[Editor's note: Since Fourth of July falls in the middle of the week this year, we're bummed we didn't get a three-day weekend. Most likely, you're feeling the same way, so we've got some hard-hitting journalism here for you featuring cute animals in costumes. You're welcome! Happy Fourth of July!]
Holidays always serve as the perfect excuse to dress up your pets in ridiculous themed outfits.
So we've found some of the best examples of patriotic pets on the Internet to provide you with inspiration for your own star-spangled creations. Enjoy!
The tiniest animals are usually the cutest, but it's tough to find outfits small enough for their widdle fuzzy bodies. Plus, they tend to cry a lot, like Lil' Mittens here.
Sometimes the animals are too squiggly to wrestle into a costume. (You ever tried to put a squirrel in a pair of pants?)
Best to just prop them up with an adorable little American flag and pose them like a proud veteran, on a parade float, home from Squirrel War II.
Just so you know, your pet haaaaaaaates wearing costumes. But he does it because he knows how much you love it. Make sure to keep him full of Beggin' Strips all day to make up for this obvious public humiliation.
Old Charley here will thank you for it.
Ferrets are the exception to the previous rule. They love posing all sexy-like in their miniature hats.
Mindy here is especially fond of an on-location shoot, like on a beach where she can feel the wind and surf in her fur. But in her contract, she does demand her own trailer and plenty of bungee toys. (She's actually really high maintenance and hard to work with...)
Make sure the costume is good, or else you can end up with a pissed-off kitty like Mr. Grumblebutt here.
Some of the more bizarre pets we found were just made for costumes, and don't mind when their owners go the extra mile to provide the added dose of human charm.
Eddie here enjoys wearing dresses, and the goggles are helpful for keeping his crazy chihuahua eyes from popping out whenever he barks at cars, people, other dogs, birds, squirrels, babies, his own reflection, fireworks, loud noises, quiet noises, trees, walls, bugs, or generally anything.
What? That's a llama! In a hat!
Don't tread on Lil' Ernie here. He may look innocent, but if you try to take his American flag from him, he WILL SCRATCH YOUR EYES OUT.
But, seriously, look how cute he is.
Bert here qualified to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London in the long jump.
He's been crawling there for the last ten months and hopes to make it in time to carry the torch in the opening ceremonies.
Is that a hamster or a guinea pig? I can't ever tell the difference. All I know is that they smell bad.
Also, what's he doing out on the lawn? Those things run away if you don't put them in a cage with a wheel.
But look at that little Army hat. He's a little Army hamster...er... guinea pig...
Sammy here has been serving his country proudly as a Seargant Major at Arms in the U.S. Scruff'ums Barkade for all 4 of his long years. (That's 28 years in dog years.) He loves the taste of danger.
NOTE: PLEASE DO NOT PROVIDE YOUR ANIMAL COMPANIONS WITH GUNS UNLESS THEY HAVE BEEN PROPERLY TRAINED IN THEIR USAGE.
This rainbow agama is not only exotic (hailing from the Sahara Desert), but it already comes decorated in permanent red, white and blue, with a kicky stars and stripes design even.
While it doesn't qualify for being cute or furry, it does come with the added benefit of eating all the mosquitoes that might bother you at your July 4th picnic.
However you choose to celebrate the Fourth of July, remember to consider your pets' happiness and well-being.
If you'll be outside, take your pooch along. If they hate loud noises, avoid the fireworks. After all, they have no idea why things are exploding in the sky above them.
Be safe, make good costume choices, and probably don't paint your cat like this lady did. Your pets will thank you for it.