Dressing up your pet? There’s a day for it, of course

The holidays weren’t as festive for many Dayton families this year as the pandemic kept celebrations to a minimum. But here’s something that can put a little spark into a gloomy winter.

Jan. 14 is National Dress Up Your Pet Day, a light‑hearted pet celebration.

The holiday was created by leading pet lifestyle expert Colleen Paige. She encourages pet owners to take time on this day to have fun with their dogs, cats and other pets by dressing them up in cute, safe outfits and costumes.

“It’s important to remember, however, that 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,” Paige wrote on the event’s website.

In general, dress your pets in clothing made of breathable fabric that allows them to see, hear, breathe, eat and relieve themselves.

If your pet doesn’t love dressing up and you still want to participate, a bow tie or bandanna is usually a good option. My family’s 6-year-old Lab, Teddy, doesn’t like dressing up. We’ve tried. He sulks and then rolls around trying to remove the clothing. We go with bandannas. Pip, our 1-year-old cat, wears fanciful collars. He is currently sporting a blue collar with an embroidered snowflake border and snowflake charm.

National Dress Up Your Pet Day was made for fashionista dogs like Bon Bon, a, 7-year-old gray-and-white American Staffordshire Terrier. Her parents, Bellbrook residents Shannon and Garth Geilenfeldt, adopted Bon Bon from Adopt-A-Pit four years ago.

The American Kennel Club describes the breed as “confident, smart and good‑natured.” That’s Bon Bon. Shannon said the pooch loves to be with people. The Staffie is always happy and never has a bad day.

Bon Bon loves wearing collars, hoodies, sweatshirts and robes. She has multiple collars from Project Warmth and has even modeled for that organization.

The first Christmas that Shannon and Garth had Bon Bon they took a photo of her next to a decorated tree for their holiday cards. The next year, Shannon thought they could do better. She looked at websites, including Pinterest, for ideas. That year’s card was a take on “A Christmas Story.” Bon Bon donned a pink bunny suit like the movie’s main character, Ralphie. She posed with the infamous bowling ball and Red Ryder BB gun.

Subsequent years’ Christmas card themes included “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” “Home Alone” and this year’s, “The Grinch,” with Shannon dressed as Cindy Lou Who, Garth as the Grinch and Bon Bon as Max.

Bon Bon celebrates holidays in the appropriate attire. For Easter she wears a daisy print dress complete with a daisy bonnet. At Halloween, she’s been a fairy princess, a Starbucks “Bon Bon-ccino,” unicorn, bumble bee and, last year, a little old lady. Every Christmas, Bon Bon decks herself out in a Mrs. Claus dress complete with faux fur trim.

The pooch proudly wears jerseys of her parents’ favorite sports teams including the Chicago Blackhawks and New England Patriots. Bon Bon even has a Liverpool jersey for the Premier League soccer season.

Shannon knows dogs don’t see color the way humans do, but Bon Bon seems to gravitate toward pink clothing. “We could line her clothes up for her to pick out what to wear,” Shannon says, “and she will always pick something pink.”

Bon Bon is right. Pink does highlight her gray-and-white coloring.


To follow Bon Bon and her latest fashion choices, check out her Instagram page: Bonbon the amstaff