2023 Pet Holidays to Celebrate
When we think of “holidays”, most people would probably think of the big three: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. While those may be behind us, there are plenty of holidays sprinkled throughout the year to celebrate – many of which are in honour of our pets! We’ve compiled some lesser-known holidays that can be observed with your furry and feathery family members in 2023.
January marks the beginning of a new year. New beginnings, resolutions, and habits are at the forefront of our minds when the calendar turns to the next year. But did you know that January is also “Adopt a Rescued Bird Month”? Here are some other significant days in January:
Adopt a Rescued Bird Month (all month)
Birds are often overlooked as pets, but actually make wonderful additions to families! From parakeets to parrots, there’s a bird for any household! Shelters and rescues are a couple of places to find birds in need of their forever homes.
2nd: Happy Mew Year’s for Cats Day
Not to be outdone by humans, cats have their own “Mew Year’s Day”! Created by a feline-specific website, this day is largely for fun, but can also help educate non-cat owners about enjoying cats as pets.
24th: Change a Pet’s Life Day
From adopting a shelter pet, fostering a pet in need, or donating to a pet fundraiser, this day is dedicated to bettering the lives of pets all over the world.
29th: Seeing-Eye Guide Dog Anniversary
This day is actually in honour of the first school that trained seeing-eye dogs for the visually impaired. “The Seeing-Eye” dog school was created in the US on January 29th, 1929. It was the first school of its kind, giving hope to blind people all over the world. To this day, the “The Seeing-Eye” still remains one of the most successful schools for seeing-eye guide dogs in the world.
Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to get all of the attention! February is actually full of fun pet-holidays and themes to celebrate. Here are a few:
Adopt a Rescued Rabbit Month
Rabbits find themselves in shelters, just as cats and dogs do. February aims to raise awareness about rabbit ownership and to help families find rabbits that are in need of their forever homes.
Responsible Pet Owners Month
Caring for a pet is not to be taken lightly! Having an animal that is completely dependent on their human is a huge responsibility. From daily care, veterinary visits, and providing safe accommodations, responsible pet owners should be celebrated and help raise awareness of the importance of keeping pets healthy and happy!
Spay/Neuter Awareness Month
Another vital part of pet ownership is helping to control unwanted litters. Population control is one of the things the world needs most when it comes to reducing the number of homeless pets. Consider spaying or neutering your pet, and educate others about the importance of this simple, yet life-changing procedure!
20th: Love Your Pet Day
This holiday can be celebrated in so many ways! From a special treat, extra-snuggle time, an outing, or a new toy – the goal is to make your pet feel the love!
23rd: International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day
All dogs appreciate a good dog biscuit! This day is the perfect excuse to try out that boutique doggie-bakery. Support a local business and treat your dog at the same time!
25th: World Spay Day
Did you know that having your pet spayed can add years to their lifespan, and is beneficial to their overall health? Most mammals can be spayed, which means your dog, cat, rabbit, guinea pig, or other small pet can benefit from this procedure!
March has St. Patrick’s Day and the First Day of Spring, but also holds some hidden-gems for pet-themed days! This March, look out for:
Adopt a Rescued Guinea Pig Month
Guinea pigs are surrendered to animal shelters just as dogs, cats, and rabbits. And, since most guinea pigs thrive as a bonded pair, a solo-guinea pig is in desperate need of a home with a friend! If you’re thinking about adopting a guinea pig (or two!) to your family, March is the perfect time!
Poison Prevention Awareness Month
Poisonous substances aren’t just found in the cabinets of your home, but in nature, table scraps, and more! March aims to raise awareness of these hazards to pets, and how to make your home and yard a safer space for animals.
3rd: If Pets Had Thumbs Day
This interesting thought-turned-holiday gives your imagination a boost! Pets could do some strange, wonderful, and mischievous things with an opposable appendage. What could your pet do if they had thumbs?
28th: Respect Your Cat Day
Cats demand (and deserve!) respect every day, but this day has been set-aside just for this purpose.
30th: Take a Walk in the Park Day
What better way to welcome spring than a walk in the park? Take your dog out for a leisurely stroll and enjoy the changing of the seasons!
April showers bring May flowers, but what about days to spend with your pet? April has some interesting and awareness raising days such as:
1st-7th: International Pooper Scooper Week
Did you know that the “pooper scooper” was invented over 30 years ago? An inventor named Robert Veech devised a way to pick up after dogs when confronted by a disgruntled party-goer – who was waving a dog-poop covered shoe after stepping in the mess outside! The rest, as they say, is history! We may take these gadgets for granted, but take this week to appreciate the device that looks out for your yard and your back.
26th: International Guide Dog Day
This day is a perfect time to raise awareness of guide dogs and their importance to visually impaired individuals. Consider donating to a local guide-dog school or trainer, or use this day to learn more about guide dogs and their roles with their humans.
27th: World Veterinary Day
Veterinarians are real-life animal whisperers! Their patients come in all shapes, sizes, and species, and aren’t able to tell them what’s wrong. Some veterinarians even go to school for as long as human doctors! They dedicate their lives to improving the lives of animals and the humans that care for them. Consider doing something special for your veterinarian – a thank you card, flower arrangement, or homemade goods to show them your appreciation!
30th: Adopt a Shelter Pet Day
Rescuing an animal from the shelter is one of the most rewarding experiences a pet owner can have! Shelters are full of dogs, cats, small animals, and sometimes even farm animals in need of loving homes. Visit your local shelter, and you may just find your next family member!
When it comes to animal holidays, May has some pretty great ones! The overall theme is kindness toward animals, with events like:
Responsible Animal Guardian Month
Pet owners have a responsibility to their animals. They have to ensure their needs are met, and that they’re healthy and happy! Animals may not speak the same language that humans do, but a responsible animal guardian knows what their pets need, and when something may be amiss. May is a great time to remind ourselves and others what an honour it is to care for animals!
3rd-9th: Be Kind to Animals Week
Something as simple as topping off your backyard bird feeder with a special treat, or making a donation to an animal shelter or other facility is a great way to show kindness to animals! Share ways to show kindness to pets and wild animals alike with others to foster the amazing human-animal bond!
30th: International Hug Your Cat Day
This is probably a daily occurrence for cat owners, but just in case you need an extra-excuse to hug your cat, May 30th has got you covered!
With summer on the horizon, June is an exciting month! But don’t forget these pet-themed days:
Adopt a Cat Month
Continuing from May 30th, if you don’t have a cat to hug, why not adopt one? Cats make wonderful pets! They’re smart, quirky, and each have their own unique personality. Thousands of cats are searching for their forever home – could it be yours?
9th: World Pet Memorial Day
This is a day to reflect and remember pets that have gone over the rainbow bridge. Share stories and memories to honour the memory of a beloved pet.
22nd-28th: Take Your Pet to Work Week
While it may not be possible for everyone in the workforce, bringing your pet to work can be a fun way to shake things up! Just make sure to get the go-ahead from your boss first.
21st: Dog Party Day
Need an excuse to throw a party for your dog? Look no further! Throw a fun summer-themed party with dog-safe treats and activities for a sensational start to summer!
Summer is here! But don’t forget these dates when making plans:
Dog House Repair Month
With warmer temperatures and wetter weather, July is a great time to check your dog’s outside shelter and make improvements as necessary.
A vital part of keeping animals healthy during hotter months is by keeping them hydrated! All animals need access to fresh, cool drinking water to stay hydrated. So, check your waterers, then spread the word!
Did you know that more pets go missing around the 4th of July than any other time of the year? Be sure your pet is properly identified! Collars, tags, and microchips are all ways to increase the chances of your pet finding their way home.
16th: Guinea Pig Appreciation Day
Show your cavies some extra love! Serve their favourite snack in a Caddi treat holder, give them some extra snuggle time, or give them a new toy to play with.
The “dog days of summer” are in full-swing, but here are some dates to help you power through the heat:
Clear the Shelters Month
A crowded animal shelter is no place to cool down – give a shelter pet a home this month! This awareness month has the goal of finding homes for all shelter animals.
1st: “DOGust” – Universal Birthday for Shelter Dogs
Speaking of shelters, August 1st is the universal birthday for any shelter dogs with an unknown birthdate!
8th: International Cat Day
Really every day for cat owners, but International Cat Day is a great way to spread awareness of the joys of having a cat in your life!
10th: Spoil Your Dog Day
Buy the toy. Eat the treats. Most importantly: have fun!
17th: International Homeless Animals Day
Aimed to bring awareness to the staggering number of homeless pets all over the world.
26th: International Dog Day
For dog owners, this is every day of the year, but is also a perfect time to share the joys of being a dog-owner with others!
Fall is just around the corner! Keep these days in mind when preparing for the change of season:
Pet Sitter Education Month
Pick your pet sitter for the upcoming holiday season, and educate them on how to care for your pets!
Animal Pain Awareness Month
Most animals are masters at hiding their pain. As their owners, humans have a responsibility to know when their pet is in pain. Ask your veterinarian for resources on how to recognize pain in your pets.
19th: Responsible Dog Ownership Day
Aimed to raise awareness of what responsible dog ownership looks like, this day is to commend the great dog owners, and to encourage them to educate those wanting to add a dog to their family – the responsible way.
28th: World Rabies Day
Recognized globally in an effort to raise awareness of this terrible, but preventable disease, World Rabies Day is a great opportunity for education! Thanks to vaccines, rabies is now extremely rare in domesticated pets like cats and dogs. Is your pet up to date?
Halloween is the heavy-hitter for October, but don’t forget these dates too:
Adopt a Dog Month
Have you been considering adding a dog to your family? Adoption is one of the most rewarding experiences – for both you and your dog! Visit your local shelter, or contact a rescue group to see if they have your perfect match.
4th: World Animal Day
Celebrate all animals, all over the world for the wonders that they are!
19th-23rd: Veterinary Technician Week
Like veterinarians, veterinary technicians work hard. After all, holding cute animals is only part of the job! Show the veterinary support team some love this week by penning a “thank you” note, bringing food to their workplace, or by simply telling them how much you appreciate them in person.
Thanksgiving is the show stopper, but don’t forget your pets during this time of thanks:
Adopt a Senior Pet Month
Senior pets are often overlooked by families, but often have so many memories and experiences to give! Choosing to adopt a senior pet may come with some challenges, but the reward will be great!
8th: International Human-Animal Bond Day
One of the most amazing feelings to experience is felt through the bond between humans and animals. We don’t speak the same language, eat the same foods, or enjoy all of the same things, yet somehow animals bridge the gap between us through their intellect and desire to know us. How amazing is that?
Christmas can certainly be celebrated with our pets, but consider observing these dates as well:
5th: International Volunteer Day
Have you ever thought about volunteering at an animal shelter? Or maybe at an animal event? Here’s the inspiration you need!
9th: International Day of Veterinary Medicine
Veterinary medicine helps both animals and people! Did you know that veterinary medicine also studies zoonotic diseases (those that can be passed from animals to humans). By keeping animals healthy, veterinary medicine also keeps the human population healthy!
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