When you adopt a pet, you may not know their actual birthday … you might not even know their exact age. That’s why so many owners of adopted pets celebrate their pet’s “Gotcha Day”!

A “Gotcha Day” is the anniversary of your pet’s adoption day. So whether you’re celebrating one week, one month, or annually, your pet’s “Gotcha Day” is a great opportunity to acknowledge and thank our pets for the love and joy they bring into our lives every day.

While there are many ways to celebrate the day you first brought your pet home, we’ve put together our top 8 pet adoption day ideas to honor your pet.

Illustrated dog with a present and party hat.

Special Meal or Treat

What better way to celebrate than with your pet’s favorite treat? Whether you bake your cat or dog a special pet–friendly cake or buy their favorite store–bought treat, they’re sure to be happy! Make it an event by letting them help you prepare their Gotcha Day treat — they’ll love getting to play “taste–tester.”

Host a Playdate

If your dog (or sociable cat) has a particular buddy they enjoy playing with, host them for a playdate. If your dog needs more room to run, head to the local dog park for frolicking fun!

Let Them Pick Out a Gotcha Day Gift

Take your dog or adventurous cat on a trip to the pet supply store. They can walk through and pick their own Gotcha Day gift! If your cat or dog doesn’t appreciate trips outside of the house, pick them out a toy or treat you know they’ll love, or bring home a few options to see what their “toy-type” is.

Spend Time with Your Pet

There’s nothing your pet loves more than getting to spend quality time with you. Take some time to do an activity your pet enjoys together. Grab a teaser toy and play with your cat, or set aside extra time for fetch with your dog. If your dog isn’t as active as they used to be, take them out for a meandering walk where they get to sniff to their heart’s content. And both older cats and dogs will enjoy extra snuggle time with you on the couch.

Commission a Pet Portrait

Celebrate and commemorate your pet by having a portrait made of them. You can commission a portrait of your cat or dog, or head to your local portrait studio for a picture to be taken of you together. There are lots of options online that can expertly photoshop your dog or cat into amusing outfits or famous art pieces. Who wouldn’t want to prominently feature their pet front and center in their art collection?

Gift Ideas for Cats
Pet Ownership
Gift Ideas for Cats
Gift Ideas for Dogs
Pet Ownership
Gift Ideas for Dogs

Throw a Party

If big celebrations are your pet’s idea of a good time, your pet’s adoption day is a great reason to celebrate. Host your pet’s friends (or yours) for a “paw–ty” with decorations, pet-friendly cupcakes or cake, fun training games, and party favors of treats and toys for guests to take home.

Donate to a Shelter or Rescue in Your Pet’s Name

Give other pets the opportunity to positively impact someone’s life by donating to a shelter or rescue in your pet’s name. Spread the word and raise more funds by sharing social media posts and telling your pet’s personal adoption story. These donations are vital to a shelter or rescue and allow them to house and feed pets while they get ready for adoption.

Share Your Pet’s Adoption Story

Your pet’s “Gotcha Day” is the perfect time to share your love for them on social media. Share their adoption story or your favorite memory of them and include a fun picture! Your pet’s story may even inspire others to adopt a dog or cat of their own!


The Zoetis Petcare Team

As the world’s largest animal health company, Zoetis develops and creates innovative products that improve the health of your pets. Their team of pet-lovers, scientists, vets, and more have dedicated over 65 years to advancing pet health. Their products are so trusted and effective, they’re in almost every vet practice in the country.