In honor of the vibrant and inclusive celebration of Gay Pride Month this June, renowned pet company PetSmart has unveiled an exciting array of LGBTQ-friendly outfits, catering to our beloved furry friends. From adorable bikinis and tutus for dogs and cats to rainbow-themed ensembles, PetSmart’s new “You Are Loved” collection aims to spread love, acceptance, and joy among pets and their owners during this special month.
While PetSmart has been actively supporting Pride Month since 2019, this year’s release of the gay pride-inspired clothing and accessories for pets has stirred up a mix of reactions on social media. Some conservative voices, expressing their discontent, have gone as far as threatening to boycott PetSmart for their latest collection of rainbow-colored garments, toys, and pet-related items.
One staunch conservative voiced their disapproval on social media, stating, “From the ‘Pride Shop’ at PetSmart. ‘You are loved PRIDE Dog Dress and Bikini.’ This is unacceptable. Please boycott.” Similarly, another individual expressed concern for their Catahoula dog, expressing doubts about their pet’s reaction to the outfits.
Echoing the sentiment, someone else firmly declared, “Another place to studiously avoid,” making it clear that they were prepared to initiate a boycott without hesitation. Taking it a step further, another Twitter user rallied conservatives, tweeting, “To @PetSmart – Congratulations! We just added PetSmart to our permanent boycott list,” emphasizing the company’s decision to offer rainbow-themed clothing for dogs and cats.
Criticism even extended to pet owners who would consider purchasing these Pride-themed items for their beloved companions. One outspoken critic tweeted, “Don’t care what’s printed on the fabric, but my heart goes out to dogs whose ‘owners’ would put them in a freakin’ bikini. Such papers must be mortified.”
Despite the backlash, PetSmart’s commitment to supporting Pride Month remains unwavering, having promoted the event for several years. While some individuals were not surprised by the availability of Pride merchandise at PetSmart, as it has become a recurring offering, others expressed their support for the company’s inclusivity efforts. One person shared, “How pathetic. PetSmart always has #Pride merchandise. My dog’s favorite toy is a crinkle rainbow I bought several years ago,” in response to a Newsweek story highlighting the conservative backlash.
Another supporter chimed in, saying, “Good for you, @petsmart, for standing firm in your support of all people, whoever they are and whoever they love. Our dogs will greatly enjoy their ‘#Pride’ donuts!”
In May 2023, PetSmart’s senior vice president and chief merchandising officer, Kristin Shane, issued a statement expressing the company’s immense pride in continuing to promote Pride Month this year. Shane emphasized the significance of PetSmart’s “You Are Loved” collection, which was inspired by their dedicated associate resource group members, aiming to assist pet parents in celebrating the spirit of Pride and embracing the values of inclusion and unconditional love.
This year’s Pride Month products mark the fourth consecutive year in which PetSmart proudly supports and celebrates the LGBTQ+ community among pet owners who frequent their stores.