April 11 is National Pet Day and August 26 is National Dog Day. But, dog lovers around the world celebrate our canine companions every day of the year. It may only be with a hug, pat on the head, or a vigorous scratch behind the ears, at the base of their tail or across their tummy, but we recognize them in some personal way.
We know on a very personal level that our furry friends give us unconditional love and devotion. We didn’t need to read the studies done by various universities or the NIH proving the many benefits of having a dog in our lives.
Dogs make us more than happy. They make us healthier, as well. Man’s best friend helps us to lower our blood pressure, cholesterol, and cortisol levels, improving the health of our hearts. However, they also steal our hearts while they are doing so.
Some History of This Day
In 2006, Colleen Paige, an advocate for animal welfare, wanted to celebrate all that animals do for humans. She also wished to draw attention to the needs of shelter animals needing to be adopted. The motto, “Don’t shop! Adopt!” came into existence. Colleen encouraged those interested in purchasing a purebred dog to forgo dealing with a breeder. She introduced the idea of adopting a dog from organizations that rescued animals instead of buying one from a breeder.
April 11 is National Pet Day, and it originated here in America. However, this holiday swiftly went international. Pet lovers worldwide currently celebrate this day with us. Some of the countries known to celebrate National Pet Day are
- U.K, Ireland, Scotland
- Italy, Spain
- Australia, New Zealand
- Guam, and many other countries
Many celebrities have demonstrated their love for pets. They have generously donated their time, energy, and money to help encourage the adoptions of shelter animals. Some have endorsed various organizations dedicated to animals, and others have promoted the holiday. A few of those well-known animal lovers are listed here. Doris Day, Betty White, Willie Nelson, Carrie Underwood, Kevin Bacon, Seth Myers, Taylor Swift, Ellen De Generes, Cee Lo Green, Ricky Gervais, Jimmy Fallon, and many more.
National Pet Day versus National Love Your Pet Day
Although we love our dogs (and other animals) every day of the year, there is a day to recognize this as well. However, National Pet Day was created to remind us of the needs of rescue or shelter animals and to encourage us to help the organizations that take care of them.
It is a great time to donate items they need or the money for them to be purchased. Shelter, vet care, food, blankets, and toys are expensive. With the several million animals in their care each year, this expense adds up.
Here is a story about a woman who has gone beyond all expectations for any one person. You really need to check it out. https://excellentdogsclub.com/mom-has-fostered-more-than-500-dogs/
National Love Your Pet Day
This holiday is on February 20 and was created to honor those pets we know and love personally. It is a day designed to spoil our pets with extra love and attention. Go ahead. They deserve it!
It is also a reminder for us to make sure our pet’s medical needs are addressed for the year. Is your pet’s annual visit to the vet scheduled for the year? They depend upon us for all their needs. What better way to show that love than to make sure they are as healthy as they can be?
A Few Facts In Honor of National Pet Day
Ok. This is a day to honor all pets. However, since this blog site is about dogs, I am limiting facts to those dealing with them.
- In 1866, the ASPCA was founded in New York by Henry Bergh. Three years earlier, this gentleman had witnessed a fallen horse beaten by a carriage driver while visiting in Russia. The horrible incident haunted him, and he felt he must do something to prevent that kind of abuse from happening again.
- Dogs are the most popular pet in America, with 45% of pets being canine.
- Based on wall paintings from 3500 BCE, dogs were walked with a collar and leash in some parts of the world at that time.
- In ancient days, in Egypt, when a pet died, they shaved various parts of their (human) bodies. Egyptians shaved off their eyebrows when a cat died and the rest of their bodies when a dog died.
Who Has Pets and Why?
In the United States alone, approximately 67% of our households have a pet, and we spend about $75 B on pet products and care. 45%of those pets in our homes are dogs.
Pet owners feel as though their animals are more a part of the family than a pet. 95% of them unabashedly claim their pet as a member of their family according to several national polls. Not only do we receive undying devotion and unconditional love from our dogs, but many of them also perform tasks in the home or on the ranch/farm. Dogs comfort and protect us.
And they are fun. What kind of activities do you enjoy with your dog? Whether asking them to fetch a ball or stick, engage in a game of Frisbee, or training for obedience trials, they are fun playmates. Many people take their dogs hiking or camping as well. There are too many fun activities to mention here. If you have an unique way of playing with your dog, be sure to share it with us in the comment box below.