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Stock Dog Bones by the Candy Bowl This Halloween

- As a Growing Number of Pet Owners Dress Up Their Pets and Include Them in Trick-or-Treating and other Holiday Festivities, New Trends are Emerging to Capture Halloween’s Newest Consumer Group- Pets-

GREENWICH, CT., October 2, 2006– Pet Halloween costumes have been around for awhile but Halloween shaped baked and frosted treats, catnip filled pumpkins, candy corn squeaky toys, designer Halloween pet carriers, edible rawhide Halloween cards, and illuminated collars and leads, are taking this festive holiday to a new level.

More than three-and-a-half million Americans will purchase Halloween products for their pets this year according to The American Pet Products Association (APPA) 2005-2006 National Pet Owners Survey. That’s up a million from just two years ago. According to APPA, pet owners spend an average of $17 per gift- that equates to $59.5 million on Halloween products for pets!

And when it comes to treats for our furry friends, (no chocolate please!)- that trend is also significantly on the rise. 88% of dog owners and 65% of cat owners give their pets treats, up 81% and 56% respectively from 2002. That’s nearly 63 million pet owners! And, the holidays are the most popular time for giving pets treats and gifts.

Of course, there are those who might find this trend of Halloween going to the dogs scary, but APPA’s President counters.

“Some may consider pet pampering or including pets in Halloween frivolous, but if your pet is enjoying the extra attention and you are enjoying the fun of sharing it with your pet, it seems like a great idea,” said Bob Vetere, President of APPA. “And, when it comes to dressing up pets, as long as the pet owner knows his pet and whether they are comfortable, you’ll find the pet gets and enjoys the added attention it receives from wearing a costume.”

APPA has identified some of the hottest new Halloween products leading this trend:

  • YEOWWW! is bringing Halloween spirit to your kitty with the Catnip Pumpkin. The jack o’catnip is filled with 100% organically grown catnip. No tricks for this kitty- it’s all treat! www.duckyworld.com
  • Give your four-legged friend a spooky treat this Halloween with West Paw Design’s ghost plush toy, Spook. Spook is made with a silky soft fabric and non-toxic poly fill and is light enough for even your smallest Ghostbusters. www.westpawdesign.com
  • Fox & Hounds Candy Corn Plush Squeaky Toy will definitely help make your pup feel included in the trick or treating festivities this Halloween.The plush toy is fashioned in the same shape and colors of a bright kernel of candy corn and should provide hours of entertainment – minus the stomachache!www.foxandhounds.com.
  • Premier Pet Products is debuting six fun toys for Halloween. Three lively squeaky toys and three classic Halloween-inspired plush toys will be sure hits with your furry friends this Halloween. Designs include plush Trick-or-Treat Ted and the latex Spooky Spider with 8 legs which unroll. www.premier.com
  • Petsport USA Inc.’s Bling Bling Blinkers protect your pets and children without sacrificing style.Pet safety blinkers are miniature LED lights that clip to any collar, leash or belt loop.The blinkers can also be used as a key ring that doubles as a mini flashlight.They are water resistant and visible from up to a half mile away.They are available in three snazzy color combinations: red/white/blue, jade/pink, and blue/white.www.petsportusa.com.
  • Let Fido light the way with glow-in-the dark collars, collar tags, and leashes by Atomic Products.These glow-in-the dark products are battery-operated and visible up to a ¼ mile away.The newest line, Visiglo, has three levels of illumination to keep you and your pooch safe as well as many new designs and patterns. And best yet, when Halloween is over, you will still have fun, safety-oriented products for walking your dog after dark.www.atomicproducts.net.
  • Yellow Dog Design has released a series of Halloween collars, leads, and harnesses in all sizes for dogs and cats. The four different designs feature ghosts and goblins which you and your pet are sure to love. Each design is actually dyed onto the collar so they are machine washable and will always look fantastic. www.yellowdog-design.com.
  • Planet Dog announces the Orbee-Tuff Orbo with Treat Spot, a durable bouncy fetch toy with a cavity to hold treats and keep your dog busy for hours. The double sided toy provides unpredictable bounces and features PAW-sitive traction which allows the dog to get more of a grip while chewing. Also included is the Planet Dog recipe for the Treat Spot Stuff. With three sizes available, this toy is sure to be a hit for all of your ghoulish pets this Halloween. www.planetdogretailer.com
  • Crunch Cards from Crunchkins offer a unique twist on the traditional greeting card making a special gift from you to your pet. The cards are made of a flattened rawhide panel and printed with edible ink with such sentiments as “No Bones About It, You’re the Best,” and “Happy Halloween You Little Devil.” They even come with an envelope to mail the card to your favorite pooch. www.crunchkins.com
  • Petmate has several popular pet products in its Designer Series which are perfect presents for Halloween. The series features a hooded litter pan, high back litter pan, and ultra lightweight double diner available in translucent orange to bring the spooky spirit to your pet. www.petmate.com

The American Pet Products Association (APPA) reminds responsible pet owners to keep the following tips in mind to better ensure a happy and safe Halloween for the entire family:

  • Trick-or-treat candies for humans are not for pets: Chocolate is poisonous to many animals, and tin foil and cellophane candy wrappers can be hazardous if swallowed. Remind children not to share goodies with pets. Most local pet boutiques sell safe Halloween themed pet baked treats.
  • Be cautious of using candles in your pumpkins and consider safe alternatives that will not pose any threats of fire hazard or potential burns to your children or pets.
  • When dressing up a pet, make sure the costume isn't constricting or unsafe and be careful not to obstruct your pet’s vision. If your pet resists costuming, do not insist as it can cause stress to your pet. Never leave a pet in costume unattended.
  • Scary isn’t fun for everyone.Be aware that strangely pitched music, weird noises, odd clothing and lots of excitement can be taxing on your pet.Make sure to provide a quiet place for them to retreat if needed.
  • Be careful your pet doesn't dart out through an open door as trick-or-treaters might frighten them.
  • Even if trick-or-treaters do not frighten your pet, remember that your pet, if met at the door, may frighten trick-or-treaters.

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The American Pet Products Manufacturer's Association (APPA) is the leading not-for-profit trade association serving the interests of the pet products industry since 1958.  APPA membership includes more than 900 pet product manufacturers, their representatives, importers and livestock suppliers representing both large corporations and growing business enterprises.  APPA's mission is to promote, develop and advance pet ownership and the pet product industry and to provide the services necessary to help its members prosper. Visit www.americanpetproducts.org for more information.