Did you know there are more than 150 pet holidays in 2024? That’s right! We also have plenty of pet holidays during May. I am listing some of the many pet holidays during May.

May is not just another month, it’s National Pet Month in the United States. This is a significant celebration, highlighting the myriad benefits pets bring to our lives. It’s a mutual relationship, though some might argue that we humans get the better end of the deal. National Pet Month is a platform that advocates for pet ownership, encourages pet adoption, and educates people about the reciprocal benefits of pets and humans. This designation plays a crucial role in increasing public awareness about the services offered by professionals and animal rescue organizations. It also shines a spotlight on the invaluable role, value, and contributions of working companion animals to our society

We love our pets in America, and pets have a much higher place in our culture than in many foreign countries, where some are even served on dinner plates. Thankfully, there is increasing pressure to end that practice worldwid

The contrast in pet culture around the world is indeed intriguing. While some practices may be hard to digest, I am grateful for the love and care our pets receive in America. Many of us go above and beyond to pamper our pets, treating them as cherished members of our families. However, the high euthanasia rates in our country serve as a starkreminder that we can always do more to show our love for them.

May is also Chip Your Pet Month. All my pets are microchipped, and the information is current, so I can be reached if my animals are stolen or lost. Can you say the same thing about your pets? I hope so. I commonly read messages on Facebook that someone’s pet is missing and was not microchipped. If your pet is lost or stolen, you have a much better chance of recovering it if it has been microchipped. If you have been around pets very much, you know that collars, tags, and the like break off or can be removed, or they can become difficult to read. The microchip will permanently serve as identification for your pet. Your dogs should wear collars and tags, but they are frequently lost. Microchipping your pet is a small cost and a minor inconvenience, but it can significantly affect pet recovery. It substantially increases the chances of your pet returning home if lost. So, ask yourself: Do you love your pet enough to take this simple step and keep their information current? It’s a responsibility we owe to our beloved family members.

May 3rd was Specially Abled Pets Day (formerly Disabled Pets Day), celebrating these fantastic and heroic animals. This designation helps to educate the public about caring for disabled pets and finds homes for orphaned, specially abled pets who may be missing limbs or eyes or may be blind, et cetera.

May 5th through May 11th is Puppy Mill Action Week. Typing the words “puppy mill” is enough to repulse me. Many people who run puppy mills have no regard for how their actions cause many animals to be euthanized in our animal shelters by creating an oversupply of animals and reducing the demand for shelter and rescue animals. I frown
on those who engage in these practices, and I hope there is a special place in hell for those who have poorly managed puppy mills.

May 5th through May 11th is National Pet Week. Each day will have a different theme, starting with “Choose well: Commit for life.” “Behavioral health: Habits for Happy Pets.” “Nutrition and Exercise Matter.” “Love Your Pet? See Your Vet!” ”Travel with Care.”

“Emergencies Happen: Be Prepared.” “Plan for Their Care: Give Them A Lifetime of Love.”

May 7th is National Dog Mom’s Day. May 9th is National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day. If you are in an area subject to natural disasters, this is one resource you should look at and prepare for in an emergency: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-petcare/disaster-preparedness.

May 12th is Mother’s Day, so please do something extra special for your mother that day and show your love and appreciation for her all year.

May 14th is International Chihuahua Appreciation Day. I love Chihuahuas. Unfortunately,  too many people tease them when they are young, which makes them aggressive. Aggressive dogs are quickly euthanized when they enter our animal shelters. When I was growing up, our family owned Chihuahuas, and I own a Chihuahua mix now. Our family Chihuahuas were very affectionate animals, and my Chihuahua mix holds its own against many larger dogs. My mom and I once went to a neighbor’s home, and when the neighbor opened the door, her Chihuahua ran out and tore my pants, hurting my feelings.

May 20th is National Rescue Dog Day, www.NationalRescueDogDay.com. This site discusses how rescue dogs contribute to the independence of people with disabilities and give comfort to older people. They serve as emotional support companions, relieving anxiety, depression, and even PTSD. One comment that I certainly appreciate is that rescue animals offer “love in the purest form, and it is hard to imagine a more loyal, worthy companion.”

And May 30th is International Hug Your Cat Day.

I skipped over May 23rd, World Turtle Day, but if you love or own turtles or testudines, that’s your day to celebrate with your hard-shelled friends.

I love some days this month because they are reminders to prepare and protect our fur buddies. Some days are commercial days, but occasionally, it is good to have a reminder.

How about you? How will you be celebrating these pet holidays this month? Either way, they can serve as good reminders, so we provide for our pet’s needs, prepare for emergencies, and reflect on the importance of animals in our lives. I would say that this is a good thing.

Burton Fletcher, JD, MBA, is a writer, retired full professor of business administration, and emeritus attorney. He founded the Burton Fletcher Foundation for Animals, which is dedicated to advocating for animals at high risk of euthanasia, community education on the importance of spaying and neutering, and cheerleading for those who work in animal shelters and animal rescue organizations.

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