National Pet Day: When It Is and How to Participate

A man and woman lying on a bed with their dog

Your pets might already be the focus of your everyday life, but on National Pet Day, we’re encouraged to give them extra-special attention. National Pet Day is April 11 annually.

Founded in 2006 by Colleen Paige, an animal welfare advocate and pet and family lifestyle expert, this holiday is dedicated to showing appreciation for our pets and shining a light on the many animals in shelters and rescues that are still waiting to find homes.[1]

Participating in National Pet Day

National Pet Day is all about doing something a little extra for all types of pets everywhere, including those creatures that may not live with you. See below for some ideas for how you can participate in National Pet Day.

1. Organize a walk with neighborhood dogs

If you’re a dog owner, wish a happy National Pet Day to your neighbors by organizing a socially-distanced dog walk as a group. After all, dogs enjoy simple pleasures: stretching their legs, sniffing new things on the sidewalk and barking with their fellow canines.

2. Buy your pet a new toy

To humans, toys are just playthings. To your pet, a new toy can be an absolutely mind-blowing experience. It can even be useful for you; a new toy can give your pet solitary entertainment when you’re busy or provide you and your pet with a new way to play together. No matter what the ultimate purpose is, a new toy is one of the best tokens of appreciation you can offer your animal friend.

3. Visit a shelter to spend time with pets who don’t have a forever home yet

One of the main reasons that National Pet Day was established was to support and bring joy to pets that don’t have a forever home. You can make a positive impact on these animals by volunteering at a local shelter or just spending some time meeting and playing with some of the pets.

4. Share your enthusiasm for your pets on social media

Pets deserve to be shared with the world, so use National Pet Day as an excuse to post (another) selfie with your pet. Or go above and beyond and schedule a full-fledged photo shoot. You’re doing good work regardless.

5. Donate food, toys or other resources to animal welfare organizations

Unfortunately, pets without a home don’t always have access to the same care, attention and resources as those that do. On National Pet Day, consider purchasing some new pet supplies for a donation to an animal welfare organization near you. Your support will make many animals’ lives better.

National Pet Day is an annual reminder that all animals deserve our respect and affection. If you’re looking for an additional way to express your gratitude for your pet, see how pet insurance can benefit you and your animal.

[1] “National Pet Day,” (accessed March 24, 2021).