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Is Your Pooch Ready for Dog Christmas Costumes?

Updated on December 9, 2013

Ideas and Considerations When Picking Dog Christmas Costumes

People dress up for the holidays, so why shouldn't our pets? Dog Christmas costumes have become increasingly popular over the years, and you can now find an assortment of hats, bandanas and complete costumes to turn your favorite pooch into an elf, reindeer or Santa himself. But will your dog tolerate this type of dress-up as well as the Grinch's dog Max, who barely uttered a protest when the Grinch stuck reindeer antlers on his head? Here are some things to consider and some images of holiday costumes available for your favorite pet.

(Image of Santa dog hat provided by Amazon. See link below.)

Santa Costume Dog Hat & Scarf Set - Move over, St. Nick

There are plenty of dog Christmas costumes available these days to dress your pet for the holidays. Is your furry friend ready to play Santa?

Santa Dog Hat & Scarf Medium
Santa Dog Hat & Scarf Medium

The Santa Dog Christmas Costume is an adorable Halloween or Christmas pet costume. Make your dog more popular than the real Santa Claus this Halloween or Christmas when they wear this Santa Dog Costume. A great way to bring out the Christmas spirit, this Dog Santa Hat and Scarf is sure to be loved by all.


Christmas is a time for family, and for many people, time with family includes those with fur and four feet. Dog lovers often include their furry family members in holiday celebration. And for some, that means getting the family pet dressed for the occasion.

Dog Christmas costumes can be as basic as a holiday collar or as extreme as a full Santa or reindeer outfit, and they can certainly make any pooch the star of the holiday party. But if your dog isn't a fashion hound used to wearing clothes, you'll want to be sure he's ready to be dressed like Santa, an elf or a reindeer.

First, consider your dog's basic temperament. A dog in a Christmas costume will be the center of attention at almost any holiday gathering, especially if there are kids present. Most guests will want to pet him, and to a small child, your costumed dog is a magnet to be hugged, tugged and kissed. If your dog is shy or doesn't like children, he is probably a poor candidate for dressing up for a holiday party. If, on the other hand, your dog is adaptable, loves kids and adores attention, you have the perfect pet to transform into a Christmas character.

If you decide to purchase a dog Christmas costume for your pet, make sure you get one that fits comfortably, something that won't be too tight or too loose. Dressing your dog up for Christmas is more than just picking out a costume and throwing it on the dog twenty minutes before the guests arrive. Proper preparation will insure that you, your guests and the dog will all enjoy the evening.

When purchasing a costume, remember that pet Christmas costumes can be scary for a dog who isn't used to wearing outfits. Introduce him to the costume slowly. Let your pet see the costume and smell it before you put it on him. You may even want to give him a small treat while holding the costume or stroking against him. When he seems comfortable, put the outfit on and see how he does.

Puppies who are raised around children are often familiar with "dress up" and actually seem to enjoy it. Even most adult dogs, however, can be coaxed into wearing a costume for Christmas if you handle it properly, even if the costume is only elf ears or reindeer antlers.

If your dog absolutely goes crazy when you put on the outfit, however, you can try again later. But if he absolutely won't tolerate looking like an elf, check out some of the great dog Christmas collars or bandanas available for the holidays. These can be attached to his collar and he probably won't even realize that you've turned his bah-humbug attitude into one that makes people smile.

(Image of holiday dog costume provided by amazon)

Santa Paws Costume - Will you be able to tell Santa from your pet?

Is that Santa Claus or Santa Paws wearing the traditional red and white outfit?

Santa Paws Dog Costume MEDIUM
Santa Paws Dog Costume MEDIUM

Amazon description: Catch the attention you've always wanted for your dog. Our Santa Paws dog costume is perfect for every dog that has alot to give at Christmas or any other time of the year. Our colorful Santa Paws costume includes everything shown in photo including one-piece, colorful Santa suit and Santa Cap.


Kyjen Dog Reindeer Suit with Booties & Antlers - This reindeer costume has dog booties, too!

Once you put this costume on your dog, you better keep him inside on Christmas Eve or Santa might just mistake him for a reindeer and hook him up to the sleigh.

Outward Hound Kyjen  Dog Reindeer Suit w/Booties & Antlers, Medium
Outward Hound Kyjen Dog Reindeer Suit w/Booties & Antlers, Medium

Amazon description: Whether helping Santa pull his sleigh or just entertaining, your dogs will be the hit of the season in our cute Reindeer Suits. Top quality, stylish and non-restrictive plush body suit with easy on/off design. Matching bells, headgear and booties complete the ensemble. Available in three adjustable sizes to fit most dogs


Christmas Elf Dog Costume - Santa's furry little helper

No one's every really seen an elf, so it's quite possible they have four legs and fur, right?

Elf Dog Pet Costume - Small
Elf Dog Pet Costume - Small

This Elf Dog Costume includes a hat with feather and cape. Will cheer up the holiday's with laughter and loads of fun!


Dog Santa Hat - Your pup can play Santa with this red cap

With this little red cap so lively and slick, you'll think for a moment your dog is St. Nick.

Dog Holiday Santa Hat - Pet Christmas Santa Hat - Small
Dog Holiday Santa Hat - Pet Christmas Santa Hat - Small

Product description: This soft, adorable fleece hat is perfect for holiday parties and photos! With an adjustable chin strap.


Kyjen Dog Santa Bandanna - Dogs look great in bandannas

Some dogs won't wear hats, but don't mind a bandana at all. Try one of these for that festive look!

Outward Hound Kyjen  PP01863 Santa Bandanna Dog Bandanna Holiday Pet Accessory, Medium, Red
Outward Hound Kyjen PP01863 Santa Bandanna Dog Bandanna Holiday Pet Accessory, Medium, Red

If your pooch won't wear a full Christmas costume, maybe he'd prefer a bandana instead.


Dog Reindeer Antlers - Now your dog can look like the Grinch's dog Max

If your dog longs to be a Hollywood star like the Grinch's dog Max, get him his own set of reindeer antlers.

Reindeer Antlers - LARGE
Reindeer Antlers - LARGE

Reindeer antlers are great for the holidays. Features white antlers and elasticized strap for a comfortable fit on any pet. In addition, the green ribbon with jingle bell accent add to the festive fun!


The Dog Who Became a Reindeer... Sorta - Olive the Other Reindeer didn't need a dog Christmas costume

Simpsons creator Matt Groening helped create this movie about a dog who hears Santa talking about "all of the other reindeer" and mistakenly thinks he is calling her "Olive, the Other Reindeer." Thinking that Santa needs her help to pull the sleigh after Blitzen breaks a leg, the small dog travels to the North Pole to help save Christmas.

Olive the Other Reindeer
Olive the Other Reindeer

Amazon description: Simpsons creator Matt Groening helped create this delightful animated adaptation of the popular Christmas book. Originally shown on the Fox channel in 1999, Olive deals with a upstanding dreamer of a pooch (voiced expressively by Drew Barrymore) who hears Santa's angst when Blitzen breaks a leg just before the holiday, messing up Santa's delivery schedule. Olive hears Santa's quote about "all of the other reindeer" as "Olive, the other reindeer," and she is convinced she must go to the North Pole to help. Using equal parts traditional Christmas themes (unselfishness, the importance of being good instead of naughty) and Simpsons-esque humor (wordplay, contemporary cultural references), the 45-minute short is a refreshingly fun holiday pleaser. Purists may chafe at the action pieces and a scene in a rough 'n' tumble bar, but the filmmakers keep the spirit--and the unique look--of J. Otto Seibold's and Vivian Walsh's book. With some snappy songs (including one performed by R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe) and great zingers (one reindeer calls Rudolph an urban legend), it's a fine holiday time for ages 5 and older.


Some content adapted with permission from Are Dog Christmas Costumes Right for Your Pet? on

Do Your Pets Wear Dog Christmas Costumes?

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I would love to put my dogs into cute Christmas costumes but unfortunately they won't leave them on. I think it is a conspiracy and as soon as my back is turned they pull them off each other! Lots of fun for them, and lots of aggravation for I give up!