Celebrating Your Pet: May

Tons of holidays have been established to honor our animal companions, ranging from sweet and touching to unusual and wacky. We can't deny that these furry, feathered and scaly pals deserve some recognition for all the joy they bring us! Click through to see some pet holiday highlights for the month of May.

May Pet Holidays

Grey dog at the vet's office


Pet Cancer Awareness Month

No one wants to consider the possibility of a pet becoming ill from cancer, yet pets are just as susceptible to this deadly disease as humans are. Feline and canine cancer is the No. 1 cause of death in older pets, and organizations like Pet Cancer Awareness have made a mission out of educating the public about the risks and warning signs.

Close up dog snout


National Pet Week/Be Kind to Animals Week — May 5-12

For almost 100 years, Americans have celebrated National Be Kind to Animals Week, taking just a few days out of our busy schedules to give extra love and attention to our furry friends.

Established by the American Humane Association, this weeklong celebration serves as an opportunity to learn more about how shelters operate in your area. It's also a reminder to be extra vigilant in reporting potential animal abuse, a chance to appreciate the wildlife around us, a reason to take a moment to consider adopting a pet from your local shelter and an excuse to pamper your pets even more than usual.

Green frog sitting on sand


Frog Jumping Day — May 13

This year’s Frog Jumping Day falls mid-May, just as the spring peeper frogs of the northern parts of America emerge to celebrate the season with their delicate chorus.

This holiday has widely recognized ties to Mark Twain’s famous short story "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," an entertaining tale of a man, his trained jumping frog and a competition made dubious by a sneaky opponent. The tale has inspired frog-jumping contests the country over but especially during the annual Calaveras County Fair, held in the sunny California locale.

Microscopic shot of two Sea Monkeys


National Sea-Monkey Day — May 16

Every crustacean must have his day, and so it is for the humble brine shrimp, aka Sea-Monkey. Conceived in the late 1950s by American inventor Harold von Braunhut, these tiny creatures quickly became the obsession of every comic book-reading boy and girl in the country.

Sea-Monkey kits, including a tank and all the necessary ingredients to grow and — albeit briefly — sustain the lives of the brine shrimp, were sold on the back covers of popular comic book titles for decades, spawning a loyal base of Sea-Monkey fanatics. You can still buy the kits today, so order a few, sit back and marvel as hundreds of new aquatic pets come to life.

Side view of turtle on rock


World Turtle Day — May 23

These venerable reptiles enjoy a day of celebration across the globe, thanks to the nonprofit organization American Tortoise Rescue. First observed in 2000, the holiday is meant to raise awareness and appreciation for one of the oldest animals on our planet.

This year, consider taking some advice from ATR founders Susan Tellem and Marshall Thompson and donate time or funds to a local turtle rescue in solidarity with these majestic and mysterious creatures.

Man petting tabby kitten with white bib


International Hug Your Cat Day — May 30

Some celebrate May’s more cosmopolitan International Hug Your Cat Day, while others wait for National Hug Your Cat Day, traditionally observed June 4. There is some dispute about when and by whom the former observance was established and whether the two have simply been confused over the years. I think we can agree it doesn’t really matter — the gist is, give that sweet kitty a hug!


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