How To Celebrate 'Love Your Pet Day': Date, History and Meaning
National Love Your Pet Day (February 20): History, Meaning, How To Celebrate. Photo KnowInsiders

On February 20, we celebrate National Love Your Pet Day, a day to embrace one special trait that makes us human: our love of our pets! There are many things that differentiate humans from the rest of the animal kingdom, but one of the more unusual behaviors is our longstanding tendency to keep other animals as pets.

When is National Love Your Pet Day?

National Love Your Pet Day is celebrated on February 20. Whether cats, dogs, birds, or even tigers, our furry friends are showered with love and affection on this day!

History of National Love Your Pet Day

Pets have been a part of human life for thousands of years. Ever since we’ve made our first steps into civilization, animals have been right there alongside us. And look at those faces! Who could blame us?

Nobody really knows exactly what animal the very first pet was. But, one animal, the wolf, lived alongside early humans for centuries. Even as far back as 12,000 years ago, dogs and cats were buried in their human counterparts’ graves. It seems that even early humans had a deep attachment to their furry friends.

Meanwhile, European royalty began keeping toy dog breeds in the 1600s. And in modern day Spain, pet bird markets were popular among all classes in southern cities such as Seville well into the 1960s.

Most recently, groups such as the American Kennel Club have only increased our love for our pets. With events such as the annual Westminster Dog Show, humankind has only grown its affection for our non-human friends. Pets are ingrained into our own species, and National Love Your Pet Day gives us a reason to celebrate them!

Why Celebrate National Love Your Pet Day

Photo NY Times
Photo NY Times

The following are the main reasons why you should celebrate the National Love Your Pet Day:

Pets Are Great Listeners

One good reason to celebrate this holiday is to rejoice in the fact that pets are great listeners. Whenever we have no one to talk to, we talk to our pets. We tell them all the things that we want to pour out. Unlike other people, they stay by our sides and listen to everything that we have to say. They will never roll their eyes. Instead, they give us the love that we want.

Pets Can Make You Feel Good

Another good reason to celebrate this day is that pets can make your feel good. When we spend time and play with our pets, we get a boost of our feel good hormones. Studies have shown that spending time with pets can improve blood pressure.

Pets Are Adorable

Of course, another good reason to celebrate this day is that pets are so adorable that they deserve to have a special day wherein people will do nothing but adore them.

READ MORE: Can dogs and cats get COVID-19?

How To Celebrate National Love Your Pet Day

Photo National Today
Photo National Today

1. Praise them

That’s right, it’s simple. Shower your canine or feline friend with nice words and gestures. For example, by petting them and using your friendliest tone. You don’t need a lot of money or time to give your dog or cat the gift of praise. In fact, studies show that our dog’s reward pathways in the brain are activated when we use kind, approving words. In other words, your dog recognizes and appreciates your appreciation.

2. Spend quality time together

There is good evidence to support the claim that your furry friend loves each moment they get to share with you. So why not sit back, cuddle up and watch Netflix together? Or if you want to take a more active approach, take your dog to their favorite outdoor area and let them enjoy an extra round of their favorite game.

For cats, go for a playful belly rub (if they allow you of course) or use toys to engage them in active play. Extra cuddle time will also do just fine.

Stuck inside due to a coronavirus lockdown? Get our tips for caring for your furry friend here.

3. Upgrade your pet’s toys and safety gear

Take stock of your dog or cat’s accessories, toys and safety equipment. Is everything in good condition? Still being used? Or is it perhaps time for an upgrade? Finding a new, stimulating toy for your dog or cat might be just the thing to brighten their day on National Love Your Pet Day.

We recommend choosing pet accessories carefully and investing in only the best, high-quality tools for your furry friend. When purchasing a new product for your pet, ask yourself: will this last for a long time and continue to serve your dog or cat? Or will it be chewed to pieces within a week?

Invest in a future for your pet that promotes their happiness, safety and well-being. For example, a dog or cat GPS tracker + activity monitor is one investment that is sure to pay off for years to come.

4. Treat your pet to some new healthy foods

Your dog or cat might be growing bored of their standard diet – so in honor of this day, why not feed your four-legged friend something special? Not just extra pet treats, which can often be unhealthy and play a part in pets becoming overweight.

Instead of feeding processed treats, see if your dog likes banana, blueberries, or any of these dog-friendly healthy vegetables. For cats, plain cooked salmon or cooked eggs might be more up their alley.

5. Use your imagination

This list of ways to celebrate your furry friend could be unlimited – in fact, it’s only limited by our imagination. Ask yourself: What does my dog or cat love most? This might already give you some ideas for things to do on National Love Your Pet Day (or any other day). To help you brainstorm, we’ve put together the following list of ways to show your pet you love them, below!

6.Donate to pet charities

Spread your love to pets who aren't as fortunate as yours by donating your time, supplies or money to a local pet rescue or shelter. Warm blankets, food, treats and toys are always welcome — but check with the organization you want to support first to find out what they need the most.

7. Dress up your furry friend

It's a special occasion, so dress your best friend accordingly — if your pet enjoys wearing clothes. A cute shirt, adorable tutu or funny hat all accentuate your furry one's good looks. Remember to get your pooch or kitty used to the fashionable attire by giving her lots of praise and plenty of treats while she wears it. And don't forget to take a bunch of pictures to share on social media.

8.Dine out

Did you know some restaurants cater to dogs and allow them to dine with you? Why not look for one in your area and stop by with Fido for a nice meal? She'll love the food and the adventure.

9.Give your pet a massage

It's not just people who enjoy massages. Give your canine or feline sidekick a gentle massage using light rubbing and stroking motions along her body, including her back and shoulders, and see the tension just melt away. Some tummy scratches and head rubs are always appreciated, too.

Arrange a pet photo shoot and share your pics with the world!

Visit a doggie day spa.

Arrange for a playdate at the local dog park with your dog’s best friend.

Teach your dog a new trick.

Make a homemade dog cake.

Take your dog out for some fun activities in the snow.

Pamper your dog’s paws.

Take a holiday together.


National Love Your Pet Day is one of many food holidays celebrated throughout the world. Here are some other popular ones from across the globe.

National Love Your Pet Days Around the World






Zirgu Diena

Latvia celebrates Horses on this day.

January 17


Hedgehog Day

Similar to Groundhog Day, Italy has its own Hedgehog Day.

February 2


Day of help to forest animals

The importance of forest animals and the impact of the changing environment is observed on this day.

February 11


Cat Day

Japan celebrates its feline friends.

February 22


National Elephant Day

The native elephants of this region are celebrated on this day.

March 13


3.2 million – the number of animals adopted from shelters each year.

710,000 – the number of animals who are reunited with their owners after entering shelters as strays.

44% – the percentage of households with a dog in the United States.

35% – the percentage of households with a cat in the United States.

27% – the percentage of pet cats that are acquired as strays.

5,000–7,000 – the number of tigers kept as pets in the United States.

36% – the percentage of decreased risk of heart disease if you own a dog.

10% – the percentage of pet owners who are allergic to their pets.

12% – According to a pet marketing agency, this is the percentage of pets who sleep in their owner’s bed, according

94% – the percentage of families with an autistic child who benefited from having a pet.

44% – the percentage of people who would rather cuddle with their pet than their partner.

Love Your Pet Day Pet Messages

1.Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet. Happy National Love Your Pet Day!

2.If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans.

3.The dog was created especially for children. He is the god of frolic. Happy National Love Your Pet Day!

4.A dog is the only creature that will love you more than you love yourself.

5.Money can buy you a good breed of dog, but only your love can make his tail wag. Happy National Love Your Pet Day

6.The time sent with cats is never wasted.

7.An animal’s eyes have a very great ability to speak. Happy National Love Your Pet Day!

8.There are two ways to overcome miseries in life; music and cats.

9.Animals are reliable, lovable, caring, genuine, predictable in actions, grateful and loyal. Very high standards for people to live up.

National Love Your Pet Day Quotes

1.“Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen.” — Orhan Pamuk

2.“Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet.” — Colette

3.“When I am feeling low all I have to do is watch my cats and my courage returns.” — Charles Bukowski

4.“Perhaps the greatest gift an animal has to offer is a permanent reminder of who we really are.” — Nick Trout

5.“People talk to pets and babies to stop themselves going mad.” — James Smythe

6.“Animals are such agreeable friends — they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms.” — George Eliot

7.“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains un-awakened.” — Anatole France

8.“I like pigs. Dogs looks up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.” — Winston Churchill

9.“My little dog — a heartbeat at my feet.” — Edith Wharton

10.“Animals are reliable; many full of love, true in their affections, predictable in their actions, grateful, and loyal. Difficult standards for people to live up to.” — Alfred A. Montapert

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