National Pet Day is an unofficial holiday that takes place every year on April 11 and encourages people to appreciate the role that pets play in our lives. People with pets are encouraged to give them the extra appreciation that they deserve on this day. The day also brings awareness to those pets who need the most attention, the ones in shelters who are in need of a home.
It is estimated that in the United States around 80 million households have pets, of which 80 million are dogs and 86 million are cats.
History of National Pet Day
In 2006, pet & lifestyle family expert and animal advocate Colleen Page, the creator of many animal holidays, thought that it was important to have a day to celebrate the happiness that having a pet brings, whether they are a dog, a cat, a bird, or a fish.
Colleen thought it would be very important to have a day to highlight the number of animals that are currently living in shelters needing a home, and thus bring awareness to the importance of adopting a rescue instead of buying one from a breeder. There are 6.5 million animals arriving at shelters every year, and while numbers have been declining in more recent times, shelters are still at capacity and have no conditions to house that many pets.
The day also serves as a reminder of the love that animals bring into the lives of their owners, and how important it is to spend time with them.
How to observe National Pet Day
On this day people are encouraged to volunteer at shelters, whether they already have pets or not. It is also a good time to remember to donate food, blankets, and toys to make the lives of the pets that are living in the shelters happier.
Those with pets can take the day to give their animals a bit more attention, spend more time with them playing or take them for a long walk, as well as spoil them with nice treats.