National Pet Day: History, Significance, Importance

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Feb 24, 2022, 4:45

Every year on April 11th, the United States commemorates the day. The day is dedicated to pets; on this day, people take time out of their hectic lives to give their pets additional attention, care, and affection.

Colleen Paige, a well-known animal welfare campaigner and lifestyle expert, launched National Pet Day in 2006. This day was developed to bring attention to the plight of animals in shelters all across the world.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has collaborated in research to evaluate the physical and emotional benefits of owning a pet for the past ten years. Pets can not only steal our hearts, but they can also help us maintain good cardiovascular health by decreasing cortisol, cholesterol, and blood pressure.

History of National Pet Day

National Pet Day was developed in 2006 by Colleen Paige, an animal lover and a reformer, to honour the joy that pets can provide to our lives. She wanted to highlight the importance of shelters for pet animals. Instead of going to a breeder, she advised to reach out to adoption agencies that rescue cats and dogs from different kinds of sites. "Don't shop! Adopt!" has been the season's catchphrase.

Every year, 13 million cats and dogs enter shelters in the United States, according to the Humane Society of the United States. Some were stray animals, while others were surrendered by owners who couldn't care for them any longer, and still, others were confiscated during legal processes. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, around 6.5 million companion animals enter shelters each year. In addition, 1.6 million cats and dogs are reunited with their families.

Colleen's vacation began in the United States, but it quickly spread worldwide. Pet lovers in the United Kingdom, Italy, Australia, Israel, Scotland, and several other countries commemorate the day. Celebrities have also stepped forward to support the cause. People like Taylor Swift and Jimmy Falon have taken it to social media and have supported the cause.

Colleen's cause has benefited from the use of social media to promote joy and raise awareness. When President Barack Obama released a photo of Bo, the dog he rehomed, people got very impressed and, it warmed the hearts of politicians on both sides of the aisle. All of the big names in the United States support the noble cause of National Pet Day and are now transforming it into a movement.

National Pet Day celebrates a noble cause of keeping pets and saving animals. Currently, the day is observed only in the United States of America. However, it is gaining a lot of popularity in other countries.

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FAQs About National Pet Day

  • When is National Pet Day celebrated?

National Pet Day is celebrated on April 11th every year in the United States of America.

  • Who started the National Pet Day initiative?

Colleen Paige was the one who started the initiative. She wanted to highlight the plight of domestic animals.

  • When was the National Pet Day launched?

The National Pet Day was launched on April 11th, 2006.