People have worn Halloween costumes since ancient times, and today it’s a big part of most childhoods. The hype of wearing costumes has expanded to another big part of American culture, pet dogs.
Forty four percent of Americans have a dog so, it only seems natural that they would join in on the fun of Halloween. The prices of dog costumes start at around $10 on average. In 2017, the National Retail Federation estimated Americans spent around $440 million on costumes for their pets. Every year this number rises as the popularity of this “doggy costume” trend grows, but where did this trend start?
Humans started wearing costumes to ward of evil spirits and ghosts in ancient civilizations, and this custom turned into the commercial holiday celebrated today which is less ritualistic. The popularity of Halloween costumes for pets increased around the introduction of Instagram and other social media platforms. People started to create their pet social media pages, and there are even dog celebrities. The trend only makes sense as dogs have become less the “family pet” and closer to a friend.
It’s easy to find a costume today with all the online options. Amazon has thousands of costumes that can be on doorsteps in two days. Also almost every pet store in October carries at least a few costumes, Petco being one of them. Even Party City, a store well known for human halloween costumes, carries costumes for pets.
Non-dog owner junior Alex de Foy said about dog costumes, “I think they’re cute and fun, and I don’t care if people want to make extravagant costumes for their dogs as long as it doesn’t get in the way of important things in life.”
Dog owner sophomore Sadie Moore said, “I think they’re really cute, but my dog really doesn’t like it, so she’ll eat it, but I think they’re really cute on other dogs.” It’s definitely important to know the comfort levels of different dogs before dropping the big bucks on a costume, as Moore informs.
The National Retail Federation said the most popular costume in 2019 for dogs is a pumpkin. Pumpkins have been the front runner for doggie costumes for the past few years, it’s an iconic choice. The fifth most popular costume, ironically, is a cat.
Not only can dogs dress up in single costumes, but couples costumes are also available, and not just for dog couples but dogs and humans. A significant other is not required for couples costumes anymore, and Dorothy and Toto aren’t the only option. Princess Leia and Yoda, Harry Potter and his owl, and Belle and the Beast are just a few of the possibilities.
This Halloween join in the fun of dog costumes by going to the local pet store or even making one, and post plenty of pictures on Instagram.