8 Ways To Celebrate Your Pet on National Love Your Pet Day

5 min read
Jan 18, 2024

While we firmly believe in spoiling our furry best friends with love and affection every day, sometimes it’s nice to put in a little extra effort. Taking the time to shower your pet with affection will not only strengthen your relationship, but it could be good for your mental health (and theirs).1

After all, what’s better for your spirits than a happy, loving pet? In honor of National Love Your Pet Day, we wanted to share some creative ideas on how you can show your beloved pet they’re your best pal — no matter what else is going on in your life.

What Is National Love Your Pet Day?

Each year, National Love Your Pet Day encourages pet owners to show their furry pals of all shapes and sizes extra love. The holiday celebrates the deep connections we have with our animals, the happiness they bring into our lives, and the happiness we can bring them.

When is National Love Your Pet Day?

National Love Your Pet Day is a holiday that occurs each year on February 20.2

How To Celebrate National Love Your Pet Day

For many pet parents, loving our pets is an integral part of our daily routines. If you’re looking for ways to celebrate your dog or cat on National Love Your Pet Day, we’ve listed some ideas to get you started.

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1. Spoil them with delicious treats

Food is a sure way to the heart of almost any pet… and many humans, too! If you’re looking for a way to show your furry family members that you truly love and appreciate them, why not spoil them with a special treat?

You could buy your pets premium brand biscuits from the pet store, prepare homemade treats from scratch, or offer them their favorite type of pet-safe table scrap. Whichever you choose, they’re sure to feel the love!

2. Buy them a fun new toy

Toys are a fun way to engage with your pet. Many pets have a collection of toys, but how often do you take the time to indulge in dedicated playtime with your furry friend?

Like any relationship, fun activities sometimes fall by the wayside in favor of more ‘important’ tasks as time goes by. It may feel indulgent to engage your pet in playtime when you have dinner to make, laundry to do, and work to catch up on. But remember, spending time engaging with your pet directly is an important way to keep your bond strong. Plus, many pets do seem to appreciate the novelty of a new toy.

What better excuse to indulge in a no-holds-barred play session with your pet? If your daily routine has been lacking playtime, now’s the perfect time to reintroduce it. The sessions don’t need to be very long. Just a few minutes may be enough to leave your pet feeling loved and content.

3. Go on an adventure together

If your pet is the adventurous type, consider taking an excursion together — like a long walk or a trip to the dog park. Discovering a new state, park, or hiking trail will be exciting and invigorating for both of you, and the energy is bound to be contagious.

Additionally, spending time in unfamiliar environments is a powerful way to strengthen the bond between you and your pet, at least in the case of dogs. This is because dogs look to their owners for guidance and reassurance in unfamiliar environments or situations.

As you help your dog safely navigate through the world, they will trust you more and more. When you go somewhere new together, it’s an opportunity for both you and your pup to be keenly attuned to one another. With each situation that you help your dog navigate, you’ll be reinforcing the loving bond that you share.

4. Teach your pet a new trick

Teaching your pet a new trick or command is a great way to give them some productive extra attention. Many pets enjoy training sessions because they’re mentally stimulating and involve plenty of attention from you.3 Tasty training treats are just a bonus. Plus, pets (and especially dogs) tend to want to please us. As you teach your pet something new, they will feel fulfilled each time they successfully complete what you ask.

Additionally, don't forget to involve your feline friend in learning some new cat tricks as well. Both dogs and cats can benefit from training, as it can be mentally stimulating and allows your pet to bond with you. Be sure to keep training sessions brief, since many pets have short attention spans. Always end the session on a high note so neither you nor your pet walks away frustrated. And remember, while food is always a welcome reward, affection is a powerful reward as well.

5. Spend quality time together

A simple way to show your pet some extra love is by simply spending quality time with them. Put your phone away, turn off the TV, and just spend time snuggling, petting, or playing with your pet.

Your furry pal likely waits all day for you to come home from work, only to receive a few brief moments of attention before the TV goes on and captivates the majority of your attention. If you really want to spoil your pet, offer them your undivided attention and unconditional love.

6. Learn their body language

Nothing makes us feel more supported than having a companion who truly understands us, and the same is true for pets! That’s why learning your pet’s communication style is such a great way to show them you love them. When you understand their body language, you’ll be able to offer better support and guidance every day, thus strengthening the trusting bond between you.

7. Create a sanctuary for them

What could make your pet feel more loved than having a safe and cozy space all their own? If you spend all day at work while your pet is home alone, a sanctuary space might be the perfect way to help them feel content even when you’re not around.

Consider ways to spruce up your pet’s environment with items and furnishings that will offer them comfort. It could be as simple as a new blanket that smells like you or an enticing chew toy. Or maybe you want to go all out by pampering them with a luxurious new bed or safe access to an outdoor space. Naturally, every pet will have different preferences, so you’ll have to determine what’s most likely to make your pet’s day.

8. Take them somewhere they don’t usually get to go

For some pets, adventures have a certain novelty. And for many pets, nothing is better than the opportunity to be with their person all the time. So to show your pet how much you care for them, consider taking them somewhere they don’t normally get to go with you.

This could be as simple as taking them to the corner on a milk run. Or maybe you’ll opt to include them in your brunch plans this weekend. Whatever the occasion is, your pet will relish the opportunity to be with you rather than at home alone!

National Love Your Pet Day FAQs

Have more questions about National Love Your Pet Day? We’ve got answers.

What are holidays similar to National Love Your Pet Day?

There are many holidays throughout the year that celebrate all kinds of pets for all kinds of reasons.4 These holidays range from pet health awareness, such as February’s National Cat Health Month, to more celebratory days, like Take Your Dog to Work Day on June 23, or even sillier holidays, such as Cat World Domination Day on June 24. Other holidays that celebrate our pets include, but are not limited to:

Why is National Love Your Pet Day celebrated?

While National Love Your Pet Day is all about showering our pets with extra love, there are also some benefits for us humans. According to the CDC and the American Heart Association, your special bond with your pet may help your mental health and lead to lower blood pressure.1,2,5 What’s more, getting moving on a celebratory walk or adventure could promote healthy lifestyle choices, like exercising, for you and your furry friend.1,2,5

Showing your pet some love is part of being a pet owner every day. As pet lovers, celebrating the special relationships we have with our animals may come easily, even beyond National Love Your Pet Day on February 20.

Looking for one more way to show your pet you love them? Consider signing them up for a pet insurance policy!

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1 How to Stay Healthy Around Pets and Other Animals,” CDC

2 “National Love Your Pet Day,” United States Department of Homeland Security

3 Why Trick Training Is Good for Dogs and Their People,” American Kennel Club

4 “National Dog Day and 150+ Other Pet Holidays to Celebrate in 2023!” Time to Pet

5 “Pet Owners,” American Heart Association

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