Pet Day
Two "dogtors" finish an exhausting shift at a past Pet Day event. (Photo by Oregon State University)

Owning a pet seems to be trending these days. Over the past two years during the pandemic, apparently more people adopted pets. And because many offices closed down and allowed employees to work from home, a lot of folks got in some good bonding time with their pets.

Now, it’s time to get them out of the house for a little fun on May 7 at Oregon State University.

I’m referring to OSU’s Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine’s Pet Day, which runs 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on that Saturday. It will be the first Pet Day since 2019.

Promoters say leashed animals of all kinds are invited to attend with their humans.

“I think a lot of people are more in tune with little quirks their pets may have that they didn’t know about before the pandemic,” said Kayla Ashland, a second-year veterinary student.

Student organizers have scheduled a packed day of interactive and educational activities:

• Students will lead tours of the Lois Bates Acheson Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

• Brad’s World Reptiles will have an exhibit in the Magruder Hall atrium where participants can hold various animals. Outside, there will be llamas to pet and the OSU Sheep Barn will host an interactive station about sheep.

• There will also be a hands-on science station where attendees can try out microscopes, a teddy bear surgery station where students will help kids perform “surgery” on stuffed animals, and a “Wonders of Anatomy” exhibit in the anatomy lab for visitors who want to see skulls and other specimens.

• In the parking lot, students will offer free nail trims and dog washing. Donations are encouraged but not required. All proceeds will go toward veterinary student activities, including graduation.

• Outdoors, there will be a dog agility course where trainers from the local groups Best Friends Agility and WonderDogs will hold a few shows and competitions.

• New this year is the “Barkery,” where students will be baking and selling dog biscuits. For humans, food trucks will be on site selling Mediterranean food and OSU Creamery products.

• Cat owners are invited to submit pictures of their favorite felines for the Cat Photo Contest prior to April 28. And on the day of the event, there will be a Pet Costume Contest; owners can check in between 10:30 a.m. and noon, with judging from 12:30-2 p.m.

While on campus, visitors should also check out the new sculpture garden outside the veterinary school, where they’re encouraged to “boop” the beaver’s nose or pose for photos with the bronze animals.

“We wanted to give the public a lot of exposure to different animals, more than in the past, and also put a real emphasis on education,” said first-year student Michaela Rybolt. “A lot of people have pets they didn’t have two years ago and they have a lot of questions. We wanted to have education rolled into something fun.”

While you’re on campus, you’ll be able to see the 21,729-square-foot expansion of Magruder Hall, which features additional instruction space and allows for increased services at the small animal hospital.

Prior to the Pet Day activities at the hospital, owners and their leashed pets can join the 5K Fun Run at 9 a.m. with same-day registration opening at 7 a.m. — costumes are encouraged. The route winds around the northwest side of OSU’s campus. Register here.

(Brad Fuqua is publisher/editor of the Philomath News. He can be reached at

Brad Fuqua, Philomath News

Brad Fuqua has covered the Philomath area since 2014 as the editor of the now-closed Philomath Express and currently as publisher/editor of the Philomath News. He has worked as a professional journalist since 1988 at daily and weekly newspapers in Nebraska, Kansas, North Dakota, Arizona, Montana and Oregon.