Monday, October 29, 2012

Pet Halloween Costumes: Spook-tastic or Just Crazy?

The Boss
Will Fluffy or Benji be dressed up for Halloween this year? Pets are increasingly recognized as family members and often included in the holiday costume craze. But are pet costumes just for human folly, or do pets actually LIKE sporting the costumes, hats and accessories?

Admittedly, I fall among those that do indulge in this practice, but my pets enjoy wearing Halloween costumes. Years of positive reinforcement with treat rewards, and my dogs will happily wear anything in the off chance of a tasty morsel. The mere sight of a costume starts my Labrador prancing and bouncing as if on a trampoline.

In my home, Halloween pet fun has evolved a step further than most, as I proudly maintain a sizeable collection of pet costumes. After 13 years, the collection of doggie costumes includes firemen, doctors, princesses, cowboys, police officers, pumpkins, caterpillars, pirates and skeletons spilling from the overstuffed confines of the cabinet. My pet costume collection is akin to Katherin Heigl's character in the  movie "27 Dresses", in which her mass of bridesmaid dresses fills a closet and generates smirks from others.

Call me crazy- but I adore seeing my critters ham it up for Halloween. And clearly I am not alone.According to consumer surveys by the National Retail Federation, 170 million Americans will be celebrating Halloween. Among those individuals 15.1% will be dressing the family pet in costume too. That's a lot of consumer spending on pet wear when budgets are tight, but the smiles and giggles arising from seeing your pet dressed in a spooky or silly costume, is well worth the expenditure.

Some might argue that pet costumes are frivolous or humiliating, but I disagree. Dogs enjoy costumes when introduced in a positive manner, just as they do with gradual acclimation to car travel or swimming. Plus- a dog is devoted companion and wishes to please its owner. My own dog family adores the celebration and attention they receive. Cats on the other hand, may not enjoy any part of dress up and are often indifferent to the idea of pleasing or serving us, as it is often the other way around.


And what is the well-dressed pet wearing this year? The National Retail Federation lists the top pet costumes in 2012, the all-time favorite of a pumpkin ( 12.7%), followed by other popular choices of devil (6.9%) and hot dog (5.7%).

Top Pet Costumes (2012-National Retail Federation)
1. Pumpkin
2. Devil
3. Hot dog
4. Cat
5. Bee
6. (Tie between) Dog and ghost
7. Action hero/super hero
8. Witch
9. Bow tie/fancy collar/bandanna
10. Superman 

Halloween may not be for every person, and is clearly not for every pet. The added stress of trick-or-treaters, ringing doorbells and spooky costumes may create an unwilling pet participant for any such Halloween wear. Know your pet's personality and avoid dress-up if he is anxious, fearful or attempts to chew at his doggie duds.

All tails will be wagging at my house on Halloween as my costumed canine kids anxiously await the arrival of the first ghost or goblin. Oh, and of course they will be expecting doggie cookies too!


  1. Hey dear,
    My friend and I love our animals as much as any pet owner. We look for pet costume for our animals. From this site we gain where to go for proper pet costume. Thanks.


  2. Homemade dog costumes are generally less expensive to make and provides you with more freedom to make the design you want to have. It can look complicated at times, but I’m sure you’ll get the hang of it eventually. It was a struggle for me at first, but now I’m also making the costumes of my friend’s fur babies thanks to this article:

  3. So along with perfect dog costumes acquire other accessories that will match with the costumes and add up to your poochies personality and looks. minion costumes for dogs

  4. But then again, when you have dogs as pets, you have more energy to overcome the difficulties that may be brought about my having them as pets.esa letter

  5. It is likewise imperative that, in spite of the fact that you won't have a companion, relative or pet sitter remaining with your pets while you are away. Katie Smith

  6. Your website is really cool and this is a great inspiring article. Thank you so much. Vinanza Grape

  7. A fully social dog is a miracle to see, for anyone who owns an anti-social dog. Firstly what do you think social is?
    pet sitters melbourne

  8. I'm not a fan of making costumes for pets. Check out the prices of for them, they are enormous. And there is no actual point for the pet to wear this costume.