In our June 2017 issue, one of the cover models was Coco the Cosplaying Dog. Owner and handler Adrian Stephen Cabuhat shares tips from Coco’s experience—one littered (sorry for the pun) with so many cosplay awards, it needs an annex of its own to enumerate.

• Yes, it helps to be a fashionista yourself; Adrian shares he was a
model in real life, and his passion for it spilled over into his bond with Coco.

It’s true that sometimes, smaller dogs are easier to dress. The caveat here is that it always depends on the dog’s personality. No matter what, though, all considerations—from “…the weight
of the costume and accessories, the type of cloth [used] in making her
clothes and gowns, and also the style of the outft for the theme…her comfort is our priority.”

• Can’t sew? Collaborate! Bring that vision in mind into reality with a trusted designer or modista friend. Nothing wrong with getting some help from your friends!

Details maketh the doggie; Adrian creates props, accessories, and other details to complement Coco’s outfts, surprising and different while still keeping within the set contest theme.

Never forget your pets aren’t human. “I remove the clothes right
away, especially for my cats, as it can be a cause of their stress, especially if the pet fashion shows are outdoors. If it is a requirement to make our pets walk in a contest, I make sure my pets don’t get [dirtied up] and [do not make] her use…white or light [colored]
outfts.

• Yes, you have to train your cats and dogs to get used to being and moving in their costumes prior to the actual competition. That way, you won’t have unexpected tantrums.

This story appeared in Animal Scene’s December 2017 issue.