Olive and Mochi are pugs with a passion for fashion. No wonder Halloween is their favorite time of year.
They’ve been dressed up as geisha girls, surfer girls and even pieces of sushi over the years. They may not understand the tradition, but “pugs understand positive energy,” explains dog owner, partner and costume designer Lisa Woodruff of Huntington Beach, southeast of Los Angeles.
Ten years ago, it was hard to find a Halloween costume for a cat, dog or duck. Today they are everywhere, from dollar stores to Beverly Hills boutiques. Offline or on, there are costumes galore.
A little bling or properly draped scrap of fabric can transform your pet into almost any animal, character or celebrity, says Steve Major with All the Same Wild and Tame, an animal sanctuary that sells pet accessories in Sherman Oaks, northwest of Los Angeles.
The most popular ready-made pet costumes so far this year are Superdog, bee, jockey rider, hot dog, pirate, devil, prisoner, Yoda, cowboy rider, Batman and groom, according to public relations manager Lori Samsoucie of buyseasons.com, the largest online costume retailer in the country, based in Wisconsin.
But the most unusual, most creative costumes — the ones that will win contests — are designed in the imaginations of pet owners, Woodruff says.
Olive and Mochi, stepsisters who are both 5, already have their outfits for this Halloween. Woodruff, the owner of the two pugs, says her dogs seem to like the idea of wearing something fun. “People don’t believe they like getting dressed up. But when I show them their clothes they get all excited. If I put clothes on one, the other twirls and starts sniffing and gets jealous,” she says.
To get your dogs in the mood, “Dog Whisperer” Cesar Millan suggests a pre-dressing trick. “Walk the dog, get him tired so when you put the outfit on, he is relaxed,” he says.
If a dog relates getting dressed with fun, it will work. The more you laugh while getting the dog dressed, the more they will clown around, he says.
Without the fun, some dogs will seize up or slip into a corner and just cower in a daze.