I’ll say this right off the bat: you might not like this post.
If you’re an avid Halloween lover who has an entire room filled to the brim with Halloween costumes and decorations, then you might want to stop reading right now and head over to Pinterest to “ooh” and “ahh” over creative jack-o’-lanterns and cute puppies donning tiny Halloween costumes.
If you’re still here, well, get ready to subject yourself to some anti-Halloween propaganda written by a party pooper (that would be, ahem, me). I swear I’m usually a pleasant person. However, I have a darn good reason for shattering all creative pet owners’ dreams this time of the year.
“Okay, I’ll bite,” you might say. “Why do you think cute doggies and kitties should be forbidden from wearing Halloween costumes ever again?”
I’m glad you asked. I have three hundred and seventy million reasons for you.
Last year, Americans spent $370 million on pet Halloween costumes. That’s in one year alone. Not only that, but all that money came from a mere 11% of pet owners (who admitted to dressing up their Fidos and Miss Kitty Cats for Halloween last year). Do you know what means? 11% of the U.S. population had 370 million bucks to throw around on velcro, cheap fabric, and polyester stuffing to be worn by animals who could not care less — let alone have no idea — about Halloween.Yeah, $370,000,000 on cheap junk. Let that sink in.
Your dog is not going to know how clever his costume is. Your cat is not going to care that you spent $50 on her costume. Your pet will not be upset if you leave him home, all alone and costume-less, on Halloween.
Your pet does not care about Halloween.
Your pet is an animal. All he needs is food, water, shelter, and love. That’s it. Your pet is not going to get upset and run away from home if you forget to include him in your Halloween festivities. In fact, he might get upset and run away if you hold him hostage and make him celebrate Halloween with you.
I get it. You dress your pet up for your own amusement. You want to exercise your creativity and come up with the funniest, coolest, or the most outlandish pet costume on your block. It’s all fun and games, right?
Well, kind of, but still. Think about the $370,000,000 that could’ve been spent on much more useful things.
Okay, I’m getting a bit preachy here…
Your pet has a great life with you. If you’re taking the time to buy or make him a Halloween costume, then obviously you’re already fulfilling his basic needs. You’re giving him food, water, shelter, and love. What more does he need? Certainly not a Halloween costume!
Homeless animals, on the other hand…
7 million cats, dogs, and other types of companion animals are surrendered or captured each year. Only 10 percent of them end up finding a permanent home. The rest are euthanized because shelters either are too full or don’t have enough money to take care of all the homeless animals that keep coming in.
Animal shelters everywhere are barely keeping their heads above water, and homeless animals are suffering as a result. Thousands of animal shelters are in dire need of pet food, supplies, medicine, extra room, and money. If they don’t get enough food, room, or supplies, then they have to destroy the animals they can’t take care of.
It costs about $15 a day to take care of each homeless animal. That’s $5,310 per year.
Now, let’s talk about that 370 mil spent on pet Halloween costumes each year.
That kind of money could have taken care of nearly 70 thousand homeless animals for an entire year. If everyone decided to take the money they would’ve spent on an useless pet Halloween costume and donated it to animal shelter instead, 70 thousand homeless animals would’ve had another year to find a loving home.
Sadly, big-box corporations and Chinese manufacturers who make cheap junk end up getting that $370 million each year… all because we feel the need to dress our pets up in a silly costume for a few hours. As soon as Halloween ends, we toss those costumes aside while animal shelters are still left wondering how they could feed and house all the homeless animals they have under their wing for just one more week, if they’re lucky.
If you HAVE to dress your pet up for Halloween…
Consider making a costume from the stuff you already have around the house. If you already have a pet costume laying around, make your pet wear it again this year. Trust me; he won’t remember. Take that $50 you’re planning on spending at PetCo and donate it to an animal shelter instead. It’ll keep a poor dog or a cat alive for 3 more days.
So, that’s my two cents.
I know this post has sort of taken a dark turn, so I’ll end it on a cheerful note. Here are some cute (costume-less) black cat pictures in the spirit of Halloween:
Okay, here’s one with a costume: