Op-Ed: No Big Deal That Spending on Pet Costumes is RisingPublished October 23, 2012
Everybody loves dressed up pets, or so it seems. There's something irresistible about a cat or dog donning an outrageous pet Halloween costume, and this year you're sure to see more of them than ever before; according to USA Today, spending on these cat and dog costumes is expected to jump about 20% from last year, and is expected to hit a record $370 million by the time the spooky season comes to a close.
To be sure, these numbers are astronomical. Is there really that much money in the business of dressing up pets? The answer, as the numbers astonishingly indicate, is yes. Even during an economic recession and a time when people are forced to make certain sacrifices, people are still willing to splurge on their furry friends and spoil them. The fairly steep increase in Halloween spending for our animals beckons the question: why is spending on these outfits so high, and are we spending too much?
Critics will surely say that its ludicrous that millions of dollars are being spent on Halloween garb each year. After all, what practical use does a pet costume have outside of looking cute right on time for Halloween? They'll say none, which isn't really arguable. But in response to those critics quick to lampoon pet lovers as "nutty", I ask: who really cares? If a person wants to spend their money to spoil their pet with a costume, whose business is it to really criticize?
Spending on Halloween-oriented garb for pets continues to rise because pets in costume are appreciated all across the country. To put it plainly, decking out a dog or cat in an outfit is really darn cute. Even if you don't dress up yourself, you can inject a little bit of your own personality into your cat or dog's costume, something that any pet owner can relate to and appreciate.
Just last week, Tompkins Square Park held its popular Halloween Dog Parade, an homage to creative and outlandish Halloween outfits fashioned just for pets. If nothing else, the event demonstrated the pet-loving public's flare for the dramatic and love for pets in costumes. The parade (and all of the costumes in it) is designed in the spirit of a good time and having fun, a feeling that is all too often forgotten in what some call America's darker days. What's so wrong with that?
Some may scoff at the exorbitant spending on pet costumes and the thought of dressing up a pet. But why? Where is the harm in it so long as people keep safety and the comfort of a pet in mind when they dress their pets up? As long as a costume isn't forced on an animal to the point of discomfort or excruciating stress, and in turn isn't harming the animal physically or mentally in any way, I see nothing wrong with it.
What are your thoughts on the rising spending on Halloween pet costumes? Are you for or against cats and dogs dressing up? Share your thoughts in a comment.
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