It’s funny. On the news we hear over and over about economic struggles that are happening throughout our great nation. Many of us have cut coupons, shopped sales, and to a great degree, done without. Apparently, however, when it comes to Rover and Fido, American’s have refused to scrimp or even cut back. This year, over 370 million dollars (no that’s not a typo!) is expected to be spent on Pet Costumes alone. Yep, you read that right. Outfitting pets for Halloween (and life!) is big business. Today’s chicest pets are wearing every imaginable and creative get up. Along with community Pumpkin Carving Contests and other local events, it’s not at all uncommon to see Pet Costume Contests and Pet parades as part of neighborhood Halloween festivities. What in the world is going on here?
Retailing has been trending in the “pet” direction for a while now and has definitely reached an all-time high. Pet products in general are one of the fastest growing segments of the retail marketplace. You can likely thank the baby boomer age group whose kids have now gone off to college for this fast growing trend. With kids grown up and out of the house, the family pet then becomes the focus of attention in much the same way the kids used to be. Today’s pets are considered vital members of families and for many, are treated very much like children.
Some pets are more responsive to wearing costumes than others, and even though you (and everyone else) may think that a pet costume is cute, it still is wise to keep your pets feelings in mind when dressing them up. If you shower your pet with attention (and a few treats) when putting a costume on them, they likely will learn to associate the experience with good things and thus may not mind dressing up at all; they may even look forward to it! If your pet clearly isn’t into the experience, try something less obtrusive (perhaps remove the headpiece for example) and maybe that will be enough. Halloween themed collars and leashes are an easy way to get your pet into the spirit of things if they aren’t into the clothing part. At any rate, the experience is supposed to be fun, not frightening, so be sensitive to your animal’s needs as some are already a little anxious around Halloween anyway due to all the door bell ringing, costumes, flashlights and other doggie annoyances.
Not sure what costume is right for your pet? There are many costume choices out there that are designed to fit an animal’s body appropriately and comfortably. If your family has a theme for costumes this year, of course you will want to try and dress your pet to go along with every one else’s costume if possible. Sometimes it’s fun to take into consideration your dog’s breed and choose a costume that is well suited for his body type. Choosing something completely contrary to the dog’s breed can be very funny. For example, dressing a tough looking Bulldog in a fluffy tutu and tiara, or a tiny Chihuahua in leather Biker attire, etc. Pet costumes come in a wide variety of sizes as well. The correct size is especially important for a pet costume, as too small will be tight and uncomfortable for your pooch and too large is going to be hard to keep on a very busy furry friend.
Pet costumes are here to stay and you are likely to see many of them out and about in your neighborhood this Halloween. Perhaps it won’t be too long before dogs will be trick-or-treating on Halloween night for dog treats, just like kids who go out looking for candy. Your pet is part of your family. Be sure to include them in all your Halloween fun with a really cute pet costume. Don’t forget to take lots of pictures of the lovable furball!