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Americans are spending $350 million on Halloween costumes - for their pets

Donald Bowers/Shutterstock

According to the National Retail Federation, Americans will spend $350 million on pet attire for Halloween this year. That's a 60 percent jump from the $220 million spent in 2010.

Pet costumes are serious business: 23 million people are expected to dress up their pets in a costume on Friday. They've got plenty to choose from, but here are the top ten most popular this year according to the National Retail Federation.

  1. Pumpkin
  2. Hot Dog
  3. Devil
  4. Bumble Bee
  5. Cat
  6. Batman Character
  7. Superman
  8. Witch
  9. Ghost and Pirate (Tied)
  10. Star Wars Character

Why are we dressing up our pets?

There aren't many studies exploring peoples' motivations for putting their pets in costumes, but its increasing popularity may just reflect a rise in pet ownership generally. As of 2013, 68 percent of American households had a pet, mostly dogs and cats, but over 20 years go in 1988, pet ownership was around 56 percent.

It might also be the case that we are more attached to our pets than before. Pets are widely considered to be part of the family. This elevation of a pet's status results in more indulgent pampering like spa treatments, dog restaurants, and the annual Halloween costume shopping spree.

A little under $5 billion will be spent grooming and pampering pets this year according to the The American Pet Products Association — a small share of the $58.5 billion total pet sector (the rest comes from veterinary care, food and medical supplies).