National Love Your Pet Day

National Love Your Pet Day is an unofficial holiday celebrated annually on February 20th. The purpose of this holiday is to encourage pet owners to spend some time with their pets and show them the love and affection they deserve. It doesn’t matter if you own a cat, dog, bird, fish, or reptile; today is the day to pamper them and show them how much they mean to you.

The History of National Love Your Pet Day

Unfortunately, we were unable to determine who created this holiday. It appears that it has been lost to the fog of time. However, we can make an educated guess about when it was invented. According to our research, it seems that this holiday started being celebrated on a wide scale since the early 2000s.

U.S. Pet Statistics

In 2017, U.S. pet owners spent almost $70 billion on products for their pets. That is an increase over the $66.8 billion spent in 2016 and the $41 billion spent 10 years ago in 2007. Want to know more about the pet industry in the United States? Then check out the following pet statistics:

Number of Households That Own a Pet (By Type, In Millions)

  • Dogs: 60
  • Cats: 47
  • Freshwater Fish: 12
  • Birds: 8.0
  • Reptiles: 4.7
  • Horses: 2.6
  • Saltwater Fish: 2.5

Number of Animals Owned in U.S. (In Millions)

  • Freshwater Fish: 140
  • Cats: 94
  • Dogs: 90
  • Birds: 20.4
  • Saltwater Fish: 18.8
  • Reptiles: 9.4
  • Horses: 7.7

The Benefits of Owning a Pet

Just owning a pet can convey a number of different benefits. Below are six of the most common benefits a pet owner receives from their pet:

Lessen the Chance of Developing Allergies

In the past, there was a myth that stated that children in households with pets had a higher chance of getting allergies. However, science has thoroughly debunked that myth. It has now been shown in several studies that children in households with pets have a 33% lower chance of developing related allergies. For instance, if a household has a cat, then the children are a third less likely to develop allergies to cats. However, if a person has already developed an allergy to a particular pet, then that cannot be reversed.

Strengthen the Immune Systems of Children

Children in households with pets didn’t just have fewer allergies to the particular animal in the home; the children also had stronger immune systems overall. Studies have shown that children who live in homes with pets miss less school due to sickness than children who grow up in pet-less homes.

Instant Ice Breakers

An advantage of owning a pet is that it is often an instant icebreaker when you take it out in public. Many people feel more at ease and are more willing to engage with a person they see who is with their pet. Just another reason for pet owners to take their dogs to the park for a walk.

Improved Heart Health

Another benefit of owning a pet, according to the latest research, is that it may improve heart health. Studies have shown that owning a pet can lower blood pressure, triglyceride, and cholesterol levels in their owners, which can lower the chance of a heart attack.

May Improve Fitness Levels

Your dog may help prevent you from becoming obese. Studies have shown that walking your dog on a regular basis helps pet owners lose weight, or at the very least maintain it. Of course, dog owners who don’t walk their dogs on a regular basis saw no such benefit.

May Improve Depression

Pets have been shown to be a great cure for the blues, which is why it’s becoming more and more common to use Pet Facilitated Therapy (PFT) in hospitals and nursing homes. Many people immediately feel better just by petting a dog or cat. Just another benefit that our pets provide to us.

Celebrating National Love Your Pet Day

As you can clearly see, there are a number of benefits to owning a pet. Which is why celebrating National Love Your Pet Day is so very important. They provide us with unconditional love and affection daily, so shouldn’t we at least give them one day in which we return the favor

When is it?
This year (2024)
February 20 Tuesday
Next year (2025)
February 20 Thursday
Last year (2023)
February 20 Monday