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Specially Abled Pets Day: When It Is & How to Celebrate

Written by: Ashley Bates

Last Updated on June 22, 2024 by Dogster Team

dog in wheelchair at a park

Specially Abled Pets Day: When It Is & How to Celebrate

All animals deserve our love and attention, no matter their age or body type. Many domestic pets are out there waiting to prove that they can provide companionship, devotion, and loyalty to a family if they are given the chance.

To spotlight certain pets that just don’t seem to get the right kind of attention, Specially Abled Pets Day was formed, and it’s celebrated annually on May 3. This holiday was meant to educate the masses about pets with special needs and end the stigma surrounding these animals.1

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What Is Specially Abled Pets Day?

Special pets deserve a special day. No matter an animal’s circumstances, they need love! This day was crafted to spread the word about special needs shelter animals so together, we can have a more positive and well-received outlook of these types of pets and increase their adoption rates.

Since Specially Abled Pets Day is celebrated on May 3 of every year, the weather is usually beautiful! It’s a great day to get out and celebrate. Any animal lover with a passion for all things pets can participate in this event, and the more, the merrier!

woman hugging her dog at night
Image Credit: Chay_Tee, Shutterstock

What Are Some Examples of Specially Abled Pets?

What exactly matches the definition of a “specially abled” pet? Obviously, this is an animal with some type of physical or mental disabililty. But what pets fall into this category?

First, we want to point out that virtually any pet that’s a bit different can be considered specially abled, but the following are three of the most common types of specially abled pets.

Blind Pets

Visually impaired pets might scare people off. After all, how can you accommodate a dog that can’t see? Can they get around at all? But don’t let a pet’s blindness deter you. It’s not as much work to accommodate as you might initially think.

You can easily accommodate dogs with special needs such as this, as they will rely on their other senses to help them get around. So, make sure you don’t cross any adoption candidate off your list just because they can’t see.

blind chihuahua dog
Image Credit: Shchus, Shutterstock

Deaf Pets

Some pets can be totally or partially deaf. Deafness is common in certain breeds, including Dalmatians. Can you imagine owning a deaf pet? While you will certainly need to make sure they stay safe and sound, taking care of a deaf pet is not as complicated as it sounds. They seem to make up for their lack of hearing quite well by using their other senses, such as smell and sight.


Surprisingly, one of the only limitations that an amputee dog seems to face is the complexity of weight gain. They don’t carry excess weight well because it is not evenly distributed and can cause movement problems.

Most of the time, though, if the dog has had one of their limbs amputated, they compensate for it quite smoothly. Some of them might need special accommodations, but they get along pretty well after that. If they are at a dog shelter or rescue, chances are that any of their accessibility hardware has already been paid for.

So, you essentially only have to deal with upkeep and making sure any accommodations are met thereafter.

three-legged dog on the ground
Image Credit: ArnuphapY, Shutterstock

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How Can You Celebrate Specially Abled Pets Day?

If you’re looking for ideas on what to do in celebration, we have a few for you!

Spread the Word

You can always spread the word about Specially Abled Pets Day! It is a perfect opportunity to spotlight animals that don’t have the typical lure. Perhaps you could tug on some heartstrings by writing a lengthy, heartfelt message along with a picture of a specially abled dog.

Posting on social media can really get people thinking. It’s amazing how fast word spreads and how much of an impact it can actually have. Encourage your friends and family to share anything that you might post. You might get a pet or two adopted this holiday.

person holding black android smartphone
Image Credit: Jonas Leupe, Unsplash

Educate Folks

Now would be a good time to educate others about pets with disabilities. Many people do not know exactly what caring for one of these animals actually entails. They might think that they don’t have what it takes, without realizing how mistaken they might be.

Plus, it is a great way to end the stigma around disabled pets being disposable.

Volunteer at a Favorite Facility

If you have spare time, you can always try volunteering at a local rescue or shelter. There are bound to be some animals with a physical or mental disability. You could take this as a special opportunity to give them extra attention.

Shelters are always low on volunteers, so they can use all the help they can get! It’s a great way to really give back to the community while making yourself feel accomplished in the process. A little bit certainly makes a difference in the life of a special shelter pet.

female volunteer with homeless dogs at animal shelter
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

Support the Pets You Love

You can do your best to support specially abled pets on this day. Whether the shelter needs donations for medication or other treatments or they just need cash for standard supplies, you can donate your money or resources to help a good cause.

You can even look for specialized organizations that deal with special needs pets.

Adopt a Pet

If you have the time, money, resources, and gumption, you could always adopt a specially abled pet to celebrate. There are tons of animals out there waiting for someone to give them a chance. You could take this as an opportunity to do just that.

Bringing home any pet is a big decision, though, especially if they require special accommodations. So, it’s certainly something that you should think long and hard about before acting on, but it’s a great day to make that final decision if you’ve already been pondering it.

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So, now you know what Specially Abled Pets Day is all about. It’s just another way to spread the word about extra-special furry pets that need homes! You might even end up welcoming a new buddy to your home too!

Featured Image Credit: Jose Luis Stephens, Shutterstock

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