National Pet Day

Dog sniffing flowers
National Pet Day is an unofficial holiday every year on April 11 and encourages people to appreciate the role that pets play in our lives. People with pets are encouraged to give them the extra appreciation that they deserve on this day. The day also brings awareness to those pets who need the most attention; the ones in shelters who need a fur-ever home.

History of National Pet Day

In 2006, Colleen Page, a Pet & Lifestyle Family Expert and Animal Advocate, felt that it was crucial to establish a day to commemorate the pleasure that having a pet can bring to us.

April 11th is a day to highlight the number of animals that are currently living in shelters needing a home, and thus bring awareness to the importance of adopting a rescue instead of buying one from a breeder. There are over 6 million animals arriving at shelters every year. While numbers have been slightly declining in more recent years, shelters are still at capacity and don't have the means to house that many animals.

Adopt a pet

The day also serves as a reminder of the love that pets provide to their owners, and how crucial it is to spend time with them today and every day.

National Pet Day

shelter pet

"Animals are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole" - Roger Caras. For most pet owners, National Pet Day may as well be a daily occurrence. We understand the devotion and pleasure that animals bring to our lives everyday.

National Pet Day is also dedicated to those pets who may not always get the companionship and attention pets deserve. While loving our pets is something we do every day, the observance encourages helping out orphaned pet companions. It will not only improve their health but can enhance their opportunities for adoption.

Celebrating National Pet Day

"I wanted to make aware how much of a problem it is in this country,” he says. “I can speak from experience: [adopting] was the smartest thing we’ve done when it comes to owning a pet." - Josh Duhamel.

Celebrate National Pet Day by adopting a pet from a local shelter or purebred rescue organization. If you're not ready to adopt, volunteering at the local shelter or rescue can bring a smile to any sheltered pet's face. You can take them for a walk and help feed and care for them. And shelters can always use some extra blankets, food, toys, and treats.

If you have a pet, spend some extra time with them. Let them know how much you love and appreciate them. Take them to the park, go for a drive, get them a new toy. You can even try teaching them a new trick!

National Pet Day is a time to celebrate the role of pets in our lives. It’s also an opportunity for us to give back to the animals who give us so much. This year, consider ways that you can get involved in celebrating National Pet day. You might volunteer at your local animal shelter or donate food or supplies. Or perhaps you could simply spend some time playing with and loving the animals at your local shelter. No matter how you choose to participate, know that by doing so, you are making a difference in the lives of countless homeless pets. And that, in itself, is something worth celebrating! Have you ever adopted a pet from a shelter? Share your adoption story with us on social! @vitalpetlife #nationalpetday