Costumes for Your Sidekick: Make Your Dog Part of Halloween

You want to wear that nifty Batman costume for Halloween, but you don't have anyone to go as Robin. All your friends want the marquee spot of the legendary crime fighter. Or, for trick-or-treating adults, you want to go as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid – but you don't have someone to play the Sundance Kid.

You may not have to look far to find someone happy to follow your lead without question or complaint – your dog. He's perfect for the silent sidekick role. He looks to you for praise and guidance wearing nothing but his doggie birthday suit; he'll do the same wearing a cape or cowboy hat. The key is to pick the right team that fits you and your dog. Maybe your dog can complement your costume as himself.

Little Red Riding Hood and The Big Bad Wolf

Okay, this doesn't fit the exact definition of a "team," because the wolf, as the story goes, ate Little Red's grandmother and then tried to eat her. But it's still a nifty idea for you to dress up as Riding Hood and let your dog go as the wolf.

What if you're male? Dress up anyways. You may win an award for your bold reinterpretation of this classic fairy tale.

Dorothy and Toto

This is a perfect way to trick-or-treat if your dog is a cairn terrier – that's the breed of the real Toto. You could get away with any smaller, dark colored dog that looks slightly disheveled.

Mailman and Dog

This costume harks back to the movie See Spot Run, in which David Arquette plays a mailman waging a daily battle with dogs, and finally teams up with a canine FBI agent. All you need is a mailman's uniform. For added effect, you may want to cut or mark a "bite" in the rear of your pants.

Besides a mailman uniform, the costume may include some of the contraptions Arquette armed himself with, such as a high powered water gun and the like. Your dog can go dressed as he is (i.e., nothing) or you could put a shirt with the words "FBI" emblazoned on the back.

Cats & Dogs

The blockbuster movie Cats & Dogs also offers ideas this Halloween season. You dress as one of the memorable cat characters (go right to the top and go as "Mr. Tinkles, evil genius extraordinaire"). Your dog can play any one of the hero characters that helped foil Mr. Tinkles' plan.

Veterinarian and Patient

This is pretty self-explanatory. Dress up as a doctor and bring your dog along as your "patient." You should wear a white lab coat and bring the following veterinary tools as your props:

Your dog could be bandaged about his head or around his body, whichever is more comfortable for him. Avoid bandaging his legs; the bandages could loosen and interfere with his walking.

The Blues Brothers

For the cult following of this landmark movie, Halloween offers a chance to show how "hip" you can be. Our suggestion is for you to dress as Jake Blues – complete with Ray Ban sunglasses, porkpie hat, snake-thin black tie and suit.

Your dog can go as silent Elwood. Dress him in similar garb, or as much as he'll accept. Black pants go over the front paws, with a small porkpie hat and – this is the key to the costume – sunglasses.

For safety, you may want to use the sunglasses only when you're both trying to score treats – that is, stopped at a house. You and your pet shouldn't try to stumble around in the dark wearing sunglasses.

Romeo and Juliet

If your canine is the apple of your eye, you might want to show off your sense of culture and taste by dressing up as the characters in Shakespeare's famous play. Believe it or not, there are costumes for this. Your dog could be Romeo or Juliet, depending on your gender.

Firefighter and Rescue Dog

Another costume duo to consider may be that of firefighter and rescue dog. Children want to emulate heroes, and firefighter costumes are popular this year. They honor the selflessness and courage of these professionals. Your dog can join in helping to honor all those who take part in rescues. He doesn't need any particular equipment or costume.