A small dog wearing a pink and white sweater trotting outside.

National Dress Up Your Pet Day; Plus, Other Fun Reasons to Show Off Your Pet’s Style

It’s the middle of winter, so you may already dress your dog or cat in cute and cozy sweaters when they’re out in the cold. But it’s time to switch things up! National Dress Up Your Pet Day, January 14, was created to raise awareness for shelter pets.

What a great opportunity to show off your cat or dog in their most adorable attire and support a great cause as well. There are many adoption organizations and other businesses celebrating the day, so check out your favorites and see how you can help spread the word about the great work animal shelters do.

But there’s plenty of other reasons to dress up your pet as well! From a modest bow tie to designer jackets, who doesn’t smile when they see a pet fashionista strutting their stuff? Read on for some of the other fun reasons to dress up your cat or dog, and how to keep them safe and happy while doing it.

A Birthday Paw-ty!

Birthdays are certainly one of the best days to celebrate your pet, so why not have your cat or dog dressed in their finest (or silliest) attire? Help them celebrate their big day with a party hat, a birthday bandana, or maybe a shiny new collar from their present list. Side note: did you know that it’s a myth that 1 human year equals 7 dog years?

Happy Gotcha Day

We know that sometimes your pet’s actual birth date can be a guess, so instead, celebrate their Gotcha Day. It’s the day they officially joined the family, so why not celebrate with a fancy new vest or a pretty pink tutu? If your cat or dog was a rescue, you could help raise awareness for pet adoption by posting your pet’s Happy Gotcha Day portrait and tagging the adoption organization.

Outfits for the Entire Family

For the cutest family photos, who could resist matching pet and pet parent pajamas? For the more fashion-forward family, there are endless options for matching outfits including shirts, sweaters and even three-piece suits. Just make sure your dog or cat’s clothes are pet-approved to keep them safe. Of course, you can have your cat or dog looking picture perfect, but the trick is getting them to pose long enough for the photo!

Comfy and Safe

If your pet isn’t a regular clothes connoisseur (or even if they are), here are some tips to make sure they are comfortable and safe in their new getup. Make sure it’s not too tight or too loose and doesn’t obstruct their vision, hearing or breathing. They should be able to continue to move, breathe, eat, drink and do other functions like normal.

Also, make sure there are no loose pieces or items that could be choking hazards or cause an upset stomach or obstruction if swallowed. Avoid items that could be tempting new chew toys too. Be sure to supervise your pet, and if they are showing any signs of distress, abnormal behavior or overheating, remove the clothes immediately. If your pet is really not feeling it, keep them happy and allow them to go au naturel.

Let’s be honest, do we really need a reason to dress up our pet and post a photo on Instagram? Make every day National Dress Up Your Pet Day, if you and your pet want. Just as long as your pet is safe, comfortable and as happy as you when they pose for the camera.


RELATED POST: Guest Column: 12 Ways You Can Help an Animal Shelter Besides Adopting

The information in this blog has been developed with our veterinarian and is designed to help educate pet parents. If you have questions or concerns about your pet's health or nutrition, please talk with your veterinarian.


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