Five Ways to Celebrate World Animal Day this Sunday

Pet lovers around the globe will come together this Sunday for the annual celebration of World Animal Day.

Here are just some ways you can participate:

Get your pet blessed: Regardless of religion, you can take part in this ceremony, held each year in or around October 4, which is the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. Parishes around the country offer this service, during which people bring their dogs, cats, lizards, even goldfish to receive a blessing.

Come to the NYC Dog Film Festival: Remember as a kid how much of a treat it was to go to the movie theater? Now your dog can have that special experience, complete with a fancy celebrity-studded “pooch party” and dog-themed films at the first-ever New York City Dog Film Festival, taking place this weekend. Read more about that here.

Craft a Halloween costume: The holiday is just around the corner and since this weekend is predicted to be a rainy one, break out the craft supplies and see what creative costume you can come up with for your dog. Bonus: He’ll appreciate having you cooped up at home with him all day.

Donate: Find an organization that supports animals and offer a monetary donation in your pet’s name. At the American Kennel Club, the Canine Health Foundation, for instance, uses funds toward research to help prevent and treat canine illnesses. And the AKC Humane Fund offers grants to shelters that allow domestic abuse victims to bring their pets with them when leaving their violent situation.

Volunteer: If your dog does therapy work, try to get an extra session at a nursing home or a hospital in this weekend. The rain can make anyone a little gloomy, and you know more than anyone that a little affection from your furry friend goes a long way to making anything better.