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Halloween for pets big business
Stacia Wilkaitis' dogs, Chopper and Lola.
October 31st, 2012
11:25 AM ET

Halloween for pets big business

By Gavin Godfrey, CNN

(CNN) – This Halloween Americans are expected to spend $370 million on pet costumes, according to the National Retail Federation.

That's a 40% increase since 2010.

Stacia Wilkaitis has been dressing her dogs since 2004, and it has become more of a hobby than a tradition.

[:20] "People have said that my dogs have better wardrobes than they do."

The NRF reports also says that the average American will spend $79.82 on themselves this Halloween and with the country struggling financially, some question the wisdom of spending so much money on pets.

For Wilkaitis though, her dogs Chopper and Lola are more than just pets, and it's an easy decision.

[2:30] "They're everything to me and they're a part of the family. They are my little family. I don't have children. Lola's been through a lot with me; heartbreak, a death. So, she's my little companion."

Editor's Note: Listen to the complete story in the player above and join the conversation below.

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Filed under: Culture • Stories
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. garden

    Woah this weblog is excellent i like reading your articles. Keep up the great paintings! You recognize, many individuals are looking round for this info, you could help them greatly.

    November 6, 2012 at 3:44 am | Report abuse |
  2. Claudia

    Love to see the pics, and hate to read few comments. Dogs are lovely. Dog clothes are so super cute.

    November 3, 2012 at 7:32 am | Report abuse |
  3. Kate

    My daughter tried dressing up our Pomchi in a costume last night. He looked VERY cute, but he didn't want to wear his outfit and we didn't make him. Some dogs actually enjoy being dressed up (we used to have a Pom who loved it) and others don't. As for people who complain about the money being spent on so frivolous a thing....I remind you that it's not your money. Most of us are animal lovers and give plenty to the SPCA and Humane Society. Many of us also have pets who were rescues. There's nothing wrong in having a bit of fun with your pet so long as the pet is also enjoying it. Most love the attention.

    November 1, 2012 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  4. ibsurfing

    Let's not forget Benghazi–CNN's politcal mandate would lead us all from this issue. The Obama Administration clearly sacrificed the Libyan diplomatic mission, which on the ground means the rape and murder of an American diplomat, and the Obama administrations refusal to provide help, the unforgiveable order to "stand down" again and again , on at least three occasions, after people on the ground called for help by other people on the ground–who knew better but followed orders and watched their brethren lose their lives because of Obama's politics of minutia. Why because Obama would like to undermine the influence of America in this portion of the world. Obama is a community organizer, so he doesn't see the big picture–he doesn't understand. So Obama essentially allowed the murder and rape of American diplomats because he is more concerned with the American micropolitics of race and class war than the reality of the world. Obama is a sad innocent, he is unforgiveable, he is a disgusting abomination of American Politics. He is more concerned with times long past than the here and now. Most of all he has yet to answer any questions about Benghazi. And the media let's him go on this–CNN can't be bothered.

    October 31, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • McRomney

      IBsurfing – please stop acting like a fool. You have no idea what you're talking about regarding politics or Benghazi. McRomney will crush your wellfare trailer in the south if he ever gets power (which is all he wants).
      But I digress... I thought the topic here was Halloween for pets? Are you GOP bot randomly retyping their hateful non-sense ? Or can you open your eyes and use critical thinking skills.

      November 1, 2012 at 1:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Kathryn

      Dressing up a pet for Halloween has nothing to do with politics. Apparently, you don't realize that.
      I do applaud you on being able to copy and paste your lies and propaganda, but it doesn't belong on this topic.

      November 1, 2012 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jen

    Seriously, why does anyone care if someone dresses up their pet? Why do you care what people spend their money on? I'm sure you spend money on frivolous things frequently. And most of all, it's just plain FUN people. Enjoy life, you're taking it way too seriously.

    October 31, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Burbank

    Just imagine all that money going to free spay and neuter clinics instead of shallow people torturing their pets dressing them in frivolous and very stupid, cheesy clothing! Time to grow up. Subjecting your pets to that is utterly selfish!

    October 31, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Raul

    How many costumes are made in America? How many decorations made in America?

    We all know the answer

    October 31, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Honesty is my policy

    I guess when the dollar dies they will be the first to HAVE to eat their pets.

    October 31, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anita

      @ Honesty is my policy - What kind of idiotic statement is that?!?! If you don't like animals or people dressing up their animals WHY on Earth are you reading this article to begin with?!

      October 31, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  9. anna

    I am an animal lover but I would never dress up my pets. Look at their faces, do they look happy having ridiculous clothes on them? I dont think so.

    October 31, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Lori

    My little Bella is a witch. She is in a costume contest at her daycare. She is my little angel. She has helped me through a lot that I have been going through with a 12 month and 15 month tour of Iraq. She has provided me nothing but joy. I have no children and she is by baby.

    October 31, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Ever consider the possibility the reason you have no kids, is because men don't want anything to do with someone who dresses up animals? Be less creepy, and maybe you can eventually have actual kids.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • kejanik

        Maybe you should be less of a grouch. Pets are good for your health, and some of them enjoy the attention from dressing up. I dress my 60 lb mutt up for Halloween and being the attention hog he is, he very clearly enjoys it and wags his tail if I bring one of of his costumes out. My significant other and I dress him up together, and I highly doubt dressing up a pet on a frickin holiday has anything to do with Lori's lack of children. Did you consider maybe this woman doesn't want children, that is to say, is child free by ::gasp:: choice? Or did that not even cross your mind when making your sexist irrelevant comment (who said she was looking for a partner anyway, she didn't complain nor did she say she didn't have one. I highly doubt you would talk to a man who has served our country this way. Not everything women do revolves around whether or not it will help them find a guy, believe it or not.

        November 1, 2012 at 2:08 am | Report abuse |
  11. jake

    Save this link for when CNN starts handwringing why Americans aren't donating more to the poor Hurricane Sandy victims in Jamaica and Haiti. It's not donor fatigue, Americans are too busy dressing up their dogs to care.

    October 31, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jo

      Why make the assumption that they don't also donate to other causes?

      October 31, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Long Beach Resident

      Americans are the most giving and generous people the world has ever experienced. No matter how much we do, it seems that it is never enough for some. Who cares if someone wants to dress up their dog.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anita

      @ Jake - Excuse you... in case you didn't know DONATIONS are VOLUNTARY ... nobody forces anybody to do anything... and if I have extra $$ I sure as heck will buy my dog an outfit AND still have enough left to make a donation... don't ASSUME...you're just making an ASS out of yourself.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zane

      In the time it took to presume others haven't donated you could have written a check.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • BillEBuoy

      Jake-I dress my dogs AND I donate greatly. Don't you dare dictate to me how or where I spend my money. Dressing dogs has absolutely no correlation to caring for others. In fact, people like you make me want to surround myself with dogs only. Ignorant is all you are.

      October 31, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marie Parks

      People donate to who they want to donate to. It’s not for you to say. I only donate to animal causes because that is my choice. People have all sorts of options and help whereas animals do not. When I give to Hurricane Sandy victims it’s going to go to help the animals not the people. What do you think of that?????

      October 31, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • ClownDog

      You guys just suck the fun out of everything.

      October 31, 2012 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Marika

    Too cute, I am guilty too because I dress up my cats Tinkerbell and Diablo.

    October 31, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
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