Puppy Love: What’s Cuter than Canine Costumes?

Nothing—that’s the answer. Nothing is cuter than a bunch of dogs decked out in Halloween costumes. From the absolutely adorable (tuxedos and top hats) to the even more adorable (capes and cowboys), the Target product design and development (PD&D) team creates new costumes for the four-legged variety each year.

PD&D Designer Elyse Sikora says one of the best parts of her job is testing them out at the local dog park. So we tailed along for the trip to catch all the animal action on camera. Below, take a peek at the photos-turned-memes and read on for our chat with Elyse.

What was the canine crowd favorite? 
Elyse Sikora: The dogs actually loved the Super Dog cape—it attaches simply around their neck and belly, so even the hard-to-dress dog could wear it, and they seemed to run faster and leap higher when wearing it!

And what is your favorite pet costume? 
ES: We have a new skunk costume this year that is really cute for big (or smelly) dogs.

Besides product testing, how else do you research pet costumes? 
ES: We attended dog events all over the Twin Cities and Chicago last October to see what the trend-setting dogs were wearing. Traveling was also a great opportunity to talk to pet owners and find out what they look for when shopping for costumes. We also coordinated with the Target group, the Bow Wows—a club for animal lovers—to hold a brainstorming event at the annual ‘Howl-o-ween’ Party. We came up with the idea that inspired our new taxicab rider costume!

Do any of the Target pet costumes have patents?
ES: Both of our new rider costumes are currently patent pending. The airplane costume and the taxicab costume are both unique in the market.

What is the best-selling pet costume? 
ES: The classics—like the hot dog and bumblebee—are always great sellers, so we bring them back year after year.

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