Gotcha Day: How to Celebrate Your Pet in 2021

Does Your Pet Have a Gotcha Day?

Calling all adopted pets! When’s your “gotcha” day? A lot of pet parents who adopt their furry family members have no way of telling when their actual birthday is. Instead, they use their adoption day, or Gotcha Day, to celebrate! Marking your adopted dog or cat’s Gotcha Day is a great excuse to honor your pet, bake them treats, play new games and give them extra attention. 

Whether your furry friends prefer a long walk or cuddles on the couch, there are plenty of ways to show your pets your appreciation. 

After all, if you’re like a lot of pet owners, your critters are your best friends. They provide companionship and flex their listening skills daily. 

Ways to Celebrate Love Your Pet Day 

first time dog owner tips

Did you know that according to the ASPCA, says roughly 6.5 million dogs and cats enter the animal shelter each year? One of the best ways to help these animals is to let people know they’re available. Celebrating your pet’s Gotcha Day and sharing it on social media is a great way to spread awareness to animal shelters.

How will you celebrate your pet’s Gotcha Day? Will you bake your dog a special treat? Will you go for a long walk or play fetch with your dog? Would your kitty enjoy some catnip? 

Whether you create a day-long celebration of your pet with balloons, friends, and special treats or keep it low-key is up to you. Here are a few ideas of ways to celebrate your special friend. 

1. Spend Extra Time – Sure, you probably have spent a lot of time together this past year, but it’s extra relaxing for you both if you put down any devices and focus on your pet. Instead of one hand on your dog or cat and the other scrolling through your phone, you can give your pet a massage.

Older pets especially tend to enjoy a massage. You’ll want to wait until they’re relaxed and gently press on and around their joints. If they like it, they’ll usually yawn and stretch out. That will allow you to knead deeper around the hip flexor muscles and loosen them. 

You can also play games with your pet. If you have a dog who lives for fetch, then play an extra-long session. If you have a cat, you can offer them a rousing game of “catch the feather.” 

2. Schedule a Play Date – Does your pup have a doggie friend they haven’t seen in a while? Make it a play date. An enclosed backyard is perfect for a bit of pup meet-and-greets and frolicking. Bake a special dog biscuit for the occasion to make it even more special. 

3.  Plan a Vacay! – Plan a visit to a pup-friendly area beach, national park, river, or lake. Don’t forget a doggie life jacket to keep your doggo safe in the water. 

4. Groom – Whether you book your dog or cat an appointment or you go the DIY route, everyone feels better after a good brush and bath. Plus, regular grooming can help reduce shedding by catching those loose hairs before they blanket your couch. It also gives you a chance to do a thorough flea and tick check. 

5. Spoil Them With New Toys! – Every pet loves a new toy, and there’s something for everyone, from strong chewers to catnip crunch fish. You’ll find something to bring a happy meow or woof to your pets. 

6. Donate – Maybe you’d like to bring a bit of joy to the critters at the local shelter. Always grateful, they often need dog walkers, bags of dog food, toys, and, of course, money. You can call your local animal shelter to find out what they need most. April is also Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month. Why not round up a few friends and share adoptable furry friends on your social media? Who knows, you can make a difference in the life of a pet in need. 

7. Keep Your Pet Safe – Every year, thousands of dogs and cats go missing. To improve your chances of reuniting with your pet, should the unthinkable happen, make sure to update your dog or cat’s identification. Do they have a legible and updated name tag with a current phone number? If they’re microchipped, do you know how to find them in the National Microchip Database? A few minutes now can give you peace of mind. 

Fun Facts About Pets in the U.S. 

group of kittens gotcha day

Did you know there are more dog owners in the U.S. than cats? According to Statista, there are 63.4 million dogs and 42.7 cats. Freshwater fish are next in line when it comes to popularity. 

67% of American homes include a pet. 

Millions of Americans buy pet insurance. In fact, they spend $1 billion on it each year. 

While many people use the terms ASPCA, humane society, and animal shelters interchangeably, each organization can have different rules for adoption. 

Now that you have a few ideas for fun with your pet, how will you celebrate their adoption day this year?