Photo by ConeybeareAlthough your pet may wish you’d never heard about it, we feel it’s our responsibility to let you know that today is National Dress Up Your Pet Day.

Animal behaviorist and founder of National Dress Up Your Pet Day Colleen Paige notes that while this holiday is a perfect time to have your pet try on a cute outfit or functional coat, “it’s not a day to disrespect our pets with uncomfortable, vulgar and/or seasonally inappropriate costumes for the sake of a laugh or photo shoot.”

But if the weather outside is frightful, as it is at our local office today, this holiday can serve as the perfect excuse to buy your furry friend a cozy new sweater or weatherproof piece of outerwear. Shorthaired dogs and cats sometimes need a little help dressing appropriately for the weather, especially if they are going to be outside for a long period of time. Sidewalk salt can also wreak havoc on tender paws, so trying out a pair of adorable yet functional booties may also be a good idea.

And if it’s hot where you are right now, why not take a look at some of the highly effective cooling options — from vests to cow-print cowboy hats — designed to help keep fido fashionably cool when the mercury rises.

And even if the outfit isn’t totally functional, there’s no denying that some pets simply love to play dress up! As long as your dog or cat seems comfortable and relaxed, there’s no harm in having a little fun, and giving them a little extra attention, by asking them to model a little sweater, coat, hat or other creative costume.

If you feel inspired to take your dress up show on the road, why not volunteer to dress up some deserving shelter pets in “Adopt Me” vests and bandanas and take them for a walk downtown? Or, if feline fashion is more your cup of tea, volunteer to adorn some pretty kitties in bows or other catty clothing, and take them for a day out at a local adoption fair.

However you choose to celebrate, be sure to have fun while respecting your pet’s fashion comfort zone. And be sure to post photos to our Facebook site!