Big Business /

PetSmart Faces Threat of Boycott Over Pride Merchandise Including Dog Bikini

PetSmart and Petco both donated to LGBTQ+ organizations to demonstrate their commitment to the community

PetSmart angered consumers with its 2023 pride collection, prompting calls for a boycott of the nationwide chain.

The tag #BoycottPetSmart appeared on Twitter after photos of rainbow pet items sold to mark Pride Month circulated online. The store is offering rainbow “You Are Loved” plush toys, a “Pride Vibes” reptile costume, a butterfly cat harness, and a multicolored bikini for dogs.

Make treat time special for your dog while also reaffirming your belief in unconditional love,” the company wrote in the description of a dog treat frosted with the phrase “Love is Love.” “PetSmart believes that all people should be valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression.”

Above the listings for the collection’s items, PetSmart also noted its work with LGBTQ organizations to mark Pride Month 

“We proudly support the LGBTQ+ community with a $200,000 donation to GLSEN,” PetSmart noted on its website. “Celebrate the spirit of Pride with your pet!”

The company said the money will be used for “supporting youth and educators to advance a culture of inclusion.”

On Twitter, PetSmart was criticized for supporting “woke ideology” and promoting sexuality and gender expression through items meant for pets.


In a May 28 press release, PetSmart previously partnered with HRC Arizona Dinner, One Community, and Phoenix Pride. 

“With this collection and the donation to GLSEN, we want to show our continued support for the LGBTQ+ community and underscore our overarching belief that everyone is worthy of unconditional love,” said Kristin Shane, the senior vice president of merchandising for PetSmart. Shane is also the executive sponsor of Pride at Work, the company’s effort to raise awareness for LGBTQ+ people “within and outside of PetSmart.”

Melanie Willingham-Jaggers, the interim executive director at GLSEN, said her organization believes that “partnership between LGBTQ+ people and our allies is key to making the world a safer, affirming and celebratory place for LGBTQ+ children and young people.”

“In addition to financially supporting our vital programs and initiatives, brands like PetSmart are also reflecting the brilliant, beautiful and powerful community through products like those in the You Are Loved collection,” said Willingham-Jaggers.

GLSEN and PetSmart have partnered in previous years for Pride-related campaigns. 

Customers who “participate in their local Pride events wherever they can do so safely” and bring their pets or buy the merchandise are encouraged to share photos with the tag #PetSmartPride.

There are approximately 1,650 PetSmart locations in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

Petco, another chain pet supply retailer, also has a 2023 Pride collection which generated similar criticism online. The company is working with The Trevor Project, with 10% of all sales going to help the organization “amplify LGBTQ voices.” Petco has promised a minimum donation of $125,000.

Petco shoppers can buy their pets a “Proudest Rainbow” striped sweater, a Pride Rainbow costume, or a collar charm featuring the LGBTQ+, Transgender or Nonbinary pride flags.

*For corrections please email [email protected]*