Pet holidays are the perfect time for veterinary teams to connect with pet owners on social, boost engagement with existing clients, and grab the attention of prospective clients. Yet with so many pet holidays, it can feel like herding cats trying to keep track of them all. To help you with that, below we’ve curated our annual list of upcoming pet holidays for easy reference in 2023. Download a PDF version or keep reading!

Fill in the form below to download our 2023 Pet Holidays calendar for your clinic to use:


The Complete List of 2023 Pet Holidays

Includes all-new pet holidays!

Since the word “holiday” denotes fun, we included a few of our favorite holidays. Somehow, we just know you and your veterinary team will find a way to celebrate National Pizza Day or National Donut Day.

Call it a hunch. 🙂


Monthly Celebrations:

  • Walk Your Dog Month
  • National Train Your Dog Month
  • Adopt a Rescued Bird Month
  • Unchain a Dog Month


January 1: New Year’s Day

January 2: National Pet Travel Safety Day

January 2: Happy Mew Year for Cats Day

January 5: National Bird Day

January 5: National Whipped Cream Day

January 14: National Dress Up Your Pet Day

January 15: National Hat Day

January 21: National Hug Day

January 22: National Answer Your Cat’s Question Day

January 23: National Pie Day

January 24: Change a Pet’s Life Day

January 28: National Have Fun at Work Day

January 29: National Seeing Eye Dog Day


valentine pet

Monthly Celebrations:

  • Pet Dental Health Month
  • Dog Training Education Month
  • National Cat Health Month
  • Responsible Pet Owners Month
  • National Prevent a Litter Month
  • Spay and Neuter Awareness Month
  • Adopt a Rescued Rabbit Month

Weekly Celebrations:

  • 7-14: Have a Heart for Chained Dogs Week
  • 20-26: National Justice for Animals Week


February 1: Chinese New Year

February 2: Groundhog Day

February 3: National Golden Retriever Day

February 3: National Doggie Date Night

February 9: National Pizza Day

February 13: Super Bowl Sunday

February 14: Pet Theft Awareness Day

February 14: Valentine’s Day

February 17: Random Acts of Kindness Day

February 20: Love Your Pet Day

February 21: Family Day

February 21: Presidents Day

February 22: National Walk Your Dog Day

February 22: World Spay Day

February 23: International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day


Woman sitting with her dog looking at her phone

Monthly Celebrations:

  • Poison Prevention Awareness Month
  • Adopt a Rescued Guinea Pig Month

Weekly Celebrations:

  • March 7-13: Professional Pet Sitters Week
  • March 20-26: National Animal Poison Prevention Week


March 1: National Pig Day

March 1: Pancake Tuesday

March 3: World Wildlife Day

March 3: If Pets Had Thumbs Day

March 8: International Women’s Day

March 13: K9 Veterans Day

March 14: National Save a Spider Day

March 17: St. Patrick’s Day

March 20: International Day of Happiness

March 23: National Puppy Day

March 23: Cuddly Kitten Day

March 28: Respect Your Cat Day

March 30: Take a Walk in the Park Day



Monthly Celebrations:

  • National Heartworm Awareness Month
  • National Greyhound Adoption Month
  • National Pet First Aid Awareness Month
  • Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month
  • Prevent Lyme Disease in Dogs Month

Weekly Celebrations:

  • April 1-7: International Pooper Scooper Week
  • April 1-7: National Raw Feeding Week
  • April 10-16: National Dog Bite Prevention Week
  • April 10-16: National Wildlife Week
  • April 10-16: National Animal Control Officer Appreciation Week
  • April 17-23: National Pet ID Week
  • April 17-23: Animal Cruelty/Human Violence Awareness Week
  • April 24-30: National Scoop the Poop Week


April 1: April Fools’ Day

April 2: National Ferret Day

April 2: Every Day Is Tag Day

April 4: World Stray Animals Day

April 4: World Rat Day

April 6: National Walking Day

April 6: National Siamese Cat Day

April 7: World Health Day

April 8: National Dog Fighting Awareness Day

April 10: National Hug Your Dog Day

April 11: National Pet Day

April 11: Dog Therapy Appreciation Day

April 11: Celebrate Shelter Pets Day

April 12: National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day

April 12: World Hamster Day

April 15: Passover begins

April 15: Good Friday

April 15: National Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day

April 17: Easter

April 18: Pet Owners Independence Day

April 19: National Cat Lady Day

April 19: Pet Owners Day

April 21: Bulldogs Are Beautiful Day

April 22: Earth Day

April 23: Passover ends

April 23: National Lost Dog Awareness Day

April 24: National Pet Parents Day

April 25: World Penguin Day

April 27: International Guide Dog Day

April 27: National Administrative Professionals Day

April 27: National Little Pampered Dog Day

April 28: National Kids and Pets Day

April 29: National Hairball Awareness Day

April 30: National Tabby Day

April 30: National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day

April 30: National Therapy Animal Day

April 30: World Veterinary Day


Monthly Celebrations:

  • Chip Your Pet Month
  • Pet Cancer Awareness Month
  • Responsible Animal Guardian Month
  • National Pet Month
  • Lyme Disease Prevention Month
  • National Service Dog Eye Examination Month

Weekly Celebrations:

  • May 1-7: Puppy Mill Action Week
  • May 1-7: National Pet Week
  • May 1-7: Be Kind to Animals Week
  • May 3-9: Dog Anxiety Week


May 1: National Purebred Dog Day

May 1: National Chocolate Parfait Day

May 1: May Day

May 2: Mayday for Mutts

May 3: National Specially-abled Pets Day

May 4: Bird Day

May 4: Star Wars Day

May 5: Cinco de Mayo

May 5: Cinco de Meow Day

May 7: Wildfire Preparedness Day

May 8: National Coconut Cream Pie Day

May 8: Mother’s Day

May 13: National Apple Pie Day

May 14: International Chihuahua Appreciation Day

May 14: National Dog Mom Day

May 14: National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day

May 19: National Devil’s Food Cake Day

May 20: National Rescue Dog Day

May 20: National Pizza Party Day

May 21: World Dog Day

May 23: World Turtle Day

May 23: Victoria Day

May 28: National Hamburger Day

May 30: Memorial Day

May 30: International Hug Your Cat Day


Monthly Celebrations:

  • Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month
  • National Pet Preparedness Month
  • National Microchipping Month
  • Social Petworking Month

Weekly Celebrations:

  • June 5-11: Pet Appreciation Week
  • June 13-20: Animal Rights Awareness Week
  • June 20-24: Take Your Pet to Work Week


June 1: National Running Day

June 3: National Donut Day

June 4: National Hug Your Cat Day

June 4: International Corgi Day

June 7: National Chocolate Ice Cream Day

June 8: National Best Friends Day

June 14: World Pet Memorial Day

June 19: Father’s Day

June 20: Ugliest Dog Day

June 20: Take Your Cat to Work Day

June 21: National Indigenous Peoples Day

June 21: National Dog Party Day

June 24: Cat World Domination Day

June 24: Take Your Dog to Work Day

June 28: National Insurance Awareness Day


Monthly Celebrations:

  • National Doghouse Repairs Month
  • National Lost Pet Prevention Month
  • National Pet Hydration Awareness Month


July 1: Canada Day

July 1: National ID Your Pet Day

July 2: International Dog Day

July 4: Independence Day

July 7: World Chocolate Day

July 10: National Kitten Day

July 11: All-American Pet Photo Day

July 15: National Pet Fire Safety Day

July 16: World Snake Day

July 17: National Ice Cream Day

July 21: National Craft for Your Local Shelters Day

July 21: No Pet Store Puppies Day

July 25: National Hot Fudge Sundae Day

July 26: National Dog Photography Day

July 30: International Day of Friendship

July 30: National Cheesecake Day

July 31: National Mutt Day

Dogust (a.k.a. August)

summer pet safe

Monthly Celebrations:

  • National Immunization Awareness Month

Weekly Celebrations:

  • August 7-13: International Assistance Dog Week


August 1: Universal Birthday for Shelter Dogs

August 2: National Ice Cream Sandwich Day

August 4: Assistance Dog Day

August 8: International Cat Day

August 10: National Spoil Your Dog Day

August 10: National Lazy Day

August 15: National Check the Chip Day

August 15: National Relaxation Day

August 17: National Black Cat Appreciation Day

August 17: International Black Cat Day

August 20: Clear the Shelters Day

August 20: International Homeless Animals Day

August 22: National Take Your Cat to the Vet Day

August 23: International Blind Dog Day

August 26: National Dog Day

August 26: Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day

August 30: National Holistic Pet Day


Monthly Celebrations:

  • National Preparedness Month
  • Responsible Dog Ownership Month
  • National Pet Memorial Month
  • Pet Sitter Education Month
  • Happy Healthy Cat Month
  • National Service Dog Month
  • National Pet Insurance Month
  • Animal Pain Awareness Month

Weekly Celebrations:

  • 18-24: Adopt a Less Adoptable Pet Week
  • 18-24: National Deaf Pet Awareness Week; National Dog Week


September 1: Ginger Cat Appreciation Day

September 3: International Bacon Day

September 5: Labor Day

September 8: National Dog Walker Appreciation Day

September 11: National Pet Memorial Day

September 11: National Hug Your Hound Day

September 13: International Chocolate Day

September 13: Pet Birth Defect Awareness Day

September 15: National Double Cheeseburger Day

September 17: Puppy Mill Awareness Day

September 17: Responsible Dog Ownership Day

September 17: National Pet Bird Day

September 20: Love Your Pet Day

September 22: Remember Me Thursday

September 23: Dogs in Politics Day

September 24: International Rabbit Day

September 25: Rosh Hashanah begins

September 27: Rosh Hashanah ends

September 28: World Rabies Day


adopt a cat

Monthly Celebrations:

  • National Pit Bull Awareness Month
  • National Pet Wellness Month
  • National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month
  • National Animal Safety and Protection Month

Weekly Celebrations:

  • 2-8: National Walk Your Dog Week
  • 2-8: Animal Health Week
  • 16-22: National Veterinary Technician Week


October 1: International Coffee Day

October 1: National Black Dog Day

October 1: National Fire Pup Day

October 1: National Walk Your Dog Day

October 4: Yom Kippur begins

October 4: World Pets Day

October 4: Yom Kippur ends

October 7: World Smile Day

October 10: Indigenous People Day

October 10: Thanksgiving (Canada)

October 12: National Pet Obesity Awareness Day

October 15: National Fetch Day

October 16: National Feral Cat Day

October 21: National Pets for Veterans Day

October 27: National Back Cat Day

October 29: National Cat Day

October 29: National Pit Bull Awareness Day

October 31: Halloween


Thanksgiving pet

Monthly Celebrations:

  • National Pet Cancer Awareness Month
  • National Pet Adoption Month
  • Adopt a Senior Pet Month
  • National Pet Diabetes Month

Weekly Celebrations:

  • 6-12: National Animal Shelter and Rescue Appreciation Week


November 1: International Pet Groomer Appreciation Day

November 1: National Cook for Your Pets Day

November 7: National Canine Lymphoma Awareness Day

November 11: Remembrance Day; Veterans Day

November 13: World Kindness Day

November 14: World Diabetes Day

November 17: National Take a Hike Day

November 23: Wolfenoot

November 24: Thanksgiving (U.S.)

November 25: Black Friday

November 26: National Cake Day

November 29: Cyber Monday


Holiday-Pet-Food-SafetyMonthly Celebrations:

  • National Cat Lovers Month


December 2: National Mutt Day

December 4: National Cookie Day

December 5: International Volunteer Day

December 9: International Day of Veterinary Medicine

December 10: International Animal Rights Day

December 13: National Cocoa Day

December 15: National Cat Herder’s Day

December 18: Hanukkah begins

December 21: Winter Solstice

December 24: Christmas Eve

December 25: Christmas Day

December 26: Hanukkah ends

December 26: Boxing Day

December 26: Kwanzaa begins

December 31: New Year’s Eve

Please note: Days and dates for pet holidays may change. Before posting anything, we recommend a quick Google search to ensure the date remains correct.

7 Holiday Foods NOT to Feed Pets

christmas cat dog eating

1. Grapes, Raisins and Currants

Found in fruitcakes, traditional holiday puddings and breads, grapes, raisins and currants can cause kidney failure in dogs. Since researchers have yet to pinpoint the exact agent that makes these fruits so toxic, any ingestion should be cause for concern, regardless of the grape variety.

Poisoning in dogs has occurred from:

  • Seedless and seeded grapes
  • Commercial and homegrown fruits
  • Red and green grapes/raisins
  • Organic and non-organic fruits
  • Grape pressings from wineries

Foods containing grapes, raisins and currants (including everyday foods like raisin bran cereal, trail mix and granola mix) are all potential sources of poison for dogs.

2. Macadamia Nuts

Common to holiday cookie recipes, macadamia nuts are considered poisonous for dogs. Though researchers are still trying to identify the specific toxin that affects dogs, both raw and roasted macadamia nuts are considered dangerous.

Signs of macadamia nut poisoning include:

  • Lethargy
  • Joint stiffness or hind limb weakness
  • Increased body temperature or fever
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting

According to numerous animal poison control agencies, macadamia nut poisoning in dogs can also cause inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis).

3. Foods Sweetened with Xylitol

As a sugar substitute widely found in diet baked goods, gum, candies and other foods, xylitol is safe for human consumption. Yet for dogs, xylitol can be lethal. Xylitol is rapidly absorbed into a pet’s bloodstream and can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), liver failure, seizures and even death in dogs.

Signs of xylitol poisoning include:

  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Difficulty walking or standing
  • Loss of energy
  • Tremors

4. Chocolate

All forms of chocolate are toxic to dogs (and cats) because of theobromine, a compound similar to caffeine. At doses over 40 mg/kg, cardiac symptoms can be seen, including racing heart rate, high blood pressure or irregular heartbeat, and doses around 200 mg/kg can be fatal.

The darker and more bitter the chocolate, the more dangerous it is. While milk chocolate only contains about 44-58 mg of theobromine per ounce, baking chocolate and dark chocolate can contain 130-450 mg of theobromine per ounce.

Signs of chocolate poisoning include:

  • Agitation and hyperactivity
  • Drooling, vomiting and diarrhea
  • Increased thirst, panting or restlessness
  • Excessive urination
  • Racing heart rate

5. Alcohol

As the intoxicating agent found in beer, wine and liquor, ethanol (a.k.a. alcohol) affects dogs in much the same way that it affects humans. Ethanol depresses a dog’s central nervous system to commonly cause drowsiness, lack of coordination and unconsciousness. Signs of advanced ethanol poisoning include:

  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Depression or vocalization
  • Slowed breathing and heart rate
  • Involuntary urination or defecation
  • Acidosis, hypothermia, hypoglycemia or hypotension
  • Seizures or coma
  • Heart attack

6. Unbaked Bread Dough

When ingested by dogs, unbaked bread dough results in the production of ethanol from the fermentation of sugars by certain species of yeast. As such, the consumption of unbaked bread dough presents most of the same symptoms and risks listed previously under Alcohol, including vomiting, incontinence, respiratory distress, seizures and heart attack.

Other signs of poisoning from unbaked bread dough include:

  • Distended, painful abdomen (from gasses produced by fermentation)
  • Gastric obstruction with the potential for gastric dilation (twisted stomach)

7. Onions and Garlic

Onions and garlic contain a substance called thiosulphate, which causes a form of anemia in dogs and cats due to an abnormal breakdown of red blood cells, though signs and symptoms may not appear right away. Onions don’t have to be raw to be potentially lethal to pets. Toxicity can occur from fried, dehydrated or powdered onions in food. Garlic contains significantly higher concentrations of thiosulphate than onions, meaning just a little can be dangerous.

Signs of poisoning from garlic or onions include:

  • Weakness and lethargy
  • Vomiting, nausea or diarrhea
  • Reddish discoloration of urine
  • Excessive drooling or a wobbly gait (ataxia)
  • Elevated heart rate or increased panting
  • Pale gums
  • Abdominal discomfort

The old adage “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” remains true today when it comes to protecting your pet from toxic foods during the holidays.

Don’t leave foods unattended on coffee tables and other places where foods are easily consumed by curious pets. Put leftovers away and take out the trash so pets aren’t tempted to raid the scraps.

How to Keep Your Pets Safe This Holiday Season

Jack Russel Terrier wearing costume reindeer antlers sit a table in front of roasted turkey. High angle view. Photo was taken in color in Quebec Canada.

Here are 5 tips to help keep your furry friends safe and happy this holiday season!

1. Pass on the plants

Many common holiday plants that beautify and brighten your home can be hazardous to your pet’s health. Holly berries and mistletoe can be toxic to pets. Ingesting large amounts of mistletoe can cause abnormal heart rate, collapse, low blood pressure, seizures, and death. Holly contains saponins which cause gastrointestinal upset (vomiting and diarrhea) and the spiny leaves can cause injury to the stomach. Lilies are popular in floral arrangements but are extremely toxic to cats. Exposure to any part of the plant – even the water in the vase – causes kidney failure in cats. Amaryllis bulbs are a common holiday gift, but be aware that consumption of the bulbs, leaves, and stems can cause vomiting, low blood pressure, and respiratory depression. While poinsettias have a bad rap for being toxic, the fact is that they’re not very toxic at all! If pets are exposed to the milky sap, they may develop some skin irritation and if ingested, they may drool or vomit.

2. Tether the tree!

Some pets just can’t help themselves and will try to scale a Christmas tree to get a closer look at the glittery ornaments or twinkling lights, or find a good perch to look out the window. If the tree isn’t secure, it could come crashing down as your pet scales the trunk, damaging your ornaments, making a giant mess, or worse yet, injuring your cat. Avoid decorating the lower part of your tree to prevent curious cats and dogs from batting or chewing on glass balls, ornaments, and lights. Don’t use tinsel on your tree – if ingested by a pet, it can cause a serious surgical condition called a linear foreign object. Many animals like to chew on electrical cords which can result in burns or electrocution. Keep cords tucked away and keep your pets away from the tree.

3. Stash the sweets and treats

Treats sweetened with xylitol can be especially dangerous for dogs. Xylitol can be found in a variety of products including sugarless gum and candies, as well as peanut butter, toothpaste, lotions, facial products, deodorant, and skin gels. Even consuming small amounts can cause low blood sugar and liver failure. If your pet ingests any product containing xylitol, contact your veterinarian immediately. While hot cocoa can be a nice festive treat on cold snowy days, keep this beverage away from your pets. Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine and ingesting just 2-3 ounces of dark chocolate can make a 50-pound dog very sick, causing vomiting, diarrhea, elevated heart rate, tremors, seizures, and even death. Call your veterinarian immediately if your pet has ingested chocolate.

4. Cap the candles and mind the fire

Kinaras, menorahs, and festive candles are an important part of holiday traditions. Never leave candles unattended; it only takes one flick or wag of a tail to topple a candle. Singed hair, burns, and fires are preventable. Consider using battery-powered candles and if you do use real candles be sure they’re out of reach of pets and extinguished after use. Fires – both traditional wood-burning and gas fireplaces – create a charming ambience, but pets can get burned or singed. Pets may be drawn to rest near a fire to get some extra warmth on cool damp days. Supervise your pet, train him to stay away, use a fireplace screen for added protection, and keep pet beds away from the hearth to prevent burns and fires.

5. Tuck away the turkey…and the trash!

Including your pet in your festive meal is tempting, but serious gastrointestinal upset with a sudden change in diet can occur. Rich fatty foods not only can cause vomiting and diarrhea, they can also cause a serious and painful condition called pancreatitis. Cooked turkey bones are brittle and can cause injuries to the mouth and throat, choking, obstruction (blockage) of the throat or gastrointestinal tract, and rectal bleeding from sharp bone pieces. When cleaning up after your delicious festive meal, make sure that the garbage is inaccessible to your pets. Tasty strings used in tying the turkey, juices in foil pans, plastic wrap with chocolate icing can be tempting for curious pets.

Being mindful of a few safety measures can prevent illness and emergency trips to your veterinarian over the holidays. 

Happy holidays to you and yours from all of us at LifeLearn Animal Health!