It was established in 2006 by Colleen Paige, an animal welfare activist and expert in pet and family lifestyle. She wanted to raise awareness of animals in shelters and emphasize the benefits of having pets.
According to animal shelter statistics for 2021, over 6 million animals end up in shelters annually, and about 30% of those are abandoned there by their owners.
One of the ideas behind National Pet Day is promoting the adoption of pets instead of shopping. Paige’s campaign took off worldwide and gained support from numerous celebrities, such as Ricky Gervais, Taylor Swift, Barack Obama, and others.
How to celebrate
There are many ways to celebrate this day with your pets.
- Give them some special treats, or buy them a new toy. We’ve got a fantastic selection in our Best Gifts for Dogs and Best Gifts for Cats lists.
- Go for a longer walk, play in their favorite park, or visit the beach.
- If you don’t have a pet, this is the perfect occasion to get one!
- Support a local shelter by either donating or volunteering to give a lonely animal some love.
In the true spirit of the holiday — adopt an animal, don’t buy one. If you want a particular breed, you should know that plenty of purebreds are waiting for their forever home in shelters as well. The shelter staff will be happy to help you find a pet that matches your needs and wishes.
Also, consider supporting your local shelters and animal care institutions if you are able. Donate money, food, blankets, toys, towels, food and water bowls, grooming tools, or your time and service as a volunteer. Even just visiting to socialize with the pets is a great way to contribute!
They are part of our family and give us so much! Today may be their special day, but we as they make every day special for us, we should treat every single day as National Pet Day!