15 Ways To Celebrate a Gotcha Day for Dogs: From Pet Store Trips to Sniffaris
A gotcha day for dogs is always a joyous event, a truly memorable experience worth commemorating year after year. Whether you adopted a rescue dog, couldn't resist keeping your foster pup, or took in a beloved pet of a friend or family member who needed peace of mind, you and your pooch have a lot to celebrate!
What Is Gotcha Day?
Loving pet parents recognize gotcha day when they don't know the actual birth date of their rescue dog. Instead, they highlight the day they adopted and brought home their new canine friend and began a wonderful life together filled with endless walkies, nuzzles, and adventures.
15 Ways To Celebrate Gotcha Day
Some pups pick up on your excitement and can't wait to play the day away, while others will simply be content with a tasty treat and to curl up beside you, basking in all the loving pats. You know your canine buddy best, but we're certain at least one of these "Happy Gotcha Day!" activities will make them feel extra special.
1. Host a Gotcha Party
This seems like the obvious celebration of your pup's time with you, doesn't it? Whip up a doggy playdate that's the envy of the dog park with these gotcha day party tips and dog-friendly picnic ideas.
2. Share Their Gotcha Stories on Social Media
Few things are as adorable as happy doggies filling our feeds! Just like Lenny the bulldog, Spike, and Fudge the beagle, your pup's gotchversary is worth sharing—preferably by chronicling your years together in a fun photo montage.
3. Visit a Pet Store for a New Toy
We're always curating playthings we think our dogs would like. However, this time, let your dog go through his favorite toy store to sniff all the toys and choose whichever pleases him! Picking one (or two!) might look something like this.
4. Donate to Your Local Animal Shelter
Your local animal shelter or rescue organization always—always—needs and appreciates donations of time, money, and other forms of support. Acknowledge the glorious gotcha day for your dog by being of service in some way.
5. Frolic through an Agility Course or Game
6. Double Gotcha Day
Ready for pup twins? Celebrate gotcha day times two by adopting a sibling for your pet! Confirm how much it costs ahead of time and maybe arrange to foster for a few weeks, too, just to make sure there's eventual harmony in the doghouse.
7. Take Them on an Extended 'Sniffari'
We look at dogs sniffing butts and think "Ewwww!" but for them, this is an extended news report on what's happening in the world. Canines have up to 300 million scent receptors in their noses, and they use all of them. So really thrill your four-pawed pal on his special day and visit a new location to let him simply sniff for 30–60 minutes—it's like going to a movie!
8. Ring in Yappy Hour
9. Pick Out a New Collar and ID Tag
Jazz up your pup with a snazzy new collar to celebrate gotcha day. Be it leather or sparkly, personalized or durable, collars add just the right amount of flair. Don't forget the ID tag! These glow-in-the-dark and Bluetooth-enabled options combine technology and style to keep your pooch safe.
10. Make Your Pup's Favorite Treat
Of course there should be cake, but what about other nummies, such as homemade treats you can make with your dog, crunchy cookies, and a safe-for-pups "nice" cream? Mmmm! He probably won't mind if you take a nibble or two as well.
11. Plan a Dog Park Tour
We often take our four-legged buds to the same dog park because, well, they look forward to seeing their friends there. But another way to celebrate a gotcha day is to take them on an adventure to a completely different park. New sniffs! New playmates!
12. Sign Up for New Training Classes
Even the most laid-back doggos love to learn new things. Positive reinforcement training classes are gifts that build both loyalty and your bond. Consider nose work training, sports such as flyball, or even basic cues and skills to keep him mentally and physically engaged.
13. Schedule a Spa Day
14. Arrange for a Pet Portrait
An annual dog gotcha day is the perfect opportunity to arrange for a special portrait showing your furball in all his glory, especially if it was an irresistible shelter photo that brought you together. Here are tips for how to take a great pet photo, or maybe hire a professional photographer to do the job. Then, create a custom portrait gift to enjoy until next year!