Today, April 11th is National Pet Day, when all pet lovers should show how much they really do care for and love their pets. There are several conventional things you can do, such as playing games with your dog in the park, taking an extra-long walk, buy him some tasty treats or a new pet toy, but there are other options to celebrate your special connection you have with your pet. Why not consider helping out at a cat refuge or dog shelter, or make a cash donation to one of the many animal charities that are needing additional funds all year round.
The first National Pet Day took place in 2006, founded by Colleen Paige, an advocate for animal welfare, and has continued annually ever since, to raise awareness about many pets in rescue centres and shelters around the world and to celebrate our own pets and the joy they bring to our lives.
There are many reasons why some pets don’t receive the love and attention they deserve on a daily basis; perhaps they’ve been abandoned by cruel owners, or sometimes their human owners are taken into hospital and unable to look after their beloved pets. There are many ways you can celebrate National Pet Day, and in the meantime help out other less fortunate pets too.
Here are out top 10 suggestions for things you can do:
- Consider pet adoption – there are hundreds of cats and dogs in local shelters and rescue homes
- Register to volunteer at your local rescue centre, where you can help to look after the animals
- Take donations of pet food, toys and clean blankets to animal welfare centres, where they will be gratefully accepted
- Host a National Pet Day party to honour all of your lovely pets
- Help out an elderly or ill, friend or neighbour who may be finding it difficult to walk and care for their pets.
- Likewise, you may have a neighbour who is struggling financially to support and feed their pets; offer some help in the form of pet food, or a treat for their pet
- Take lots of special photos of your pets – this also has an advantage if your pet goes missing, as you can use this picture on a “lost” poster. Who doesn’t love a cute picture of our pets?
- Buy your dog or cat a new toy
- Try a new food treat for your dog – skip the shop bought ones that are usually high in preservatives, sugar and fat, and try them with vegetable or fruit snacks, such as a green bean or a small carrot. They will have lots of fun and enjoyment with it, in addition to its being a healthy treat.
- Take your dog for a longer walk; follow a new and exciting route with lots of new places for them to sniff and explore.
National Pet Day is a good day to centre your thoughts on your pet, and the special relationship that you have with them. We don’t limit pets just to the feline and canine categories, there are lots of people who prefer the company of fish, rats or birds, so whatever your pet, enjoy them just that little bit more today.