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

Written by: Ashley Bates

Last Updated on March 12, 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 the age or shape of their sweet bodies. Many animals out there are waiting to prove that they can provide companionship, devotion, and loyalty to their family if you just give them the chance.

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

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What Is Specially Abled Pets Day?

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

Because Specially Abled Pets Day is celebrated on May 3rd of every year, the weather is usually beautiful! It’s a great day to get out and celebrate. Specially Abled Pets Day is a day that any animal lover with a passion for all things pets can celebrate! 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 a pet with some type of physical or mental anomaly. So, what pets fall into this category?

Before we get started, we want to point out that virtually any pet that’s a bit different can fit in with specially abled pets, but the following are three of the most common types of specially abled pets. Let’s delve in a little deeper.

Blind Pets

Visually impaired pets might scare people off. After all, how would you accommodate a dog that can’t see? Could they get around it all? It sounds like a lot of work. But don’t let it deter you. It’s not as much work as you would think initially.

You can easily accommodate dogs with special needs such as this, and just like with deaf pets, they will rely on their other senses to help them get around. So, make sure you don’t cross any 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 dogs such as Dalmatians. Could you ever imagine yourself owning a deaf pet? While you will certainly need to make sure that these pets are safe and sound, taking care of a deaf pet might not be as complicated as it sounds. They seem to make up for their lack of hearing very well by using their other senses, smell and sight, instead.


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

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

So, you essentially really 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 some ideas on what to do in celebration, we have a few ideas for you!

Spread the Word

You could always spread the word about Specially Abled Pets Day! It is a perfect opportunity to spotlight animals that don’t have a 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 other people about pets with disabilities. Many people do not know exactly what caring for one of these animals actually entails. Many might think that they don’t have what it takes without realizing how wrong 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 some spare time, you can always try volunteering at a local rescue or shelter. There are bound to be some animals with some physical or mental disability. You could take this as a special opportunity to give them a little extra attention.

Shelters are always very 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 money 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 on someone just to give them a chance. You could take this as an opportunity to do just that.

Bringing home any pet is a big decision, especially if they require special accommodations. So, it’s certainly something that you should think long and hard about before acting on it, 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 a home! You might even end up welcoming a new buddy to your home, too!

Featured Image Credit: Jose Luis Stephens, Shutterstock

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