LIFESTYLE

Christmas Costumes for Dogs: Letting Your Dog in on the Holiday Cheer

Image showing little black dog costumated in grinch for Christmas night
Emily Young
Written by Emily Young

The holiday season is about getting together and sharing blessings. It is also the time for gift giving. Getting ready for the start of the Christmas season can be very hectic. Most of us find ourselves with too many things to do and not enough time to do them. The long list seems never-ending, and there’s always somebody that’s left out—like your dog for example. This year, to get your dog in on the holiday cheer, make sure to dress them up in one of those fancy Christmas costumes for dogs.

Your dog deserves special attention this holiday season so that he can get into the spirit of fun. Most of the time, our best friends are left at home while we are at work and they can feel lonely and neglected. To celebrate the season of love and togetherness, dressing them up in a Christmas dog costume is a great choice. A costume can let them in on the fun, and it is something the whole family can do. You can share adorable photos on social media and let your dog lap up the attention.

Image showing a labrador costumated for Christmas laying on the snow

There are Christmas costumes for dogs available on the internet. They come in various sizes and designs so that you can find one that is suitable for your dog. Not only will we help you figure out the kind of Christmas costume that will suit your dog perfectly, but we have also included a review of seven Christmas costumes that we consider to be the best of the bunch, so you know what to expect in real life.

Product NameSizes AvailableMachine WashableWearabilityPrice
Rubie’s Christmas Pet CostumeS/M and M/LNoCan be worn for up to 6 hours, but not likely to survive more than a few usesCheck price on Amazon
Outward Hound Holiday Christmas AntlersS and LNoCan be worn for up to 6 hoursCheck price on Amazon
Rubie’s Red Plaid Pet Christmas BowtieS/M and M/LNoCan be worn for up to 6 hours, but not likely to survive more than a few usesCheck price on Amazon
Rubie's Costume Co Santa Claus Dog CostumeS and MYesCan be worn for 1 or 2 hoursCheck price on Amazon
Cryseam Velvet Hoodie With PantsL and XLYesCan be worn for 1 or 2 hoursCheck price on Amazon
Rubie's Elf Pet CostumeS to XLYesCan be worn for up to 3 hoursCheck price on Amazon
NACOCO Carrying Gift Box with Santa CostumeS to XLYesCan be worn for 1 or 2 hoursCheck price on Amazon

Things to consider before buying

Christmas costumes for dogs are fun. They make our pooches very cute and adorable. Plus they offer lots of photo opportunities that you can happily share with family and friends on social media.

However, there are some features that you need to consider before buying your dog a Christmas costume. These features will make it easier for you to choose the right type of costume for your best friend.

Material

Our dogs already have their coat to protect them from the elements. A costume will add another layer of material on top of their skin which can make them uncomfortable or even break out in allergies.

A dog costumated in a Dog Pet Costume

Before buying a pet costume, make sure that the material is comfortable on your dog’s skin or fur. It should not be too warm or too heavy so as not to suffocate or overburden your dog. If you live in an area with warm weather, consider materials that offer breathability. Material like cotton and bamboo offer good breathability, so your dog does not overheat.

It can be easy to get carried away during a party so don’t forget to set a time limit for your pet to wear the costume. If it has lots of padding, it is advisable to set a 2-hour limit. If you’re staying longer, you can take it off periodically so that your pet can cool down naturally.

Size

Dogs come in many different sizes, and so do their costumes. In most case, costumes are usually labeled as for “medium” or “small” dog breeds. Although we understand that opinions on what constitutes as small or medium dog breeds may differ from person to person, generally, these costumes are created with that margin of difference in mind.

cat-and-dog costumated for the Christamas party eating cookies

So even though these costumes may not fit your dog like a glove, it’s not really that hard to find costumes that fit your dog. You can also follow the manufacturer’s instruction or sizing. They might have a size chart or ask you to measure certain parts of your dog to make sure that the costume fits perfectly.

Maintenance

Costume parties and Christmas parties are fun, which is why we keep on hosting or going to them. Dogs in parties know how to really have a good time, so expect their costumes to get dirty especially if the party is held outdoors. It is for this reason that your dog costume should be easy to clean.

Two dogs in Christmas costumes sitting in front of Christmas tree

The best case scenario is for you to buy dog costumes that are machine washable. However, there will be times that more delicate costumes will require hand washing. The easier the costume to clean, the easier your life will be.

Pricing

Dog costumes are fun, but they can also be expensive. We all have household budgets so it’s best to stick with something you can afford so that you can celebrate with your dog without going broke. Luckily, dog Christmas costumes come in a wide range of prices so you can find one that is within your budget.

Little Bichon Maltez costumated for the Christmas time

But don’t settle for the first cheap costume you see. In some cases, cheap costumes have poor quality so you might end up spending more if the costume malfunctions the first time your dog uses it. Instead of buying the cheapest costume, look for something of good quality that you can afford.

Now that we have an idea of the features you need to consider, let’s take a look at some of the best products on today’s market.

Best products on today’s market

Reading our reviews will give you an idea of where to start when you are on a quest to buy a fun Christmas costume for your dog. Read on to find out whether certain popular dog costumes are of good quality or if they are not ideal for your pet:

Rubie’s Christmas Pet Costume Rubie’s Christmas Pet Costume

Price: approx. $8.94

Weight: 3.2 ounces

Size: S/M and M/L

Specific Features: costume elf hat, adjustable chin strap

Best Use: Christmas parties, costume parties, parades

Description: Rubie’s Christmas Pet Costume comes in a variety of sizes. It comes with an elf hat with an adjustable chin strap and a bell collar you can fasten on your dog’s neck so they would look like one of Santa’s little helpers. This costume is affordable and comfortable enough to wear for a couple of hours. This costume is ideal for Christmas parties, costume parties, and parades.

At this price point, many pet owners don’t really expect a costume to be of good quality. While the costume will look good on your dog, you can get 1 or 2 uses out of it before it falls apart. If it does survive your dog’s Christmas fun fest, you need to hand wash this for cleaning since it will not survive a cycle in the wash.

The hat and collar are made from cheap synthetic fiber, and it could get ruined in seconds especially if your dog likes to chew or does not like to wear costumes. However, if you need a cute costume and you’re not bothered by the fact that this is a single use item then this is cute enough to make everyone gush over your dog.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Looks cute
  • The hat will fit nicely on your dog’s head thanks to the adjustable strap
  • Comfortable, not very restricting

Cons:

  • Cheap fabric
  • Not durable

Related: Reward your dog after wearing the costume and posing for pictures with Rocco & Roxie Gourmet Jerky Dog Treats. This jerky sticks are available in chicken and beef flavor that is slow roasted and naturally smoked and are tail-waggin’ good.

Check the price on Amazon

Outward Hound Holiday Christmas Antlers Outward Hound Holiday Christmas Antlers 

Price: approx. $8.80

Weight: 2.4 ounces

Size: S and L

Specific Features: comfortable, soft headband

Best Use: Christmas parties, costume parties, parades

Description: Make your best friend look like one of Santa’s reindeers with the Outward Hound Holiday Christmas Antlers. This head accessory for dogs is soft and comfortable, so your pet will not have any problems wearing it for an extended period. It is very easy to put on and is made with plush materials, so it feels soft to the touch.

It fastens to your dog’s head so it won’t fall down like other headbands. The chin strap is also made with a soft elastic material so it won’t hurt or discomfort your dog. This is a good choice if you want something simple and fun for your dog to wear.

This is a good choice for a costume especially if your dog is not a costume-kind of pet. The headband goes over their head with a chin strap that feels like a collar, so they don’t really feel like they’re wearing a costume. The chin strap stays out of sight, and your dog won’t have anything to bite, which is really good especially if you want to re-use the costume for the next holiday season.

Unfortunately, the headband and antlers have wires underneath the cloth to hold them up so you can’t really machine-wash this costume. The wires also make it dangerous for your pets if you leave these lying around the house.

Pros:

  • Good quality
  • Affordable
  • Comfortable and adjustable

Cons:

  • Cannot be machine-washed
  • The wires can be dangerous, so they shouldn’t be left lying around

Related: Complete your reindeer costume with a CritterGear Adjustable Dog Collar printed with Santa hats. It is a tough and fashionable dog collar with a holiday pattern that’s perfect for the Christmas season.

Check the price on Amazon

Rubie’s Red Plaid Pet Christmas Bowtie Rubie’s Red Plaid Pet Christmas Bowtie

Price: approx. $5.54

Weight: 0.8 ounces

Size: S/M and M/L

Specific Features: red plaid print, white collar

Best Use: Christmas parties, costume parties, parades, fancy restaurants

Description: The Rubie’s Red Plaid Pet Christmas Bowtie is an excellent choice for pets that want to look fancy and smart. It has a white collar with Velcro fastening so you can put it easily on your dog’s neck. The bow tie itself is red plaid, making it a good choice for the Christmas season so your dog will look great in fancy restaurants and parties.

If you think red plaid is too cliché, you can opt for the poinsettia design with a pink background for a unique look.

The plaid bowtie is a good costume choice for fussy dogs. Just fasten it on their necks, and they will think they’re wearing a regular collar. The material feels thin and flimsy but still looks good. It won’t survive a lot of holidays, but it’s still affordable so not a lot of dog owners will mind especially since your dog will get a lot of compliments. Overall, it is a good costume for such an affordable price. Don’t expect it to last long though.

Pros:

  • Cute and adorable
  • Good comfortable design
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Not durable, so you really shouldn’t machine-wash it

Related: Your dog won’t look well-groomed with just the bowtie alone. Before your party, make sure to run the YOOHUG Self Cleaning Slicker Pet Brush through your dog to remove shedding hair and eliminate matting, tangles, and knots for a handsome looking date.

Check the price on Amazon

Rubie’s Costume Co Santa Claus Dog Costume Rubie's Costume Co Santa Claus Dog Costume

Price: approx. $17.97

Weight: 9.6 ounces

Size: S and M

Specific Features: hat, jacket, belt

Best Use: Christmas parties, costume parties, parades

Description: Your best friend will be barking a Ho Ho Ho with the Rubie’s Costume Co Santa Claus Dog Costume. This Santa costume comes with a jacket, a belt, and a Santa hat with white fur trimming for a cute and cuddly Christmas effect. This is a great choice for dogs that are used to wearing dresses and t-shirts. It is comfortable for your dog and easy to put on.

The material of the costume feels comfortable and cool. The jacket covers a lot of your pet’s body, so it is advisable only for short-term (1-2 hours) use especially if you live in a hot or humid location. The hat has a chin strap to prevent it from falling, and the white fur trim gives it a premium look.

The costume is a good choice for owners looking for an adorable costume for their pets. It looks very cute, and your dog will love all the attention he will get. Too bad there is no large or XL option for large dog breeds.

Pros:

  • Good quality
  • Cute design
  • Comfortable for dogs that are used to wearing costumes

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • No large and XL size

Related: Thank your dog for wearing the Santa costume with a bite of Dog Bark Naturals Bacon Bark Dog Treats. This bacon flavored snack has no preservatives and additives. The pieces are thinly sliced for all dog sizes and age.

Check the price on Amazon

Cryseam Velvet Hoodie with Pants Cryseam Velvet Hoodie With Pants

Price: approx. $13.88

Weight: 17.6 ounces

Size: L and XL

Specific Features: soft and warm hoodie with pants for winter, soft shorn-pile material

Best Use: Christmas parties, costume parties, parades, outdoor winter coat

Description: Bundle up and stay warm with this Cryseam Velvet Hoodie With Pants for your dogs. It is made of polyester and soft shorn-pile material with white trim, white pompoms on the hoodie, and a printed reindeer on the back. The material looks plush and warm, making it the perfect Christmas costume or outdoor coat for your dog.

This costume is brown with a reindeer print on the back, but there is also a red with a Santa print option available. The materials feel comfortable and warm, and your dog will love wearing this coat. Dogs will surely get a lot of attention when they wear this hoodie and pants combo costume.

There are a chest and length measurement as well as instructions on how to measure your pet correctly available so make sure to check it out so that you can buy the right size.  This is a good choice for pets that are not fussy about what they wear. The material is a bit thick so make sure that your dog does not get too warm especially if you live in warm climate.

Pros:

  • Warm
  • Cute design
  • Comfortable for dogs that are used to wearing costumes
  • Good quality

Cons:

  • No small and medium size option

Related: Show your love and appreciation to your dog for wearing the hoodie by treating him to some GREENIES Dental Chews Dog Treats. This is a good snack option because it can clean the teeth and help freshen your dog’s breath in one irresistibly tasty treat.

Check the price on Amazon

Rubie’s Elf Pet Costume Rubie's Elf Pet Costume

Price: approx. $15.06

Weight: 2.4 ounces

Size: L and XL

Specific Features: elf style cap, tunic with orange pompoms, ankle cuffs

Best Use: Christmas parties, costume parties, parades

Description: The Rubie’s Elf Pet Costume is a fun costume for dogs of all breeds and sizes. The beautiful green and orange colored pompoms will make your dog look adorable and social media-worthy.

This is a great costume choice for pet owners looking for something unique and has a jingle-bells flare. The tunic covers most of your dog, so make sure that your pet is used to wearing something on his body before buying. The cap has a chin strap to prevent falling.

The fastenings on the ankle straps are elastic and not Velcro which can be frustrating if the sizing is too small for your dog. Make sure to follow directions on the manufacturer’s sizing chart. Otherwise, the product is good quality and should last until the next Holiday season.

There are reports of the sizing being inconsistent despite the measuring chart so proceed with caution since not all dogs weigh or have the same measurements. There are also a lot of pompom balls along the ankle cuffs which your dog can chew or become a choking hazard.

Pros:

  • Cute design
  • Well made
  • Good quality

Cons:

  • Pompoms can be chewed off or become a choking hazard
  • The fastenings are not flexible enough

Related: Nobody wants to cuddle a stinky pet even if he looks adorable in an elf costume. Use Earthbath All Natural Pet Shampoo for safe, effective and gentle cleansing. This product also relieves itching and dry skin with a pleasant vanilla and almond scent.

Check the price on Amazon

NACOCO Gift Box and Santa Costume NACOCO Gift Box and Santa Costume

Price: approx. $23.99

Weight: Not specified

Size: S to XL

Specific Features: cotton material with Velcro closure, smiling Santa

Best Use: Christmas parties, costume parties, parades

Description: NACOCO Gift Box and Santa Costume is a funny and cute costume that makes your dog look like a reindeer with Santa carrying a present on his back.

This is not only an adorable costume but a well-made one too. The Velcro closure makes the costume easy to put on and off while making it adjustable, so your pet looks good and feels comfortable in the costume.

The high-quality cotton this costume is made from also adds to the comfort level—not just for your dog, but also for you as it is okay to machine wash this costume. For best fit, measure your dog’s chest, neck, and back circumferences and follow the manufacturer’s sizing chart.

The product covers most of your pet so make sure that he is not in costume for an extended period. This costume is a good choice for owners who want something easy to put on and is funny, cute and adjustable. It is well-made which is great considering how expensive it is.

Pros:

  • Cute and fun design
  • Well made
  • Adjustable Velcro closure

Cons:

  • Expensive

Related: Before putting away your funny Santa costume for storage, spray some Rocco & Roxie Stain & Odor Eliminator to remove stains and odors. It is gentle and safe for pets and children and will get rid of unwanted smells not only on the costume but also on carpets, pet carriers and other surfaces too.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrap up

Dressing your dog up for a Christmas celebration is one way of making the whole affair more memorable. Try to find a costume that is of good quality so that it can last more than 1 season. Dog owners know their dogs best, so you know whether your dog will cooperate and wear the costume you choose or not. One of the tricks to make them wear a costume is by implementing a reward system. Show your appreciation through treats and praises if your dog decides to wear a costume.

For temperamental dogs that refuse to wear costumes, you just have to let them get used to the idea. You can buy the costume weeks before the Christmas party and then let them wear it for a couple of minutes each day while using the reward system every time they decide to leave it on. This way you won’t waste money or wrestle with your dog every time you decide to put him in a costume.

Boston Terrier in Christmas costume laying down

Remember, it’s not just about the costume. It is also about spending time with our loyal dogs that are sometimes neglected because their owners are too busy during the Christmas rush. Reward their love and loyalty to you by spending time with them during the holidays and making them feel included with the festivities by dressing them up with the best Christmas costume.

What did you think of the featured Christmas costumes for dogs? Did you like any of them? Do you think you’re going to buy a costume for your dog this Christmas? If you have already done that, which costume did you buy and will you recommend it? Tell us what you think by leaving comments below.

About the author
Emily Young
Emily Young

Emily is originally from China where she graduated from The University of Hong Kong with high distinction learning about fashion and design. During university she opened her own magazine about Dog Fashion as dogs were always in her heart. She was surprised, when she moved to a beautiful British Columbia 10 years ago, to see many great Boutiques with dog's designer clothing and desire of pet owners to make their babies look nice.

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