By Elisa Black-Taylor
So, do any of you celebrate Halloween with your pets? Do you buy into the excitement of going to a pet store and buying your cat or dog a costume? Or will you purchase materials and make your pet a costume from “scratch?”
Regardless of how you and your pet celebrate Halloween, pet costumes are expected to bring in between $330-$370 MILLION dollars this year, according to the National Retail Federation. These figures appear to be for the U.S. alone. Please correct me if I’m wrong. Retailers such as Petsmart and Petco are very happy in how pet owners display their pets on Halloween. Except for Christmas, Halloween is their next biggest opportunity to part pet owners from their money.
Yes, I said display, because any time you dress up your pet in an outfit that’s solely for vanity (as opposed to keeping a pet warm), you’re doing it for the simple reason of showing off your pet.
Dressing a pet in Halloween gear has been big business for several years now. Even with the government shutdown in the U.S., average spending on Halloween has increased 55 percent since 2005. One reason is the number of young adults dressing in costume, showing Halloween isn’t just for the young. In 2012 a total of $8 billion was spent on all things Halloween. This year the figure is down just a bit at a projected $6.9 billion.
The National Retail Federation has projected that 22 million pet owners will dress their four-legged companion up for Halloween. And these people won’t scrimp and get the cheapest costume they can find. Cat and dog owners want the same amount of thought and money to go into a pet Halloween costume as they spend on themselves or their children. To many, the pet in the family IS the child.
Petco, a San Diego based company, predicts a lot of lion’s manes, dinosaurs, alligators and giraffe costumes to be sold for dogs. The trend for cats is hula tops, fake grass skirts, mermaid tails and saddles with mouse cowboys.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has some advice for pet owners as they search for that perfect costume. Make sure the costume you choose fits your pet well. It shouldn’t be tight, and it shouldn’t be loose. Your pet may not enjoy being dressed up, but if you do put an outfit on your pet, at least be sure it’s comfortable.
I found this old photo of our first cat Lola (who’s still alive and well and costume-free these days) made one of the first Halloween’s she was with us. Our neighbor had purchased a witch costume for her dog, and gave it to us when her dog decided he didn’t want to be a witch.
Personally we don’t dress any of our pets up to celebrate Halloween. We do dress our cat Sealy when the weather is colder. Sealy is an older cat, who had very thin fur last winter, and seems to enjoy the warmth the clothing brings. Several people who follow Sealy have sent him outfits.
Do any of the readers plan to play dress up with their pets? Let’s make this article a fun one by adding Halloween costume photos of YOUR pets.
NOTE: Please be safe with all things Halloween. Keep candles, candy and anything else that can hurt a pet away from your cat or dog.
Associated pages: Search results for “Halloween” on PoC.