June is Pride Month! A month to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising, which was a turning point for LGBTQ rights. The event, which started in New York City, is recognized and commemorated across the world today.
Read on for a few ideas to get you and your pet involved as allies! 🏳️🌈
1. Read to a shelter animal
A study published in Applied Animal Behaviour Science found that dogs were less restless and more relaxed in their environment when listening to audiobooks or being read to. As a result, many animal shelters offer reading programs where you can read to cats and dogs waiting for their forever homes. It’s a great activity for the kiddos as well so they can practice their literacy skills.
Educate yourself while helping an animal in need. Bring one of these LGBTQ+ books or Google the history of Pride Month and Stonewall. Read it aloud to your new furry friend and watch them settle in.
Many shelters across the country have reading programs. Check your local animal shelter or rescue organization to find a reading program near you!
2. Attend a Pride Parade
This is not recommended for a lot of dogs that are reactive or get overwhelmed and overstimulated, but if your dog does OK in such settings, bring your pup along to a Pride Parade! Dress them in a rainbow bandana or collar and get festive.
If you do bring your pup, be sure to bring plenty of water along with a portable water bowl and treats. Take breaks in the shade if it’s particularly hot out.
Be mindful of your dog’s behavior patterns before deciding to venture out in a crowd. Always put their comfort first. If you think your dog can’t handle the sensory overload, it’s best to leave them at home.
3. Celebrate at home
Not ready for crowds just yet in a post-pandemic summer? That’s OK! You can celebrate Pride Month at home with some festive rainbow gear and crafts.
Paint the rainbow! Get some dog-safe, non-toxic paint to make paw prints on a canvas.
Alternatively, you could make an easy paw print mold with flour, salt, and water.
- Mix 1/2 cup salt, 1/2 cup warm water, and 1 cup flour in a bowl
- Knead together with your hands until it makes a dough
- Roll out the dough to at least a 1/4 inch thick
- Use cups to cut out circles
- Gently press your dog’s paw in the center of the circles
- Transfer circles to baking sheet. Bake at 225 degrees for 2-3 hours, or until completely hardened and dried out.
- Once they have cooled, paint away!
Once your molds have been painted and dried, you can hang them up around the house for the month. These make great gifts as well.
Make rainbow fruit kebabs
Eat the rainbow! Make a tasty snack both you and your dog can enjoy.
Grab some skewers and add fruits in the following order to create a rainbow: blueberries, kiwi, pineapple, mango, clementine or orange slice, strawberry, and finally, raspberry. Serve at your next June gathering or bring it as a parade day snack.
Leave out the grapes (these are toxic to dogs).
Be an ally beyond the month of June
Remember that this month, while festive, isn’t just about rainbow-covered everything. At its core, it’s about human rights.
Here are some other ways to get involved:
- Donate to or volunteer for organizations like The Trevor Project, Human Rights Campaign, or the ACLU.
- Take action at the local level to encourage safe spaces for LGBTQ youth in your town.
- Listen. Listen to your friends, family, and acquaintances who may be on their own journey.
- Educate yourself and others on the myriad of issues the community faces.
How will you honor the anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising with your pet?