National Dress Up Your Pet Day may be over, but the spirit of the holiday can be valued year-round. Founded in 2009 by animal advocate Colleen Paige, National Dress Up Your Pet Day was created to highlight the need for adoptive homes for the nation’s many stray and sheltered pets. This ritual also offers animal lovers a chance to dress our pets in costumes that range from classy to sassy.
How to Celebrate Dress Up Your Pet Day
National Dress Up Your Pet Day is supposed to be fun, so feel free to be creative. And keep the spirit of the holiday in mind—drawing attention to the plight of pets in need of forever homes.
Here are just a few ways you can participate:
Dress your pet in a safe, comfortable costume that highlights their personality, then take some pix and share the images on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
Donate to an animal welfare organization. You can give blankets, food, pet toys, or make a financial contribution. Every little bit helps!
Host a Dress Up Your Pet Party and invite friends and their pets over for a group photo shoot and fundraiser/supply drive for a local shelter. Be sure to tag your pix #DressUpYourPet and share them on social media.
Volunteer at a local shelter. Shelters are often overcrowded and understaffed, so donating your time is a great way to show you care.
Contact your Congressperson and encourage them to support a ban on puppy and kitten mills.
Pet Costume Safety
While being inventive and having fun are important, be sure the costume or outfit you select for your pet is safe. Costumes should fit snugly but without limiting your pet’s mobility, breathing, or comfort. Never dress your pet in anything that could puncture the skin, become a choking hazard, become accidentally ingested or result in heat exhaustion.
Also, remember it’s January and much of the country is still emerging from a severe cold snap. So, if you plan to be showing off your pet’s fashion sense outdoors, be sure they stay warm and cozy. And if you’ll be out after dark, some reflective gear will make you and your pet easier for motorists to see.
Remember Dress Up Your Pet Day’s focus is to draw attention to the plight of pets in need of forever homes. Approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide each year. And many others live with hunger, illness, and neglect on our nation’s streets. Raising public awareness and helping organizations that put animal welfare first is a great way to help these pets find forever homes. So we hope you’ll take this opportunity to let your pet’s fashion flag fly and show your support!
Cecily Kellogg is a pet lover who definitely has crazy cat lady leanings. Her pets are all shelter rescues, including the dog, who is scared of the cats. She spent eight years working as a Veterinary Technician before becoming a writer. Today she writes all over the web, including here at Figo.