National Pet Day | April 11

National Pet Day Facts



National Pet Day is a day to celebrate your pets and show just how much you love them. Around 66% of households in the United States are believed to have pets. This high percentage shows just how much we love our furry friends!

The sad reality, though, is that many pets live in rescue shelters; more than 6 million dogs and cats are taken to shelters every year in the United States.

That’s why National Pet Day is also used to raise awareness of this issue and encourage people to adopt homeless animals.

Are you curious to find out more about this annual event? Whether you own a pet or not, there are plenty of things to learn about National Pet Day!

History of National Pet Day

A woman cradling two small kittens

National Pet Day has been observed since 2006. It was established by Colleen Paige, an animal welfare activist and pet and family lifestyle expert.

The day was born from Colleen’s belief that no animal should have to suffer. She encourages adoption as a first choice when getting a pet and urges people who want a purebred animal to visit a rescue shelter first.

Colleen Paige saw firsthand the plight of animals in rescue shelters when she adopted a rescue dog named Sheltie when she was ten years old. As a pet owner, she also experienced the joy that animals can bring.

Unfortunately, millions of cats, dogs, and other animals are put up for adoption every year. Shelters must try to find new homes for the animals or continue to look after them. Some shelters also take more drastic measures.

Since its founding, National Pet Day has raised awareness of animal cruelty and welfare and provided an opportunity for pet owners to celebrate their pets in a special way.

In addition to National Pet Day, Colleen Paige also founded National Cat Day, National Dog Day, and several other animal and wildlife-related observance days.

How to celebrate National Pet Day

A white dog with a yellow scarf that reads "Adopt Me"

Adopt from a shelter.

If you have been considering adopting a pet, National Pet Day could be the perfect day. You shouldn’t adopt a pet if you aren’t prepared to look after it in the long term, but if you’re ready for this step, April 11 might be the ideal time!

Host a pet party.

Take this opportunity to get pet owners and their fur babies together in the same place. You can host a party at your home or hire a venue for the day. It’s a great excuse to meet your friends while also celebrating this important moment for pets.

Give your pet some extra attention.

Use this day to spoil your pet by giving them a few extra treats or cuddles. Many pets love to spend time with their owners. While they might not understand why you are spoiling them today, they will definitely appreciate it!

International Pet Day FAQ

A parrot balancing on someone's arm while being fed

Is National Pet Day just for cats and dogs?

All pets can be celebrated on National Pet Day. Whether you have cats, dogs, rodents, reptiles, or even a parrot, everybody can get involved on April 11.

Is there a National Pet Month?

Yes, National Pet Month is celebrated in the United States in May, shortly after National Pet Day.

Can I celebrate National Pet Day if I don’t have a pet?

Everyone can celebrate National Pet Day, regardless of whether they have a pet. Post on social media or raise awareness among your friends about animal welfare issues. Or, if you want to get more hands-on, you could volunteer at a local animal shelter.

5 Fun Facts About Pets

A cat asleep in it's own cat bed

Cats sleep for 12-18 hours per day, and sometimes longer! As they get older, they are likely to sleep even more.

More than a third of pet owners in the United States have more than one pet.

There are more than 330 recognized dog breeds in the world.

Around four million pets are adopted from rescue shelters in the United States annually.

A healthy pet rabbit can live for as long as 12 years.

Pets have the remarkable ability to bring boundless joy, comfort, and companionship to their owners.

National Pet Day celebrates these cherished companions and aims to raise awareness of the challenges faced by pets in shelters.

Whether you’re already a pet owner, considering adoption, or just love animals, today is a perfect opportunity to join in the festivities and celebrate the furry friends in our lives.

About The Author

Lizzie Robinson
Lizzie Robinson

Lizzie Robinson has been a freelance writer since 2011. She studied English Literature at university and enjoys sailing & playing the piano in her free time. Lizzie enjoys writing about current issues & business.

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