Consumers Advised to Choose Costumes Wisely For Pets This Halloween

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Consumers are spending more this year on Halloween than ever before – about $8.5 billion dollars according to the National Retail Federation.

Many are also including our furry friends.

"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 from the NRF.

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 treated more like family members than pets...and that includes participating in holidays.

Smith says pumpkins are the number one outfit for pets, with lion, bumble bee and star wars characters also popular.

But 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 dog trainer Caitlin Cornwell.

You want to get the right fit by considering breed, weight and measurements when sizing a store-bought costume. Also be sure the animal can see, breathe and drink normally – and just know some may not be on board.

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.

Also, make sure you keep pets away from the Halloween candy. Chocolate is an obvious one to keep away from your pooch, but sugar-free candy and gum containing xylitol can also be toxic to pets.

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