The pirate hat is cute, and thanks to the drawstring, it stays still on the dog’s head. It’s rather flat, so stays up even on dogs with pointy ears, like Dobermans or Samoyeds. And just like a true pirate, this costume has a hook instead of a hand. Yarrr!

There’s also a rubber chicken included in the purchase. It’s one of those squeaky toys that make hilarious sounds when squeezed, which most dogs love. While chickens don’t usually go hand in hand with pirates, the toy is a nice addition. Plus, you get two-in-one, all for quite an affordable price.

Pros

Cons

  • Very affordable
  • No suitable sizes for large dogs
  • The hat sits well on the dog’s head
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  • Squeaky rubber chicken included in the purchase
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Idepet Dog Santer Claus Riding Christmas Costume
  • Two layers of plush fabric keep the dog warm
  • Very affordable
  • Very adjustable with Velcro tape

Aside from Halloween, there’s no better time to wear costumes than during Christmas. Obviously, these costumes are less scary and more warm and festive. And is there a better way for Santa to arrive at your home than riding your pooch?

This costume is designed like a harness, just like our number two costume pick. Therefore, your dog is not dressed from head to toe, which makes this costume rather comfortable to wear. It’s made of double-layered acrylic fabric that’s soft to the touch.

Putting the costume on was a piece of cake for me and my pupper. It has two straps. One went around his chest, and the other around his neck. Both have Velcro tape, which makes them very adjustable. At the top of this harness-like costume, there’s a quite large but lightweight Santa doll. If this costume included reindeer antlers, it would be perfect.

This specific model is the size XL, but our team of independent experts appreciated that Idepet makes them in different sizes, for dogs whose chest girth ranges anywhere from 28 to 53 cm, so you can probably find the one that fits your pooch.

Pros

Cons

  • Two layers of plush fabric keep the dog warm
  • Might be small for very large dogs
  • Very affordable
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  • Very adjustable with Velcro tape
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Factors I Consider When Buying A Dog Costume

From bees to cowboys, dog costume ideas are numberless. But aside from the theme, there are other things you need to keep in mind when searching for the best dog Halloween costumes in Australia. These are the features our team of independent experts ask you to consider as you start your search:

Material

Just like the ones we wear, dog costumes are not intended to be worn often and for a long time. To be affordable but good-looking, they’re usually made of polyester. There are dogs allergic to this fabric although it’s not common. So, if your canine companion has sensitive skin, the costume material is definitely something you should pay attention to.

Choose the fabric according to the climate you live in. If it’s warm and humid, fleece and faux fur aren’t a suitable option. On the other hand, polyester costumes might be too thin to be worn during a snowy period.

Type Of Fasteners

Dog costumes usually use either hook and loop or buckle fasteners. A hook and loop fastener allows you to adjust the costume to fit your dog better. But the Velcro can easily catch onto the dog’s fur, so it’s not ideal for long-haired canines.

Buckles are a fast way of fastening a costume, but they’re usually made of thin plastic. They can easily snap, especially if your teething pup finds it laying somewhere.

Dog Breed

Some costumes simply don’t sit well on certain breeds. A spider costume, for instance, may not sit well on short-legged dogs. On the other hand, some costumes complement a certain breed well. For example, put a mane on a light brown-coloured dog, like a Lab, and your four-legged friend will look like a real lion.

Comfort

Last but not least, a costume has to be comfortable. Humans are used to sacrificing comfort for looks (high heels, anyone?), but dogs aren’t. If you want your pooch to put up with your shenanigans, at least make it bearable. Avoid costumes that have features you know your pooch doesn’t stand, like hoods for example (1).


How To Safely Dress Up Your Dog

Before you dress your dog up, there are a few things our team of independent experts think you should keep in mind to assure wearing a costume ends up being both fun and safe.

Assure It’s The Right Fit

The costume must allow your dog to move without any restraints. It needs to fit well and stay in place during movement (2). An outfit too tight may restrict circulation, while a loose costume can cause your pet to trip on when walking and tear it down. You should also make sure it doesn’t impair the dog’s sight or hearing.

Beware Of Choking Hazards

Before putting it on, inspect the costume for possible choking hazards (3). Your dog can swallow things like buttons and tiny gemstones, which can be extremely dangerous.

Do A Test Wear

You don’t want to find out last minute your dog hates the costume you’ve picked up. Unless you try it first, you won’t know if your pooch can stand wearing a hood or butterfly wings, for instance.

“Some signs that they are uncomfortable might include pawing at the costume, attempting to remove it, shaking their body vigorously, nervous running, cowering, constant scratching, pinned-back ears or a tucked tail.” -  Dr Mohammad-Zadeh,  PetMD

You should always do a test run and see how your dog behaves in a costume. In this case, positive reinforcement can be a great way to train your pooch to wear costumes (4).

Don’t Lose Sight Of Your Dog

As a responsible owner, never leave your dog unattended while wearing a costume. Even if it’s a perfect fit for your dog, outfit malfunctions happen. Your pet can get stuck in bushes, fences etc. Pay attention so that you can step in if needed.


My Final Verdict

Dog costumes are a thing, and if your pooch happens to like wearing clothes, you’ve got yourself a partner for the next dress-up party.

If you want your dog to be the talk of the town, everyone on our panel of independent experts agreed that the spider outfit by California Costumes is exactly what you need. It’s high-quality, lightweight and comes in different sizes. Alternatively, a jockey rider costume by Zack & Zoey is great for pooches that hate being dressed up. Thanks to a D-ring, it can be worn as a harness, and your dog won’t mind wearing it.

FAQ

Do dogs like dressing up?

Some dogs don’t like being dressed up, others don’t mind. It’s not an unwritten rule, but dogs that were being dressed since they were puppies are more likely to be comfortable wearing a costume than those wearing one for the first time as adults. Furthermore, this depends on the costume, and how comfortable it is.

How to get the dog used to wearing a costume?

When you try dressing up your dog for the first time, go slow. Put the costume on and see how your dog behaves. Use treats and praises so that your dog identifies wearing a costume as something good. However, if your dog seems to hate wearing outfits, don’t push it. There are simpler alternatives, like bowties and harnesses with simple details.

When buying a costume for the first time, get something simple. Avoid hoods, headbands and floppy parts that might overwhelm your dog. Pick a costume that’s easy to put on and off.

How to measure your dog for a costume?

Depending on the complexity of a costume, you might need to take different measurements. Besides the dog’s weight, you usually need to measure neck and chest circumference, as well as the back length.

References
  1. Upmalis, J. Oct 06, 2020 “How to Dress Up Your Dog Safely” American Kennel Club. Retrieved May 22, 2021. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/lifestyle/costumes-for-dogs-dressed-up/
  2. Clotfelter, S. October 2, 2012. “Dog costumes silly? Yes, and sometimes unsafe: Tips for pet owners” The Denver Post. Retrieved May 22, 2021. https://www.denverpost.com/2012/10/02/dog-costumes-silly-yes-and-sometimes-unsafe-tips-for-pet-owners/
  3. Gilpatrick, J. July 31, 2018. “Safety Considerations for Halloween Pet Costumes” PetMD. Retrieved May 22, 2021. https://www.petmd.com/dog/safety-considerations-halloween-pet-costumes
  4. Erb, H. Oct 06, 2016. “Help Make Your Dog’s Halloween Costume a Pleasant Experience” American Kennel Club. Retrieved May 22, 2021. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/help-make-your-dogs-halloween-costume-a-pleasant-experience/

Vedrana Nikolic


Vedrana Nikolić is Gentle Dog Trainers Canine Coach, Professional Writer, Anthropologist & dog lover.

With a Masters Degree in Semiotics & Bachelors Degree in Anthropology, studying the communication between animals and humans, Vedrana is able to use her expertise to analyse and review dog products and write informative posts on canine behaviour and training.

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