While collecting bagfuls of candy is is one of the best perks of Halloween, dressing up in a spectacular costume doesn't fall too far behind.
Whether it be for a night of trick-or-treating or festive party, it can take forever to pick out the perfect ensemble, especially if it's not just for you.
When you step out of your house on October 31, don't be surprised if you don't only see the neighborhood children dressed as goblins and ghouls, because their pets will be coming out in full Halloween gear too.
According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), Americans are expected to spend $9 billion on Halloween this year, and a significant portion of that revenue will strictly come from pet owners buying costumes for their furry friends.
It's estimated that more than 31 million people will dish out an estimated $480 million for their pets to dress up for the annual event, which is double the $220 million spent in 2010, when the NRF first started tracking how many animal costumes were purchased per year.
"One of the biggest trends this year is the growth of spending on pet costumes," said Phil Rist, who works with Prosper Insights, the company that conducted the survey for NRF. "Out of the 31.3 million Americans planning to dress their pets in costumes, millennials are most likely to dress up their pets, the highest we have seen in the history of our surveys."
And whether their dogs and cats like it or not, consumers won't stop buying them anytime soon, which can be blamed on the rise of social media.
"Social media is allowing millennial consumers to have fun with Halloween," National Retail Federation spokeswoman Ana Serafin Smith said, explaining that pictures of dressed up pets often make their way onto media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
"It’s always the fun, gimmicky stuff," Emily Rogers, the shift leader at Pet Supplies Plus told Knox News. "You can take a picture and post it on Instagram and be like 'Hey, look, my dog’s a lobster.'"
Although there are countless costumes to chose from, the NRF survey revealed these will be the top 10 ensembles our pets will be dressed as:
- Pumpkin - 11.2%
- Hot dog - 7.4%
- Bumblebee - 4.9%
- Devil - 3.2%
- Cat - 3.1%
- Dog - 3.1%
- Star Wars character - 2.8%
- Superhero - 2.7%
- Ghost 2.5%
- Lion - 2.9%
So, if you see a few exceptional Halloween costumes out this year, don't be surprised if they're not worn by humans, but instead by your four-legged friends.