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Are Halloween costumes going to the dogs?

October 4, 2012

I remember when my kids were little we had a tradition that each kid got to wear the traditional Lentini pumpkin custome at Halloween. You see this custome was sewn by grandma and passed down to each kid as they wore it on their first Halloween. Now the kids are all grown up and we have replaced them with dogs in pumpkin customes…seriously! You certainly don’t have to wait until your kids grow up to dress up your dogs at Halloween as dog customes have become big business.

Spending on Halloween costumes for pets, mostly dogs, but occasionally cats – will hit a record $370 million this year, up nearly 20% from last year’s $310 million reported by the National Retail Federation. Sales of pet costumes, though still relatively small, are the industry’s fastest growing area. They’re up double-digits the past three years in a row. Dogs are getting as many popular character licenses as kids. Costume makers say the Spot-on trend for dogs this year is the wave of new, licensed costumes for pets – such as dogs dressed as giant Tootsie Rolls, Heinz ketchup bottles, or, for the more heroic canine breeds, Bat Dog. Many of these costumes costs close to $20 each. People don’t just skimp on their pets; they’ll cut corners on themselves, but not on their pets!  Last year consumers did more Google searches for pet costumes than for pirate costumes.

But not everyone is fond of the trend. Pet owners should steer clear of costumes that constrict movement or that have tight rubber bands that can cut of circulations. Sadly most dogs are probably irritated by dressing up…so why do folks really dress their pets in Halloween garb? Because people are dying to get dressed up themselves, but may lack the confidence. We dress up our pets, as they are a symbolic extension of ourselves…

Last year I dressed up Tess as a dancing girl with fringe everywhere…and Loretta got to be the pumpkin. She was more like a super hero pumpkin as the custome draped her like a cape. I did not dress up and it is not so much that I lacked confidence, but I cut corners and bought great candy for the neighborhood kids (and me). I think anything we can do in life that gives us a great laugh is what we need to do. At Gunwel Associates we love to laugh and tell stories. We’d love to hear about your fun Halloween tale. So give us a call at 615-730-9444 or stop by for a visit. And on a tax note…remember if you filed an extension the deadline is October 15th…just around the corner. is our website and remember we are here to help. See you soon…and don’t forget to say “trick or treat.”

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