The first National Pet Day was held on April 11, 2005 and was created by Colleen Paige “to create public awareness about the plight of many different kinds of animals awaiting a forever home in shelters and rescues around the globe.” The response quickly exploded worldwide and today we celebrate the joys of pet ownership with our loyal friend by our side, and also have become more aware of the shelter animals that need a wonderful, loving family. In fact, Anatole France said, “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”
According to American Pet Products Association (APPA), on average in 2015, pet owners spent approximately $60 billion dollars on their furry companion. That estimate increased from the astonishing $58 billion the year before. Americans’ costs are largely due to food, vet care and boarding and grooming. Also, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) reported that the breakdown in cost is due to the size and breed of the animal. The ASPCA publishes a chart every year indicating the costs involved per the size of the animal. For instance, if a pet owner has a small dog, the annual cost is typically $1,300.00 in the first year. Then, of course, a medium dog averages $1,580.00 and a large totals $1,843.00. These totals do not add in the cost of any type of training or emergency care. It is also a fact, that all households that own a pet, 42% have more than one pet.
However, pet owners also could also be cat lovers and cats are not nearly as expensive. These adorable animals’ owners get by on a mere $1,000.00 per year, and other pets are even more affordable than that, such as a bunny, gerbil or guinea pig.
Some little fun facts about this particular day:
- 45% of pet owners often buy presents for the pets
- 2.7 shelter animals are adopted each year
- 81% of cat owners allow their cat to sleep on their bed
- 73% of dog owners allow their dog to sleep on their bed
- Some puppies have a condition called “Frito Feet” wherein the puppy paws smell like corn chips due to a bacteria found on a puppy’s feet
- Parrots are the fourth most popular pet, according to the Humane Society of the United States
Pets should be loved, appreciated and celebrated throughout the entire year; however, if someone wants to do something “special” for an animal in need on that designated day, here are 10 great ideas to bolster your pet or the pet community:
- Visit a local animal shelter
- Adopt a pet (do your research first on what type of animal is right for you)
- Donate to an animal organization
- Volunteer at a shelter (in person, or if you have a skill that would help them get the word out)
- Buy a toy for your furry animal in appreciation of their companionship
- Take your pet to a dog park
- Give them an extra treat
- Bring your sweet baby to work with you
- Play an activity with your pet – Frisbee, throwing ball, etc
- Let your pet cuddle right up next to you in bed
Of course, pet owners are thinking to themselves, “well, isn’t every day a special day for my pet?” Well, yes, but these are a few tips to show them extra love and affection and they will love it …like a dog to a bone!!