Pet costumes rise in popularity - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Pet costumes rise in popularity

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Consumers are spending more this year on Halloween than ever before. About 8 and a half billion dollars more, according to the National Retail Federation.

Many of us are also including our furry friends in our costume plans.

Halloween is just around the corner, and this year, Americans are getting the whole family involved.

"From everyone that's planning to celebrate Halloween this season, we've learned that about 86% of people are planning to dress up their pets in some sort of Halloween costume," said Ana Smith of the National Retail Federation.

Pet owners aren't afraid to get creative with costumes ranging from political to papal. It's all part of a growing trend.

Furry friends are treated more like family members than pets, and that includes participating in holidays.

"Going out trick-or-treating with them as part of the experience or going out to Halloween dog parties," said Smith.

At one "pup crawl" to benefit the S.P.C.A, hundreds came to play.

"Pumpkin has become the number one Halloween outfit for pets," said Smith. "Lion, bumble bee, and Star Wars characters are also popular."

But some pets aren't thrilled about dressing up.

"I think the most important thing is that the dog is comfortable that they can walk full stride and not be restricted," said Caitlin Cornwell, a trainer for The Dog Wizard. 

Consumers are urged to get the right fit by considering breed, weight, and measurements when sizing a store-bought costume.

"Make sure that you try costumes on with enough time to get dog comfortable," said Cornwell. "Be sure the animal can see, breathe and drink normally, and just know some may not be on board."

Getting the costume on might involve a trick, and a treat. If your pet seems stressed, consider a simpler option.

"Think about making your own costume, you can use pet friendly paint on a black dog to make a zebra rather than the dog having to feel restricted in a full-body costume," Said Cornwell.

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