National Pet Day, observed every year on April 11, may seem like any other day of the year to those with their own furry, feathered, scaled or sleeker skinned companions, but there’s more to this holiday than just showing your own animal love.
This day was officially named in 2006 by Pet & Family Lifestyle Expert, Animal Welfare Advocate Colleen Paige. As a pet owner and advocate for the compassionate care of animals, Paige has pointed out a number of ways that people can help pets at home, in shelters, and around the world.
“I believe all animals are sentient beings that deserve our love and compassion…even not-so-cuddly animals like reptiles and rats,” she said. “No animal should ever have to suffer, especially at the hand of humans. MILLIONS of unwanted animals perish every day, due to just that….being ‘unwanted.'”
It’s sound logic, and a good reason to raise awareness of pets around the world. To help you celebrate, we’ve gathered a few of Paige’s prompts and added some others that just might make the animals in your community much happier.
Here are 10 ways you can make National Pet Day one to remember this year, and every other:
10. Donate supplies to a local shelter
Animal shelters are always in need of supplies like blankets, toys, and food. Always.
9. Host a National Pet Day party
Invite local pets over for a fun day in the sun. Set out toys, food, and water, mark off digging stations, and hand prizes out to the most impressive pets in your neighborhood.
8. Help the pets in your community who need it most
If there are elderly or physically disabled people in your neighborhood, help them out by taking their pets for a walk, or making a visit to the pet store for the food and supplies they need. A little help goes a long way to making both human and animal friends!
Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.
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