While we know you never need a reason to celebrate your pet, celebrating your pet’s Gotcha Day is just one of the many ways you can show them how much you love and care for them. Here are some ways you can make their Gotcha Day great!

What Is Gotcha Day?

For many adoptive pet owners, they don’t know their pet’s birthday. In place of that, many pet owners celebrate a Gotcha Day–the day they brought their pet home from the shelter! It’s a fun and unique way to celebrate your pet. Plus, it’s the perfect excuse to get another fun personalized pet gift or two for your favorite furry friend!

Humans have their own Gotcha Day, too! In fact, this is how Gotcha Day for pets got its name. Adopted children and their families celebrate the day the child was legally adopted as Gotcha Day. While some consider this day slightly sad because it reminds the children of their biological parents, others consider it an exciting and integral point for adopted children. It’s when they gained a family! 

The same goes for pets. While your pet might not be able to talk with you about their life prior to you adopting them, and they might carry traumas from past living situations, it’s still important that you celebrate the day you brought them home forever!

FitBark_puppy_couch_toy_gift | 8 Ways to Celebrate Your Dog’s (or Cat’s) Gotcha Day!

Gotcha Day Celebrations

A Gotcha Day celebration is literally a party for your pet. Here are some ideas that you can use to celebrate them! 

  • Special Park Trip: Take the day off from work and go to the dog park! Your dog will be so excited to go to the park on a day they don’t typically go. Take it a step further and arrange a meet-up between you and your friends so all the dogs in the friend group can enjoy some time together. Make sure to bring some extra treats and water!
  • Post Them on Social Media: Social media is one of the major avenues for change in today’s technological society. Use your social media platforms to tell your followers your pet’s story if you know it, or keep it bright and uplifting by acknowledging that this is the day you brought your furry friend home forever. It’s a great way to also ask your friends and family to donate to the local shelter you adopted your pet from.
  • Host a Gotcha Day Party: Take the Gotcha Day experience to the next level with an in-person party for your pet! Invite all your favorite dog owners and their furry friends over for some dog-friendly treats and photos. Decorate your home with balloons, streamers and any other decorations you know will make the event that much more special. Just make sure all the decorations are out of a dog’s reach! You should also make sure to get some owner-friendly treats, too.
  • Order Yourself Something with Your Pet on It: Sure, this day is for them, but we all know it’s really for you. So get yourself something! You can find so many personalized items to put your pet’s face or image on, including socks and canvas prints. You’ll get to show your pet off everywhere you go!
  • Let Them Pick Their Gift: While at the pet store, put a few toys in front of your pet, and pick whichever one they gravitate toward! They’ll be so excited when you get home and they get to play with it. If you don’t tend to take them to the pet store–for example, if you own a cat or hamster–then bring home a few options and pack away the ones they don’t seem immediately interested in for another time. Those gifts will be perfect to put in their pet stocking at Christmas time!
  • Bake Them a Treat: Each animal breed has human foods they can eat for a sweet treat. Whether you bake a concoction for them or just give them something plain, their Gotcha Day is a perfect excuse for them to indulge in some safe human food. The best part is that you both can enjoy them together!

FitBark_cat_birthday_hat | 8 Ways to Celebrate Your Dog’s (or Cat’s) Gotcha Day!

  • Help Out at the Local Shelter: Take some time on your pet’s Gotcha Day to give back to the place you got them from. Volunteer a few hours of your time at your local shelter. You can monitor the desk, clean out cages, feed the animals or even take the dogs for their walks! The shelter will be so glad to see your face again and the staff will love to hear updated stories about your pet. If you don’t have any time to spare, you can always make a monetary donation or donate food and supplies. In fact, the shelter will probably let you make the donation in your pet’s name! Shelters rely heavily on donations, so it’s important you continue to support the place you got your beloved companion from. 
  • Get Your Pet Some Cool Clothes: Whether it’s a bandana, collar or a t-shirt just for them, celebrate their Gotcha Day with some adoption-day themed clothes or accessories! They’ll look super stylish in all the photos you’re going to take of them throughout the day. If you have a pet who lives in a cage, aquarium or glass enclosure, feel free to decorate the outside of their living quarters with gel stick-ons, stickers, streamers or any other decorations you can think of. You can even use window paint markers! 

Gotcha Day is the perfect opportunity to shower your furry friend with lots of love, cuddles and a social media show off. While they might not know what it’s all about, they will appreciate the extra attention! Celebrating Gotcha Day for all your pets is the perfect way for you to show them a little extra love and make them feel extra special. 


About the Author: Ashley Peterson is the Director of Marketing at GiftsForYouNow. Her favorite part of the job is connecting others with sentimental and personalized gifts that foster lifelong memories. Ashley is also a mother of two and enjoys spending time with her family and exploring the outdoors.