April 11th is National Pet Day. Although most pet parents shower their furry friends with love and affection every day of the year, April 11th is specifically set aside to celebrate pets both big and small.
Where did National Pet Day come from?
National Pet Day was founded by Colleen Paige, an animal welfare advocate, and pet and family lifestyle expert, in 2006. She wanted to celebrate the joy pets bring us. However, she also wanted to shed light on the ongoing need for pets waiting to be adopted in shelters. So many people seek to buy animals from breeders rather than adopting animals from shelters and rescue organizations. Her purpose was to encourage people to adopt; hence, the well-known motto ‘Adopt, Don’t Shop’ started with Colleen!
Although National Pet Day started in the United States, it quickly took off internationally. Today, this holiday is celebrated in the U.K., Italy, Australia, Spain, and many other countries.
What should you do on National Pet Day?
Here are some ideas…
Play with your pets! This is a no-brainer but definitely schedule some ‘fun-time’. Sometimes, we get so wrapped up in our day-to-day lives that we forget our pets need time and attention.
Donate to your local shelter. They will be furr-ever grateful ;)
Adopt a pet! Just remember to carefully consider the long-term commitment that comes with one.
Volunteer at a local shelter or rescue organization. Even if circumstances don’t allow you to have a pet of your own, there are plenty of animals that would love a friend.
Give your pets an extra special treat. Whether it’s a treat you baked yourself or something you save only for special occasions, break them out and let your pets indulge. After all, it’s their day!
Don’t forget to share pics of your pets on social media! Below are my own pets, Momo and CiCi, in addition to some pets I’m honored to have taken care of since becoming a professional pet sitter. Happy National Pet Day!
“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” –Anatole France, poet