Could there possibly be anything more adorable than your pet rocking a stylish pair of sunglasses and a cool leather jacket? For those pets that have an impeccable sense of style, January 14th is their chance to flaunt their fashion sense to the world. January 14th is National Dress Up Your Pet Day, so grab a stylish sweater , a warm jacket, or even your pet's favorite costume to celebrate!
Created in 2009 by Coleen Paige - an expert in pet lifestyle and animal behavior - this holiday is meant to honor pets and support the pet fashion community. It's a day that's designed to be fun and encourage creativity through fashion and style. This is a great excuse to treat your pet to a new outfit and pamper them like the prince/princess that they are. Here are some tips to help you and your pet celebrate this holiday together in a fun and safe way.
According to Paige, dressing up for this holiday should always be about bonding. It's important to remember that this day is really meant for animals that take pride in wearing cute outfits. The spirit of the holiday embodies bonding with your pets and encouraging wellbeing. It's not meant to make your pet uncomfortable or miserable for the sake of a photo-shoot. Forcing your furry friend to do something that they don't want to is not encouraged. If your pet doesn't like to dress up, then let them sit this one out.
Always choose clothing that will allow your pet to see, hear, breathe, eat, and relieve themselves comfortably. Clothing that restricts one of your pet's senses can cause them to feel unsafe and panic. Make sure that the clothing fits properly and that they seem comfortable in it. Before taking them out to the show, let them spend some time at home in their clothing to make sure that they are feeling great in it. Some pets are going to be more willing to participate than others, so follow their lead when it comes to their comfort levels.
Additionally, make sure that the clothing is made out of breathable material . While it may, in fact, be cold outside - it is January after all - you don't want your pet to overheat and get sick. Always check to make sure that the clothing doesn't have any small pieces that they can chew off and potentially swallow. No one wants this national holiday to end with a trip to the vet.
Never leave your pet unattended while they are dressed up. Many pets may be curious about their new threads and decide to start chewing on them. Even if you have removed all obvious safety hazards such as buttons, small pieces of clothing can still obstruct their intestinal pathway if ingested. Not only that, but strangulation can occur if they are trying to duck into one of their normal hiding spots that won't allow for the clothing.
A pet that's dressed up should especially never be left alone outside. They can get caught in a fence, a gate, a bush, or just about anything else. This can lead to injury and strangulation if they are alone when this happens.
Now that we've covered some ways to make sure your furry friends are safe during this holiday, let's talk about some ways to celebrate!
Not that you have to be reminded, but you should definitely take tons of pictures of your pet in their favorite outfit. If you have a friend to help you out, have them snap photos of the two of you spending time together. If it's just the two of you for the day, you can also grab a bunch of selfies while you are out and about with your pet.
Post your favorite pictures to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter with the hashtag #DressUpYourPetDay. This can also be a great hashtag to search for ideas about dressing up your pet for the holiday in case you are having a creative block when it comes to what outfit to choose.
Because this day is about honoring your pet, set aside some time for just the two of you. If there's an activity that you know your pet particularly enjoys, make sure to schedule some time to do it together. However, you'll want to remove your pet's clothing if it won't allow them to comfortably do the activity with you. It may be hard to go on a hike in a beaver costume, for example. Regardless of what you do, you'll want to give them some personal time to let them know that they are loved and cared for.
Another great way to celebrate this pet-centric day is to support your local rescue shelter. This can include adopting a new pet to bring home and share the love. If you aren't looking for another addition to the family, however, you can also donate in your pet's name. For an added touch, include a picture of your pet in their outfit.
If you have a neighborhood full of people who celebrate this day, why not organize an event and have a contest? Get the kids in on it as well - they'll love it! You could organize a parade that ends with people voting for the best-dressed pet. If you aren't up for parading around the neighborhood, however, you can always just have a get together at your house. Make sure to buy something special to have on hand for the winners.
Regardless of how you celebrate this day, remember that it's a day meant to commemorate the special bond you have with your pet. It's a day to keep your pet's best interest in mind while having fun and helping support your pet in whatever way you can. Be sure to create a safe environment for them so that they enjoy celebrating this day with you as well.