From the founder of Puppy Day comes National Pet Day. Started in 2005 by Pet & Family Lifestyle Expert, Colleen Paige, April 11 celebrates the joy that pets bring to our lives. Below are some of the many ways to honor our pets on their special day:
- Have a National Pet Day party and celebrate all your pets!
- Take your dog to a Yappy Hour. To find a participating pet bakery near you, Google “Yappy Your + your town” or call a local store to inquire if they’re hosting one. If they’re not, encourage them to start one! Yappy Hour is a social time that includes pet treats.
- Give your cat catnip. This herb acts as an aphrodisiac for some cats and causes them to roll in it and/or run wild through the house. Scientists think it triggers “happy” hormones.
- Do “tricks for treats” with dogs and cats OR tie crunchy treats to the inside of housing units first thing in the morning for birds, rabbits, and other small critters to enjoy.
- Have a picnic with your pet in your back yard.
- Carry your pet down the aisle of your local pet supply store and invite your pet to choose a present.
- Take a day-trip to a favorite hiking trail, park, or lake.
- Spend the day taking photos of your pets and then post them to a Facebook album.
- Play games. Play fetch with your dog. Hide treats around the house for your cat to find.
- Teach your pet a new trick. If your dog or cat has learned the basics of obedience, move on to tricks such as rolling over, jumping, or even walking and dancing on tiptoes. The harder the trick, the more practice it will take, but also the greater the quality time with your pet.
- Pamper your pet with a massage. The act of slow and steady petting will release oxytocin (the “love hormone”) in both of you. If your pet suffers from arthritis, massage can help loosen joints so that your pet can move with less pain.
- As an alternative to a massage, offer back scratches or belly rubs. Do this several times throughout the day while telling your pet how cute they are.
- Help a sick or elderly neighbor by offering to pet sit for a day.
- Assist a financially struggling neighbor by purchasing needed items for their pets.
- Check out the wish list items of a favorite animal welfare organization and donate to them.
As with several of the pet calendar events that we featured here at LAA Pet Talk, National Pet Day is also intended to “create public awareness about the plight of many different animals awaiting a forever home in shelters and rescues all around the globe”. The holiday isn’t just limited to dogs and cats, but also intended to include small animals, birds and reptiles, and farm animals. They all need our love!