National Love Your Pet Day Date in the current year: February 20, 2024

National Love Your Pet Day National Love Your Pet Day is observed by pet lovers in the United States and beyond on February 20. The creators of this unofficial holiday, whoever they are, suggest that you give your pets a little more attention than usual on this day to show them your love.

Pets (companion animals are animals people keep primarily for company or entertainment. Domesticated pets are most common because they are fit for a human environment, but some people keep wild and exotic animals as pets, although this practice is strictly regulated or completely banned in most places.

It is widely believed that pets provide their owners (although some people prefer the terms “guardian”, “caregiver” or “pet parent”) both mental and physical health benefits. There’s even a type of therapy named animal-assisted therapy where animals are used in a treatment. And, although emotional support animals and service animals aren’t officially classified as pets, their owners surely see them as their companions.

Pets provide their owners emotional support, especially during the times of stress, and help relieve anxiety. Pets that need walking provide their owners with exercise and give them an opportunity to socialize with other pet owners. A lot of people turn to pets to alleviate loneliness: when you have a pet, you know that there’s always someone waiting for you to come home (and they will never interrupt you when you’re venting to them about an awful day you’ve had).

According to statistics, 68% of households in the United States own a pet. While there are more pet cats than dogs in the U.S., dog-owning households outnumber those owning cats. Other popular pets include small mammals (rodents, rabbits, ferrets, and even miniature pigs), birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and even spiders and snails. So, although most people associate National Love Your Pet Day with cats and dogs, it is the day to celebrate all pets, regardless of their species.

Here are just a few ideas how to celebrate National Love Your Pet Day:

  • spoil your pet: buy them their favorite treat or a new toy (ideally both);
  • find time to play with them (if they like to play, of course);
  • take your pet to a vet for a checkup or to a groomer;
  • arrange a photo shoot for your pet and share the pictures on social media with the hashtag #NationalLoveYourPetDay;
  • make a funny video with your pet and post it on your Instagram or TikTok account;
  • throw a party in honor of your animal friend;
  • if you’ve been planning to get one more pet so that your current one has company, this is the day to do it!

In addition, you can help your local pet shelter or rescue because less fortunate pets that don’t have a loving family at the moment also deserve to be celebrated! You don’t have to adopt a new pet if you don’t want or can’t afford to, but you can help by donating or volunteering. Most shelters and rescues will be glad to accept whatever you can donate, be it food, treats, toys, warm blankets, or money. However, it’s still a good idea to check with them first to figure out what they need.

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Unofficial Holidays



National Love Your Pet Day, unofficial holidays, informal holidays, pets, companion animals