Pet Halloween costumes on the rise amid a pandemic

  • People are channeling their Halloween energy into their pets this year.
  • A national retail federation found that 18% of people planning to celebrate Halloween this year would dress up a pet.
  • Pet costumes may be the source of a “little joy” in an uncertain pandemic, according to Katherine Cullen, senior director of industry and consumer affairs at NRF.
  • Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.

Halloween looks different this year, but putting a costume on a half-hearted dog or cat is still as fun as ever.

At a Spirit Halloween store outside of Rochester, NY, shoppers who spoke with Business Insider while researching costumes were very keen to share what their pets would look like this Halloween. Several dogs will debut in hot dog costumes this year, while dinosaurs, pumpkins, and witches were also popular choices.

A national retail federation released in September revealed that the popularity of animal costumes was on the rise among people planning to celebrate Halloween. About 18% of respondents said they plan to dress a pet in a costume, up from 17% the year before.

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People dress their pets because some normal Halloween activities are out of reach.

TIMOTHY CLARY / AFP via Getty Images

While the number of people planning to attend Halloween parties fell to 22%, from 32% in 2019, the NRF found that almost half of people still plan to dress up. And the decisions of pet owners regarding Halloween costumes can be affected by their dogs and cats.

“I was personally a little surprised that we haven’t seen a significant drop in the percentage of people planning to dress, but it was exactly the same as last year,” said Katherine Cullen, Senior Director of Industry and Consumer Affairs at NRF. Knowledge. “I think this is largely influenced by people who have children or maybe who have pets.”

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The animals are dressed in a variety of costumes.

Photo by Chelsea Guglielmino / Getty Images

A big part of the reasons people dress their pets, Cullen says, is that many are desperate for something to cheer them up during the pandemic. Dressing up a pet, like buying Halloween decorations or sending out festive greeting cards, allows people to celebrate without major holidays.

“People can’t celebrate in person like they used to, so you see people trying to … have a little bit of joy and share a little bit of joy, at a time when people are faced with a lot of uncertainty, “Cullen said.

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Food themed costumes are a must have for animal lovers.

Photo by Chelsea Guglielmino / Getty Images

Pet owners told Business Insider that they mainly buy costumes from online retailers like Soft and Amazon.

The problem is, it can be difficult to know what a pet will actually tolerate. A dog owner said her lab would pout all night long if she made him wear anything on his head. The owner said she hopes her dog greets cheaters in costume.

While animal lovers search for costumes, a few options rise to the top of the pack. About 10% of people who told NRF that they would buy pet costumes plan to dress their animal like a pumpkin, and 6% said they would put their dog or cat in a hot dog costume. dog.

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Costumes for pets can become very topical.


Some dog costumes can even send a message, besides being adorable. One person told Business Insider their dog would be dressed as a USPS postman, in part because of efforts to save the post office.

“He loves the mail,” she said.

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About Jessica Zavala

Jessica Zavala

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