Special Report

Most Outrageous Pet Costumes

Just as there is a National Dog Day, there is also a National Dress Up Your Pet Day. The day is observed every Jan. 14. Humans are not the only ones who can sport decorative clothing and garb. Whether you support it or not, some pet owners can’t resist the opportunity to enhance the cuteness of both their furry and scaly friends by putting them in costume. And the costumes listed here aren’t your typical bumble bee or Beanie Baby wanna-be getups.

To identify the most outrageous pet costumes, 24/7 Wall St. looked at a variety of best pet costume lists from some of today’s most trending sites as well as Pinterest, Amazon, Party City, and Halloween Express.

Pet costumes can range from downright darling to even a bit zany, and dogs are typically the pet of choice to dress up. That’s not surprising, because dogs are the most popular pet in the U.S. Some 36.5% of all U.S. households owned a dog as of the end of 2011, according to the most recent American Veterinary Medical Association’s U.S. Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook.

Because of the popularity of canines among Americans, there are a plethora of wild costumes designed just for dogs. Cat costumes are the second most popular, but dressing up other pets in costume requires some additional creativity on the owner’s part.

Click here to see the most outrageous pet costumes.

Oftentimes, people develop intimate bonds with their pets. Two-thirds of dog owners consider their dogs to be family members, according to a survey conducted by the veterinary group. Some 32.6% consider their dogs to be pets or companions, while only 0.7% classified them as property. In another survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association, 63.0% of U.S. dog owners said they give their pets Christmas gifts. With all of this in mind, it’s rather intuitive to conclude that many pet owners care for their pets as though they are human, but this mostly applies to dogs.

There are several parades and many contests nationwide that provide pet owners with the opportunity to dress up their pets and walk alongside, or compete against, many other obsessed owners and their beloved animals. Contests, in particular, encourage pet owners to dress their dogs in the most ornate costumes, especially when prize money is involved.

Judges assess a pet’s costume based on relatively vague criteria, with requirements including originality, creativity, and whether or not the costume was consistent with the theme (if there is one). In some contests, pets are dressed in a variety of costumes, including movie characters, historical figures, and can even reflect a concept. For example, a lucky dog costume is a dog sweater cluttered with lucky charms such as a four-leaf clover and a horseshoe. Some pet owners even dress their pets as other pets, like a dog dressed as a goldfish, for example.

To identify the most outrageous pet costumes, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed Pinterest, a user-generated platform that allows users to discover and save recipes, home hacks, style tips, and various other ideas. We also reviewed lists of the best pet costumes from sources such as Parents.com. Finally, we retrieved a majority of pet costume ideas from Amazon, Party City, and Halloween Express.