Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Home > General > When Is National Dress Up Your Pet Day in 2024 & What Is It?

When Is National Dress Up Your Pet Day in 2024 & What Is It?

three pomeranian dogs with costume_Stefan foto video, Shutterstock

Sometimes, dressing up our pets is necessary, especially if you live in a particularly cold part of the world. But did you know that there’s a national day that’s all about dressing up your pet?

National Dress Up Your Pet Day takes place on January 14, and anyone with a pet that doesn’t mind wearing an article of clothing can take part.

Here, we get into everything about dressing up your pet, as well as provide a few tips on how to take part in this holiday without making your pet miserable.


Dress Your Pet Up Day

How did this national day come about? Colleen Paige is a pet lifestyle expert who has made it her mission to create holidays that celebrate animals and to help save unwanted pets.

She came up with Dress Your Pet Up Day in 2009, and she’s also responsible for various other holidays, including National Dog Day (established 2004), National Cat Day (established 2005), and National Horse Protection Day (established 2005).

However, this national “holiday” is not meant only for our amusement. It’s not meant to force your pet into a costume that will make them uncomfortable, particularly if you’re only doing it to show off your pet on social media or for a laugh.

Funny cat wearing pirate costume
Image By: Daykiney, Shutterstock

Should You Celebrate Dress Your Pet Up Day?

This is dependent on your pet. Some pets seem to enjoy being dressed up, while others hate it. If you’ve dressed your pet up before, you should already have an idea of how well this will go over.

If you already know that your cat hates wearing a hat or your dog really dislikes vests, then you shouldn’t force the issue just for this holiday.

But if your dog seems positively proud while wearing a little jean jacket, it’s the perfect day to celebrate for you both!

When Should You Dress Your Pet?

There usually isn’t any reason to dress most pets, except dogs. Some dogs need to wear outerwear and to have their paws protected against inclement weather. In the winter, dogs can wear boots, coats, and sweaters. There are also dog raincoats for rainy spring weather.

Some dogs also need clothing to help protect against the sun. This is particularly helpful for hairless dogs or those with bald spots. The clothing can also include footwear for protection from hot pavement.

Beyond outerwear, dogs and cats sometimes must wear specialized recovery suits after surgery. These are worn instead of the Elizabethan collar, also known as the cone of shame.

dog in a halloween costume
Image by: YamaBSM, Pixabay


Tips on Dressing Your Pet

Any outfit or piece of clothing that you pick out for your pet shouldn’t be too tight or restrict their movements in any way. There shouldn’t be any loose parts or small pieces, like buttons that your pet can chew off and swallow.

You should also ensure that your pet won’t get overheated, and they shouldn’t be left unattended while in the clothing. Remember to undress your dog when you get home if they have been out for a walk and are dressed for cold weather.

dog in a ghost costume
Image Credit By: Paige Cody, Unsplash

What If Your Pet Doesn’t Like Wearing Clothing?

Other options aren’t as intrusive as an entire outfit. Since most dogs and cats are already used to wearing a collar, you can try bow ties for cats and dogs, as well as bandanas. There are even neckties for formal events!

Some of these can be attached to the collar already worn by your pet, or you can pick up a collar that already has a tie or an accessory like a flower. If your dog or cat tries to chew on these dangling accessories, consider a unique new collar, like this glow-in-the-dark one or just something super colorful.

There are also fancy collars, and if your dog or cat is also used to wearing a harness, there are all kinds of fun harnesses, like this jacket one for cats or this Santa harness for dogs.

There are so many different options out there. It’s all a matter of how much your pet does or doesn’t enjoy wearing clothes and/or accessories.



Remember that National Dress Up Your Pet Day isn’t necessarily for every pet. If you know that your dog or cat doesn’t mind or even enjoys wearing a costume, then by all means, take your stylish pet for a walk in a fun or fancy outfit.

But if your pet seems truly unhappy in a costume, don’t make them wear it. Compromise with a colorful collar. While taking your pet out with an adorable tuxedo on might be fun for you, it might be downright stressful for your pet. So, if you suspect that your pet doesn’t like wearing a costume, as adorable as they might look, it isn’t worth making them miserable and distressed.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Stefan foto video, Shutterstock

Our vets

Want to talk to a vet online?

Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

Our vets